Xbox Live Arcade Potential Delist List

May 22nd, 2008

So the big story today is the Next-Gen interview with XBLA manager Marc Whitten, where he states:

In addition to allowing these bigger and better games we will be delisting older underperforming titles in order to keep the service focused on a section of high quality games.

The way it will work is that the title will need to be at least 6 months old and have a Metacritic score below 65 and a conversion rate below 6% on the service.  This way titles are not just considered if they are not selling well or not getting good reviews, but actually a combination of both.  We will also give a three-month notice before delisting any title.  Overall I think you will find this will focus the catalogue more on larger, more immersive games and make it much easier to find the games you are looking for.

Out of curiosity, I decided to compile a list of these poor performers, to see what kind of sweep we could be looking at. Please keep in mind that this list is based only on metacritic scores. Conversion rate (the percentage of players who buy the full game after downloading the demo) will most definitely be one of the strongest factors in determining whether a game will be delisted from Xbox Live Arcade, and hard conversion numbers are very difficult to get ahold of. According to Microsoft, the average conversion rate one year ago was 18%, with a high of 51% and a low of 4%. While we don’t know how much the numbers have changed, I’m guessing that it’s only going to be the very bottom of the barrel that ends up affected. Don’t expect a mass cleansing of all the crap games from XBLA anytime soon.

With that said, here’s the list.

Xbox Live Arcade Title Release Date Metacritic
Aegis Wing 2007 58
Arkadian Warriors 2007 59
Asteroids / Asteroids Deluxe 2007 55
Bankshot Billiards 2 2005 65
Battlestar Galactica 2007 55
Battlezone 2008 52
Bliss Island 2008 42
Boogie Bunnies 2008 54
Brain Challenge 2008 54
Centipede & Millipede 2007 55
Contra 2006 63
Crystal Quest 2006 64
Cyberball 2072 2007 41
Defender 2006 58
Dig Dug 2006 65
Discs of Tron 2008 44
Double Dragon 2007 57
Ecco the Dolphin 2007 53
Fatal Fury Special 2007 63
Feeding Frenzy 2006 65
Frogger 2006 62
Gauntlet 2005 65
Geon: Emotions 2007 59
Gyruss 2007 56
Hardwood Backgammon 2005 62
Hardwood Hearts 2005 64
Hardwood Spades 2005 62
Mad Tracks 2007 62
Marathon: Durandal 2007 63
Missile Command 2007 63
Mr. Driller Online 2008 48
Ms. Pac-Man 2007 65
New Rally-X 2006 43
Novadrome 2006 50
Pac-Man 2006 62
Robotron: 2084 2006 65
Rocketmen: Axis of Evil 2008 57
Rocky and Bullwinkle 2008 37
Root Beer Tapper 2007 61
Rush’n Attack 2007 58
Scramble 2006 47
Screwjumper! 2007 40
Shrek-N-Roll 2007 49
Soltrio Solitaire 2007 59
Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe 2007 64
SpongeBob … Slam! 2007 55
Spyglass Board Games 2007 54
Street Trace: NYC 2007 45
Super Contra 2007 61
Tempest 2007 47
Tetris Splash 2007 53
Texas Hold ’em 2006 63
Time Pilot 2006 63
TiQal 2008 58
TotemBall 2006 44
Track & Field 2007 63
Triggerheart Exelica 2008 63
Tron 2008 43
Wing Commander Arena 2007 51
Word Puzzle 2007 44
Xevious 2007 56
Yaris 2007 17
Yie Ar Kung-Fu 2007 51

My first take after reading over the list? Enough with the half-assed arcade ports already. With that said, some of the low rated arcade titles are much better games than the scores would infer. How do you review Pac-Man, anyway? What’s the metric? Does it have to stand on its own against a Gears of War or Bioshock, or are you only weighing the implementation of and additions to the original game?

3 Responses to “Xbox Live Arcade Potential Delist List”

  1. Chris on May 24, 2008 11:37 am

    Clarification, from today’s Gamerscore Blog post:

    Q: What’s “conversion rate”?
    A: When people download a trial XBLA game, and then purchase that game, that’s called a conversion. So if less than 6% of all trials downloaded lead to full game purchases – that’s one of the 3 criteria we look at when deciding to delist a game.

    Q: Why are you delisting games?
    A: We have a LOT of XBLA titles onto the service. By filtering out the lower performing games, it will actually make it easier to find the games you really want.

    Q: If I bought a game, and deleted it, can I redownload it even if it’s been delisted?
    A: Yes, you can. Go to Download History under the Account Management section of marketplace (far left blade).

    Q: Can I still play a game after it’s been delisted? What about playing online? What about leaderboards?
    A: Yes, yes, and yes. The game will function normally even after being delisted. You can continue to play the game single and multiplayer, as well as use the leaderboards as you normally would.

  2. Chris on May 26, 2008 5:19 pm


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