What XBLA Fans Want

Yesterday, the XBLA team posted on Microsoft’s Gamerscore blog for the first time. Our purpose: to ask the community what it wants (games, service features, etc.)

I’ve read about 500 comments, and I’m nowhere near the end of the list. 🙂

The feedback is telling. If you’re very interested in XBLA, check it out. Of course, bear in mind that people commenting on Gamerscore are (generally) pretty hardcore. Nevertheless, their opinions definitely matter — they usually buy a lot of games and they generate plenty of buzz for us.

Some of the most common requests include:

  • Price cuts over time / “platinum (discounted) hits” / game bundles.
  • Hasbro IP (Monopoly seeming to top the list)
  • Board and card games in general (glad I publicly called out for those last February.)
  • Remove trial XBLA games from the “played games” list
  • The Simpsons arcade game and X-Men arcade game. Makes sense, especially in light of the great performance of TMNT on XBLA.
  • More local (i.e. same console) multiplayer that includes the ability to play with others via Live at the same time. We’ve been encouraging developers to go this route for a while now, so I’m glad to see yet more evidence of the value.
  • More co-op (again, with mixed local/Live play). Called out for that back in February, too.
  • An XBLA blade in the dash. Definitely gratifying to see this request!
  • Revamp the DRM setup for XBLA games
  • More platformers, shmups, and RPGs
  • Final Fantasy — all incarnations
  • Classic SEGA titles
  • More original games like Outpost Kaloki, Cloning Clyde, Small Arms, etc
  • Chu Chu Rocket
  • Killer Instinct 1 & 2
  • Old adventure titles ala Sierra and LucasArts

Many comments stood out to me. Again, I won’t quote them all, but here’s a sampling:

  • I’ve been able to get my wife back into gaming with me due to the Xbox Live Arcade. Thank you =)
  • …it frustrates me how few people on my friends list or that I know, know anything about the arcade. I think part of the problem is that it is hidden in two layers of menus…
  • Please tell all developers that want to release their retro titles to do what rare did for jetpac. significantly update their games while still keeping the original version available to play.

33 responses to “What XBLA Fans Want

  1. All great ideas, I submitted my own 🙂

  2. Being able to remove trial games from your played list – that is my single biggest gripe about the XBLA. The phenomenon that is Gamerscore, and is enhanced by sites like MyGamerCard.net, is at the core of what I love about the 360. Competing with friends, comparing against others, etc. It’s such a shame that you have to wade through a load of zero scores on a card to find out what people are really playing. Plus, its hard to tell what a zero means – is it only the trial, or do they *really* suck at that title…! 🙂

  3. give us Banjo-Kazooie and Jet Force Gemini on the XBLA!

  4. XBLA is in need of some japanese role playing games. Final Fantasy would be cool, but look to get games like Tactics Ogre/Breath of Fires/Star Oceans/Dragon Quests. Besides JRPGs, games like Diablo would be a great addition.

  5. I\’m going to comment here over fears that my thoughts would get lost in the flood over at gamerscore.

    My suggestion is to make every ported arcade game into something that feels like it is only possible on the XBLA.

    Instead of simply porting Frogger, for instance, add 16-player simultaneus games, with a race to the highest score, like the pinball fx multiplayer mode.

    I\’d be more willing to spend 5 bucks on a game I can play on any website for free, if it had at least a few features that are only possible on Xbox Live. Acheivements are good, but not enough.

  6. Nice to see one of my comments stood out with you guys. We (my wife and I) love the XBLA. It was actually what got me to buy an XBox 360 in the first place.

    Local co-op/VS play is the biggest feature request I have. Glad to see Rush\’n Attack will have said feature =]

  7. Please get more Amiga titles converted…i know that with Prince Of Persia,
    Sensible Soccer and Speedball 2 all on the way these will be massive selling
    titles, but one game that must be on there is Supercars 2 originally developed
    by Magnetic Fields and published by Gremlin Graphics (Interactive) I’m not sure
    who still owns the rights, but it was massive back in the day on the Amiga500
    just need to enhance the graphics and sound and make it online multiplayer while
    still keeping the original game as a bonus…
    Check it out and at least have a look at it, cheers!

  8. a Master Ninja

    *Revamp the DRM setup for XBLA games

    *Price cuts over time / “platinum (discounted) hits” / game bundles.

