Xbox Live Arcade has come a long way since Geometry Wars. According to Scott Austin, the director of marketplace games for the Microsoft service, arcade experiences are getting higher and higher quality to remain competitive. "Some of these titles are competing with retail for share-of-wallet."
He also said that since the announcement of Uno as the first million-seller, a number of other titles have followed, including Castle Crashers and Battlefield 1943. With those numbers, reports Austin, "the upside revenue potential is well over $15 million."
Getting into Xbox Live Arcade can be most competitive, and Austin states that the new Xbox Indie Games "are a much lower bar to entry." With indie games, he tells the audience of developers at the Casual Connect conference in Seattle, "the quality bar is not as competitive." Which leads Austin to make a suggestion to publishers and developers: "It can also be a great platform to test out games."
When asked about Microsoft's plans to offer pre-order for Xbox Live titles, Austin responds: "Theoretically, you don't need pre-orders in the world of digital distribution. When there's unlimited supply, in theory, they don't need pre-orders."
But our customers, he says, really love pre-orders. "We'll be investigating that," he says, and releasing some solutions in the coming months. "Our consumers really love the latest and greatest content."