[Updated] Microsoft Says Xbox Live Arcade Will Eventually Be Phased Out
Through its PR agency, Edelman, Microsoft issued an official statement on this story, assuring gamers that Xbox Live is in no danger of being taken down.
“Xbox LIVE Arcade is and will continue to be the premier destination for quality downloadable games at a great value, boasting an ever-growing, eclectic library of hundreds of games, spanning every genre. We are committed to providing new downloadable games for Xbox 360 and continuing our work with 1st and 3rd party developers on the platform. We have no plans to dissolve the service at this time.”
In a new interview, Microsoft's Michael Wolf speculates that Xbox Live Arcade will eventually be phased out as digital distribution matures.
In an interview with Vox Games, Wolf, Microsoft's global marketing manager for XBLA, said that the service might eventually be taken down due to the increasingly blurred line between large-scale retail games and ambitious XBLA games.
When asked if XBLA would eventually be phased out of existence, Wolf answered, "Personally, I'd say absolutely, yes. I think digital distribution has to be like that. I don't think XBLA will be leaving soon. It is an incredible platform. We have XBLA fans, I don't think it's going to be announced anytime soon. One thing Microsoft has proven is that we continue to try and adapt and innovate in experiences."
However, that doesn't mean that the company is turning its back on downloadable games. It would rather be a reaction to the changing market, citing the example of Remedy's Alan Wake: American Nightmare, which in past year's would have been a retail, disc-based game. In the future, as XBLA games become more ambitious and more triple-A games go digital, designating games as "Xbox Live Arcade" games might be a meaningless distinction.
Source: Vox Games via XBLA Fans