    *Remove trial XBLA games from the “played games” list

    All three of these are important to the long term growth of XBLA. The DRM thing limits what people who are considering upgrading to an Elite will buy (or people like me that have had consoles die on them). The price cuts over time is just good business sense. And believe it or not, removing games from the \

  9. I\\\’m so glad MS is listening to the community. Hardcore or not, the gamers know what gamers want. I too will post here to avoid having my voice drowned out.

    where to begin? Ok, games:

    1. Monopoly (with persistent saving)
    2. Scrabble (with a full dictionary)
    3. Marble Blast Ultra expansion pack!
    4. Killer Instinct 1 & 2 (combo pack)
    5. Sonic CD (the SegaCD version!)
    6. More UNO expansion decks
    7. Road Rash
    8. R-Type
    9. Gradius
    10. Viva Pinata Lite (like VP meets spore without the garden… just for breeding and trading purposes a la Pokemon)
    11. Spore
    12. Sorry
    13. Candyland
    14. Labyrinth (like the old boxes you twist and move a marble to avoid the holes) using the Vision camera with movie tie-ins.
    15. Bowling (using the Vision camera)

    There are dozens others and the indie games too…

    Next, I would like to see the arcade get more exposure. Most people don\\\’t even know it\\\’s on the games blade. I think it needs to launch its own virtual arcade right from the games blade. It doesn\\\’t have to be 3D, but dress it up a bit more than \\

  10. Killer Instinct 1 would be nice if it can be worked out. Rare owns the rights to the franchise, but I know Midway published the game in arcades and Nintendo published the SNES version. Not sure what kind of politics would be played there.

    This may not be the right place to voice some things, but XBL really needs group voice chat. The original Xbox had it (although limited to dashboard only) and it\’s amazing that all of the media and video codec updates take priority over something simply like group voice chat. It\’s much easier to set things up with friends playing different games when we can all jump on a chat line (I\’m thinking 4-6 friends, maybe 8 max).

  11. Continuing…

    It doesn’t have to be 3D, but dress it up a bit more than “that button under the achievements” link. It’s almost as though MS is hiding it from users because they are embarrassed to show it off. It’s AWESOME; be proud of it. I want to see big icons (like iLife) and minimal text. I’m here to “jump in,” but it’s not set up quite right yet. I’ll even draw you a picture; feel free to contact me.

    I also like the recent model of 2-fer Wednesday. Having 1 retro title and 1 unique title each week is just about the coolest thing in the world. I’d like to see that maintained.

    I want to see a wireless XBLA specific controller (or at least a better Dpad on the regular controllers). Playing PacMan or Bejeweled on the current pad is like scratching my butt with my elbow… impossible.

    Finally, I *really* want that DRM crap removed from XBLA games. I’m not buying an Elite because I want to be able to play games that I PAID FOR whenever I want… not just when I’m online. It’s worthless and it only hurts the consumer. You can still link them to the last console that the Gamertag who owns the game signed in on, but allow it to shift from console to console so long as that Gamertag was most recently on that console. That way, it’s only ever registered to one console, but it’s adaptable to being offline as well. Again, contact me if you need more details on my idea.

    I guess I just want to see MS hype the arcade a bit more. It’s brilliant, cheap and ubiquitous. It just needs more love.

    Thanks, Wurm

  12. P.S. I would like to see a voting system that allows each unique Gamertag to rate or rank XBLA (or XBL Marketplace content in general). Sort of like a voting system. Power to the People!! Haha.

  13. The optic drive of my 360 died, so all I can play are XBLA titles. I agree with all of the previous posters wonderful suggestions. Here is a list of titles I am hopeful at some point will make their way onto the arcade:

    [ikaruga] [I\’ve read unconfirmed rumors that these games are
    [N] already on their way. I\’m keeping my fingers crossed.]
    [every extend extra]
    [puzzle quest]
    [speedball 2 brutal deluxe]

    Here are others I would love to see!
    secret of mana
    astral masters – pc card game like magic, but simpler
    guardian heroes
    some form of trivia game, i.e. trivial pursuit
    masters of magic
    system shock 2
    forgotten worlds w/co-op
    aliens vs predator (pc version)
    tactics ogre
    sin and punishment (treasure-N64)
    front mission
    wipeout xl
    castlevania rondo of blood
    warcraft 2
    command and conquer
    laser squad
    masters of orion
    panzer general
    tie fighter
    perfect general
    marvel trading card game

  14. More Spectrum games, maybe in a bundle in original form or more Jetpac style makeovers. In particular Skool Daze, more Ultimate stuff, Exolon, Renegade, Batman Movie, Wizball there are so many possibilities.
    The key thing is multiplayer offline, its the best thing ever. Also being able to play over Live and mix it with multiple players on each console. Two people playing Worms on one console against two people on the other side of the world on another.
    Games where scores and times are extremely important. A really good olympics game like Summer Games on the N64 would be brilliant with a global chart of best times. Track & Field is coming but something more sophisticated could be done.
    New games are a good idea but they’re never really all that. Why not reissue games with a proven track record and fanbase rather than making new IPs that are a bit rubbish (Novadrome). Theme Park would be a good one and my all time favourite UFO: Enemy Unknown.

