Fez, a new indie platformer hitting Xbox Live Arcade from Polytron Corporation

According to an update from Polytron Corporation, Fez has sold almost 20,000 units in its first day on the Xbox Live Arcade marketplace. The perspective-warping platformer launched on Friday the 13th but didn’t suffer any unluckiness outside of some game-breaking bugs. Currently, the pixel-art puzzler sits at an even 90 on Metacritic, and our own review is generally positive.

For comparison, here’s a quick overview of how some other popular Xbox Live Arcade games have sold in the past:

  • In its first week of sales, Braid sold 55,000 units. The puzzle-platformer went on to surpass 450,000 in total unit sales.
  • Record-breaking Shadow Complex sold 200,000 copies in its first week. Its total lifetime sales reached 600,000.
  • In its first month of sales, Trials HD sold through 300,000 units. Since the motorbike platformer’s release in 2009, it has sold 1.8 million copies.
  • After its first two weeks on the marketplace, Limbo sold 244,000. It peaked at just over 892,000 total units.
  • The number-one selling game of all time on XBLA is Castle Crashers, with over 2.6 million paid downloads.

Amongst that company, Fez is most comparable to Braid and Limbo. All three are indie darlings that hit the Xbox 360’s downloadable-content platform in the leaner seasons of spring and summer. Each of these titles are also critically acclaimed with Metacritic scores of at least 90. But as Limbo benefited from a greater installed base of Xbox 360 owners than Braid enjoyed, so Fez will benefit even more.


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In 2008, the year Braid hit XBLA, Microsoft had sold approximately 26 million Xbox 360s worldwide. By the time of Limbo’s 2010 release, that number approached 50 million. With double the amount of 360s in people’s homes, Limbo (892,000 units) sold almost twice what Braid (450,000 units) did.

Two years later and the Xbox 360 install base has reached 65 million, which can only help Fez maintain a strong tail.

Nearly 20,000 in 24 hours is a healthy start. If Fez can overcome any negative word-of-mouth based on its technical hiccups, then it should continue to sell well. According to the game’s leaderboards, Fez now has over 26,000 total players. At $10 per download, that’s already a $260,000. Not bad for a game that looks like an NES title from the 1980s and forces players to use their heads.

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