Editor’s note: Inspired by a post on Kotaku, Thomas predicts future XBLA prices based on current trends. I agree with Lance Darnell’s comment, though — I’d love to see this data cross-referenced with average review scores. Those have to be trending upward, too. -Demian


Kotaku recently reported that Xbox Live Arcade prices are on the rise. Stephen Totilo’s analysis was correct, but I did my own study of XBLA pricing and uncovered a few more interesting trends. I used every XBLA title that has not been delisted from November 2005 to July 2009 and did a yearly analysis of the average cost of XBLA titles.

Year

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Total Games

14

27

63

72

51

Average Microsoft Points

514.29

518.52

628.57

800.00

847.06

$ USD Conversion

6.43

6.48

7.86

10.00

10.59

Standard Deviation

244.50

243.43

212.08

222.66

306.17

Average Difference between 2005-2006 and 2007-2009

$2.97

2007 was a major turning point for XBLA: The average price of XBLA games increased by $1.38 USD compared to 2006 (from 2005 to 2006 the average price increase was $0.05 USD); the number of games almost tripled, 27 to 63; and the standard deviation of XBLA prices decreased significantly, meaning more games at a more expensive price point. Looking at XBLA currently, the average price difference from 2005 is $4.16 USD.

 

 

This data can be intepreted in many ways. Perhaps more XBLA games are fully-featured rather than simple rehashes of old IPs. Maybe Microsoft was testing the market to see how downloadble games should be priced, and started on the low side. Or maybe Microsoft isn’t finished raising prices. I’ll extrapolate how that scenario could work out below:

Expected Values

Year

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Average

470.60

567.32

664.04

760.76

857.48

954.20

1050.92

$ USD Conversion

5.88

7.09

8.30

9.51

10.72

11.93

13.14

# of Games

12

33

54

75

96

117

138

There have been 51 games released so far in 2009. That is double the amount of titles released in all of 2006. If this trend continues, the expected number of XBLA titles for 2009 is 96, for 2010, 117. And if this pricing trend continues, the expected average price of XBLA titles in 2010 is $12.00 USD. Will the projected increase of XBLA prices act as a catalyst for better quality games, or will this oversaturate the service with mediocre titles priced too high? I hope the former becomes true.