  15. Chuckie Egg, and Elite!

    More classic shoot em ups; Slap Fight, 1942, Flying Shark, R Type

  16. I’d love to see the other gems and takeaway items you extract from the list (from post 500+ on… ).

    I posted 4 times over there before it hit the 2000 mark, but worry that the flood of game requests might make some of the other good comments get lost. Not implying mine were any good, of course, but always nice to know people are ‘listening’. 🙂

    Might be the longest comment thread on the GSB yet… Certainly one that attracted a lot of attention and redirection from other sites.

  17. This is promising. I think to some level it\’s easy to assume that a company will ask for feedback with no interest in actually capitalizing on it. Some of these requests are major and I have to say I completely agree with them. Particularly as someone with like 30 XBLA games that probably plays them more than actual retail titles lol.

    I would absolutely LOVE to see some sort of version of Zombies Ate My Neighbors. The whole factor of Lucasarts and Konami both being involved with the console originals kind of confuses me, but I get the impression that it\’s more of a Lucasarts property. Fix that up, add online co-op and it would just be amazing.

    Also, I\’m not sure how this hasn\’t really popped up yet, but XBLA really, really needs something in the vein of Mario Kart.

  18. Eternal Flames

    All I ask for is that they fix the DRM issues with DLC period. I want to get an Elite but I\’m not going to bother until they fix the DRM issues. I see no reason to buy an Elite if I can\’t play my XBLA games or DLC unless I\’m connected to Live.

  19. There was something I forgot to mention in my post at Gamerscoreblog so I thought I’d go straight to the top on this one.

    Ranked game achievements are painful. Catan’s (for instance) are downright offensive. Why are the devs insisting I play an obscene amount of *ranked* games (150+) just to get an achievement? Achievements like that preclude me from being able to choose to gain achievements while I play with people I like and trust. We all have horror stories about random acts of annoyingness (to be nice about it) so why force me into that situation when I can choose to play the games against my friends? (And yes, I understand people can boost for those achievements…but for those motivated enough to boost in the first place, ranked games aren’t going to stop them.)

    Thanks for your time.


  20. I posted that me and a lot of other people (on xbox forums, http://forums.xbox.com/7806337/ShowPost.aspx) want Doom 2. I can\’t say this enough. All my friends have Doom and putting Doom 2 on XBLA is a no-brainer to me. More weapons, monsters, levels and co-op! Doom 2 had the best co-op memories and I\’d like to relive them and create new ones. Come on, Doom 2 was one of the best games on the PC, bring it to the 360 through the arcade next to it\’s little brother Doom lol.

  21. Armor Biff

    Alien vs Predator (3-player Capcom arcade) — I would easily pay 3000 points for this and even more

    Captain Commando
    The King of Dragons
    Knights of the Round
    Space Gun
    Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (Capcom)
    Warriors of Fate (Capcom)
    Dungeons & Dragons (Capcom arcade, several versions)
    Doom 2
    Quake 2
    Alien Storm (3-player arcade version)

  22. Ape on Fire

    As Spybreaker said above, you should really check out the link he provided. About over 90 posts have been made in that topic, and if you take a look at it yourself, you’ll see that so many people are begging for Doom 2. And I’m one of those people too.

    So in support of Spybreaker, this is a 2nd/3rd vote to put Doom 2 on XBLA. PLEASE PUT THIS GAME ON XBLA!!

  23. fidgetwidget

    Glad to see that you guys are reading through all the comments and not just skimming them quickly.

    One thing I saw quite evident in the requests that wasn\’t really said outright was a desire for larger games. Games with more meat to them. RPGs and older console games in particular seemed to stand out as something that doesn\’t really fit with XBLA\’s current goals. One way I see this working better would be to do what many have for the portables is to add the ability to save the game at any time.

    Once again, glad to see that you guys are listening.

  24. Lots of great ideas up there. XBLA definitely needs its own blade. I also love the idea of cheaper games (who doesn\’t?) over time but i doubt that\’s a real option. I\’d suggest instead some incentive for loyal users like a buy five get one free deal for gold users or something similar.

    In addition to the games already mentioned, I\’d love to buy:

    Duke Nukem 3D (3d Realms said they\’d love to see it; they mentioned it on their front page in November, but made it seem that Microsoft was making it rather difficult for them. Please!)

    Beyond Oasis

    Biohazard Battle – preferably a remake with new content. live co-op\’s a must.

    more classic FPSs (Hexen, Aliens vs. Predator, Turok (!!!) etc.)

    more platformers!

    And for the love of God, Arcade needs a good kart racer.

