Microsoft could phase out Xbox Live Arcade in coming years

If we had to pinpoint some of the defining aspects of this generation of videogames, Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade would undoubtedly be among them. The service has lead the charge for smaller titles to appear on big systems.

But it won’t be around forever. In fact, Microsoft could well start phasing it out as the shift to digital content increases. So says global marketing manager for XBLA, Michael Wolf.

In an interview with Vox games (via) Wolf was asked if MS might start to phase out XBLA in time. He replied: “Personally, I’d say absolutely, yes. I think digital distribution has to be like that. I don’t think XBLA will be leaving soon. It is an incredible platform. We have XBLA fans, I don’t think it’s going to be announced anytime soon. One thing Microsoft has proven is that we continue to try and adapt and innovate in experiences.”

Rather than mark the end of digital titles, this probably instead refers to a new Xbox platform with a focus on digital content both big and small. By the time we reach something like that, there likely won’t be the need to distinguish the digital service from the retail one, as digital becomes the norm.