Amazon.com Dropping Direct Sales of XBLA Titles.
About a year ago, Amazon.com broke new ground in the digital download gaming industry by listing, for direct sale, exclusive titles from the Xbox Live Marketplace. We thought this was a great idea and took on an affiliate program with Amazon to make those titles available through our site as well. In that time, less than 10% of XBLA purchases made through our affiliate store were for online game codes versus points cards or live membership cards (our top selling item by far).
We are no longer selling Xbox LIVE arcade game codes on Amazon.com. You can continue to purchase Xbox LIVE points on Amazon.com and those points can be redeemed through your Xbox 360 console to purchase any of the games that were previously available.
While Microsoft has yet to publicly comment, we can only guess that the conversion mechanism for MS points to retail value is not working out as well for outside retailers. MS points have a set value of 80MS/$1.00USD. Currency conversion rates create demand for games outside a set region. As gamers look for the best perceived deal only to find that these non-refundable, outside region codes may not not work with their system.
Another reason for Amazon’s decision is likely due to the fact that, over the past year, it has become much easier to buy XBLA titles direct from the Xbox Live Marketplace.
It is, of course, important to note that PSN titles, which are listed by dollar value rather than MS point value, are still available at Amazon.com.