Microsoft recently announced plans to shut down the Xbox 360 Marketplace permanently next year. Users will keep and can reinstall any games they own. However, Xbox 360 users won’t be able to buy any new games or DLC. This is especially bad news for the over 220 digital-only Xbox 360 games that are at risk of disappearing forever.
Many digital Xbox 360 games are going away
A feature of the Xbox 360 era was the Xbox Live Arcade, a vast library of digital and often indie-developed games. Many of these games have been delisted over the years or are otherwise unavailable for sale. Others are backward compatible with newer consoles, and users can buy them from the shared Xbox One and Series X/S storefront. However, an analysis by Video Games Chronicle determined that there are still about 220 games trapped on the platform. They will become permanently unavailable when the 360 Marketplace shuts down.
It is worth noting that some Xbox 360 Arcade games have versions on newer consoles. For example, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Valiant Hearts both had updated re-releases on the Xbox One. Other games are still available on other platforms or were later included in physical compilation disks. Still, a few of these games will be gone forever when the Xbox 360 Marketplace closes on July 29, 2024. Some might also argue that there is value in preserving the original versions of re-released games
Either way, the Marketplace’s shutdown will be bad for game preservation. Meanwhile, losing some digital games may also be a bad sign for the future. After all, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S games aren’t at risk now, but anything might happen in 20 years.