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Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) is a digital video game download service operated by Microsoft that is used to distribute video games to Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One users. It focuses on smaller downloadable games from both major publishers and independent game developers. Titles range from classic console and arcade video games to new games designed from the ground up for the service. Games available through XBLA range from $5 to $20 in price, and as of October 2016, there have been 719 Xbox Live Arcade titles released for the Xbox 360. Prior to the Xbox 360, "Xbox Live Arcade" was the name for an online distribution network on the original Xbox, which was replaced by the Xbox Live Marketplace.
The Xbox Live Arcade was officially announced on May 12, 2004 at Microsoft's E3 2004 press conference by Bill Gates and launched on November 6, 2004 for the original Xbox game console. The software for XBLA was obtained by ordering it on Microsoft's website, where it would be sent via mail on a disc that also contained a free version of the Ms. Pac-Man video game.
To generate greater publicity for the service, the disc was also distributed with special issues of the Official Xbox Magazine and as part of the Forza Motorsport Xbox console bundle. The service launched with six titles and expanded its library to twelve titles by the end of the year. Once connected to Xbox Live, customers could purchase additional titles by using a credit card, or download a limited trial version of a game. Prices for the games ranged from $4.99 to $14.99.
Xbox 360 service
The service was relaunched beginning November 22, 2005 on the Xbox 360. The Arcade service is integrated with the Dashboard user interface, allowing for distribution through the Xbox Live Marketplace using Microsoft Points.
Xbox One service
The service was once again relaunched on January 23, 2015 on the Xbox One. The Arcade service is integrated with the Dashboard user interface, allowing for distribution through the Xbox Live Marketplace using Microsoft Points.
- List of 2008 Xbox Live Arcade video games
- List of 2009 Xbox Live Arcade video games
- List of 2010 Xbox Live Arcade video games