Xbox Live Arcade creator Greg Canessa wants the digital games service to come to Xbox One, saying in a new interview that it could help Microsoft differentiate its system against competitors. Talking to IGN, Canessa–who left Microsoft in 2007–praised the job Phil Spencer and the Xbox team are doing with Xbox One, but stated they “could make some very easy decisions and bring back a brand that gives a point of real differentiation versus their competitors in the console space.”
XBLA on Xbox One would be a “huge point of distinction” for the console and it could “help balance out the advantage that Sony has right now,” he said.
Xbox Live Arcade, a hub for digital games, had a home on the original Xbox and Xbox 360. However, for the Xbox One, Microsoft elected to basically lump all games together. “All games are treated equally [on Xbox One],” then-Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten told GameSpot back in 2013.
Canessa went on to say that Xbox Live Arcade is probably the most financially successful brand in all of consoles games of the past decade to be decommissioned. The service has “tons of equity amongst 50 million gamers,” he added.
Adding a dedicated XBLA hub to Xbox One is an “easily fixable” thing, Canessa said. He also talked about how curating the service and offering demos, as well as bringing back Summer of Arcade and XBLA Wednesdays, could have significant value for Xbox One.
Canessa also mentioned that, with the Xbox One recently introducing backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games, reviving XBLA could be a good way to introduce a whole suite of games to a new group of gamers. Though Xbox One does not have a dedicated XBLA hub, XBLA games like Castle Crashers and Splosion Man are playable on the new system via backwards compatibility.
Microsoft has not announced any plans to bring back XBLA for Xbox One.
After leaving Microsoft, Canessa went to PopCap and then Blizzard, where he worked on Battle.net before shifting into a new role as Activision Blizzard VP for mobile. He now works at GSN as a senior VP.
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