The Arcade closes on Amazon.
Earlier this week, Amazon announced they are discontinuing Xbox Live Arcade game codes on their site.
Instead of using Microsoft Points and redeeming them for downloadable games on their system, people could use real money to purchase individual game codes on Amazon. The game codes could then be entered on the user’s Xbox 360 and directly downloaded.
Amazon partnered with Microsoft and started selling the codes in April 2009, according to Joystiq.
When searching for an XBLA game on Amazon, a notice says:
We are no longer selling Xbox LIVE arcade game codes on Amazon.com. Customers can continue to purchase Xbox LIVE points on Amazon.com and those points can be redeemed through their Xbox consoles to purchase any of the games that were previously available.
Microsoft Points are still available on Amazon in increments of 1600 and 4000. They retail for $19.99 and $49.99 respectively. Amazon sometimes sells them a few dollars below MSRP.
An official reason for the cancellation wasn’t provided by Amazon. Microsoft spokesman David Dennis told TechFlash:
Amazon is a great partner and we continue to work with them to sell LIVE subscription cards and Microsoft Points cards. Retailers make decisions about what products they wish to merchandize and we respect those decisions.
Recently, Microsoft recently partnered with GameStop to offer direct codes for the games, reported IndustryGamers.
GameStop now offers downloadable content purchases through its Downloadable Content Center found in stores. Customers can buy a specific game title or content such as a map pack at GameStop. They are given a code printed at the register to redeem on their Xbox 360.
Game codes for WiiWare and PlayStation Network are still available to purchase on Amazon.
The way Microsoft sells the XBLA games is a hassle. You can’t only buy the specific game code. You have to first put Microsoft Points into your account.
You have to waste money on points you might not even need because the Point cards sold at stores come in higher amounts. If you wanted to buy a game for 1200 points, you needed to buy a 1600 point card.
If there’s a sale on games or other content, you’re stuck in the same situation. You’ll end up having extra Points sitting in your account.
You can buy points in smaller increments (400, 800) on the Xbox website or on the actual console, but that requires a credit card. Most physical stores only carry the 1600 and 4000 Point cards.
Not every XBLA game was listed on Amazon though. More often than not, you had to suck it up and buy Microsoft Points if you wanted to download a game.
Microsoft most likely thought GameStop is a more lucrative partner than Amazon was. I’ll miss the option of buying on Amazon.
Photo by Microsoft