Limbo Dominates XBLA Leaderboards in July

Now that July is behind us and Xbox Live's 'Summer of Arcade' is in full-swing, it's a good a time as any to check out the initial sales figures for the various XBLA titles released over the past several weeks.

GamerBytes editor Ryan Langley has taken a look at Xbox Live Arcade Leaderboards for July to determine which games have been played the most since their respective release dates. It's worth noting that his figures are based on Leaderboard activity, so these sales-approximations only reflect those who've purchased and played on XBLA. Six new XBLA releases came out in July: Monkey Island 2: Special Edition, Blacklight: Tango Down, Deadliest Warrior: The Game, DeathSpank, Limbo, and Hydro Thunder Hurricane.

BOOM widget 137207 Playdead's beautifully moody platformer, Limbo, came out as July's clear winner, with over 160,000 players appearing on the Leaderboards in the first week.

By the end of the second week, more than 240,000 players had played the IGF-winning XBLA exclusive at least once. To put things in more perspective, Langley notes that Trials HD took three weeks to achieve the numbers Limbo has managed in just two.

Zombie Studios' online shooter Blacklight: Tango Down also achieved over 93,000 players in its first month - an impressive feat, considering that an Xbox Live Gold membership is essentially a prerequisite to get the most from the title.

Hothead Games' humorous hack-and-slash DeathSpank saw over 62,000 people hit the XBLA Leaderboards in July as well, and Vector Unit's Hydro Thunder Hurricane achieved over 52,000 active players within its first week in the wild. Despite mediocre reviews, the TV-show-based Deadliest Warrior: The Game also achieved over 62,000 XBLA players in July, a move that Langley attributes, in part, to ads for the game appearing on Spike TV.

Overall, the XBLA Leaderboard results bode well for the summer downloadables, despite the fact that Langley's figures don't reflect how July's multi-platform releases performed on other systems, since they're based solely on publicly available Xbox Live Leaderboard activity.

For example, Monkey Island 2's XBLA leaderboard indicates 29,398 active players since the game's release. The first XBLA Monkey Island release achieved 66,000 players in roughly the same time frame, but was an XBLA timed exclusive. The sequel was released on XBLA, PSN, iPhone, and iPad during the same week in July, meaning that the sequel's lower Leaderboard figures on XBLA may not mean a poorer-selling title overall.