Since 2008, Microsoft has been featuring
five downloadable Xbox Live Arcade games in the “Summer of Arcade” promotion.
Some of the biggest XBLA games to date have all come out of it, creating a sort
of “summer movie blockbuster” feel to the event, which typically runs through July
and August. Generally, Microsoft attempts to incentivize gamers to purchase each
of the games with sales and bonuses, giving a few hundred Microsoft points back
depending on the number of games bought.
It really is just a bunch of marketing slang and buzz. Microsoft looked at the schedule for the year, realized that nothing happens in July and August, and decided to shove it's flag into those months, hoping to conquer the summer doldrums by releasing a few big, awesome XBLA games in a row (with some mediocrity scrambled in for good measure).
This year, the Summer of Arcade
begins this week, and continues through August, and Microsoft will reimburse
400 Microsoft Points to anyone that buys three games.
Looking back through the years
provides a good look at the level of quality that has come out of the Summer of
Arcade. Sure, there have been some missteps (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Turtles in Time Re-Shelled, we’re looking at you), but, generally speaking, the
promotion had provided us with some of the best downloadable games in years.
While we know many of you are already well-versed in the lingo of the
industry, we wanted to take time to occasionally explain what some of the
terms, promotions, and events were, just in case you’re in the dark. Look
forward to more “What is _______” stories in the future!