GDC 2017 – Xbox Live Creators Program Announced For Indie Developers
By Nate VanLindt On 1 Mar, 2017 At 09:28 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Microsoft announced at the GDC Conference this morning that they are starting the Xbox Live Creators Program, a program that allows independent developers to rapidly publish Xbox Live games for both Windows 10 and the Xbox One.  This will be a streamlined process that allows easy integration of Xbox Live features such as leaderboards and player stats along with a basic Live sign-in presence and several other functions.

The Xbox Live Creators Program will allow for Xbox Live’s 55 million plus active members to have more access to independent titles, allowing for greater choice by gamers and a chance for small developers to shine.  It is compatible with several common out-of-box dev tools and does not require a dev kit for access to the program.   Unfortunately, the current structure of the Xbox Live Creators Program does not allow for multiplayer or achievements and limits some other functionality. There will be a new Creators section of the Microsoft store for Windows 10 which provides a “more curated store experience.”

Microsoft says that publishing and certification will be done in a “totally open way”, which should mean that we will see an extremely wide variety of content appearing quickly.    Microsoft will also allow developers to upgrade to the existing Id@Xbox program to enable full functionality of their releases even after they have been published through the Xbox Live Creators Program.  This means that if a game does well at the community level, it has a good chance of an update that could let it stand on its own with titles from larger developers and studios.

Microsoft previously ran a similar program called Xbox Live Indie Games which ran for 7 years on the Xbox 360 and published well over 3000 games but was shut down in fall of 2015.  The two programs appear at first glance to be similar in structure, but only time will tell if the Xbox Live Creators Program achieves a more widespread success than the previous iteration.

For those aspiring game creators who would like access to the Xbox Live market as an indie developer, joining requires a Windows Dev Center account (applications can be found here:  https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/) and the completion of a survey which allows you to join as an Xbox Live Creators Program Insider (found here:  https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3395011/Xbox-Live-Creators-Program-Insider-Sign-Up).   The Xbox Live Creators Program is currently in ‘Preview’ mode and accepting applications but has not gone fully live yet.

 

 

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