    I know this one\’s a stretch, too, but Live could really use a user ratings sytem. Allowing us to give a 1-5 rating on arcade games (and i suppose themes, picture packs, and media by matter of course) would let you guys know what we think of games, but i know that you probably think sales figures are the only feedback you need. More, more, more user created content and interactivity. Get the community involved more.

    I dunno, I\’m pretty sleepy.

  25. microsoft really needs to keep looking into the indie gaming scene, though. porting\\remaking old games is fine if done properly (like prince of persia classic) , but giving XBLA users a chance to play independently developed games they would not otherwise even get to know about, but would love if they were given the opportunity to play them is someting that would greatly benefit both the XBLA service and gamers alike.
    A game I\’d like to see on XBLA is Aquaria, developed by Bit Blot, and winner of the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at IGF, though you\’re probably (hopefully) already aware of its existence! OK, just wanted to share that with you, so good bye for now.

  26. The only thing I want on XBLA is TMNT 1989 Arcade. It would be awesome if they made that game available to us here in Australia.

    Huh? Aus-tra-li-a. A country with a population of 21 million in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Huh? South-ern Hemi-sphere. Part of the rest of the world.

    Please don\\\’t criticise my sarcasm – it\\\’s all I have (until TMNT is released).

  27. I’m glad to see that you (at least personally, if not professionally) are open-minded about some of the failings of the system. XBLA is an incredible platform and it’s really a shame to see it crippled because of business decisions and other flaws, such as the DRM scheme. I really feel that Apple’s authorization system would offer the most effective compromise between user security and flexibility. If my 360 breaks, the factory can deauthorize the console for all associated GamerTags when it comes in for repair, and then I can reauthorize the new console that comes in, and all my games are available again.

    I’m surprised your notes omitted You Don’t Know Jack. I saw it mentioned almost as frequently as Chu Chu Rocket (which I also suggested).

    I like the guys at GSB, especially Chris Paladino, but now that I’ve seen that you have a WordPress here, I’ll probably be following you a lot more. I own three 360 games, but probably have bought 20 or more XBLA titles. My wife loves RPGs and the like well enough, but she also appreciates the approachability of XBLA. She always believed that she was bad at strategy games, and now she’s addicted to Catan.

  28. Tetris Attack
    Killer Instinct
    Bubble Bobble
    Goldeneye 007

    and more shoot-em-ups!

  29. System shock 2 would be a GREAT addition, as well as Mortal Kombat 2. The only problem I\’ve noticed w/ the fighter games on the XBLA is the contral is a little off. The old ps2 d-pad was king for that sort of game….

  30. 1. Phantasy Star II
    2. Phantasy Star III
    3. Phantasy Star IV
    4. Strider

  31. I would love to see on XBLA:
    Half Life (PC) (either on Arcade or as an Orange Box expansion-also Half Life 2 Death Match for that matter)
    Alien vs. Predator 1 and 2 (PC)
    Deus EX
    System Shock2 (OH PLEASE GOD!!!)
    Duke Nukem

    N64 Rare
    Goldeneye (of course!!)
    Jet Force Gemini
    Killer Instinct 1 and 2
    Conker BFD
    Banjo Kazooie/Tooie

    Berzerk (kill the humanoid!!,Intruder Alert,Intruder Alert!)
    King of Dragons
    Dungeons and Dragons (Tower of Doom and Shadow over Mysteria)
    Double Dragon (the Neogeo version)
    Final Fight
    Primal Rage
    Pole Position
    Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Treasure of the Tarmin (it was originally released on Intellevision…but it would be sooo cool )

    Well, that’s it for now.

  32. I am very pleased that the XBLA crew is finally listening. Thank you!

    These are a few games (there might be some repeats form everyone elses blogs)

    -Soldner X (Asiasoft) Great PC game only available in Japan

    -Marvel vs. series (Capcom need s to renegotiate with Marvel again- thing got a little sour with the percentages)

    -Do Don Pachi (great shmup)

    -Mars Matrix (Capcom)

    -King of Fighters series

    -Neo Geo classics (Magician Lord, Ghost Pilots)

    -Double Dragon 2

    -TMNT Turtles in Time (Everone wants this one)

    -Daytona USA (Online Multiplayer FTW)

    -Super Hang-On

  33. Please get more shumps on XBLA. Specifically Twinkle Star Sprites, it sucks that the game is region coded on the PS2 so if it was releases on the XBLA I’d buy it in a heartbeat. For developers that are putting multiplayer in their games do what Undertow did and host games because the multiplayer community of Arcade games die very quickly.

    And also, just a comment. I really like XBLA because it allows developers to bring to me simple games which I really enjoy but you’ll never see me pay $60 for Pac-Man C.E. If it wasn’t for live arcade the game probably would never get made so it’s good to have XBLA. And also I really like that the game are saved on my hard drive. I hope digital distribution becomes the future.

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