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It looks like Microsoft wants to open the door to just about anyone who wants to develop a game for their platforms, recently revealing a new program that allows developers to more easily create and release their games through the Xbox One and Windows 10.
Microsoft is calling it the Xbox Live Creators Program and, based on the report from Gamespot, it's basically an even more entry-level option for developers than the [email protected] program. Microsoft announced the Live Creators Program during GDC this week, and they've invited anyone and everyone to get involved, download the SDK and start making a game. To be clear, the program is only available for full use with select developers right now as a testing period. But that isn't stopping folks from getting started simply by downloading the developing tools.
The biggest difference between this program and the [email protected] program is that it works for anyone using a standard, off the shelf Xbox One. The previous program still required folks to purchase a developer kit, while this new program eliminates even that cost.
As the original post points out, this new program allows anyone with the time, knowledge and desire to immediately start developing for the Universal Windows Platform. And while you can't plug Achievements into your game, you'll still have access to Xbox Live features like social connectivity, GameDVC and broadcasting, Live sign-in to play, stats and leaderboards. Once your game is ready, you can then submit it for publication on the Xbox One and Windows 10 stores.
As not to clog the storefront, these games will have their own section in their respective virtual markets, giving players a chance to dig through the hordes of offerings and pick something new and interesting to play. While we don't really expect this to be a big money maker for any party involved, we also don't think that's the intent of a program like this. What Microsoft is offering, for free, is the ability to build and publish games for anyone willing to put in the effort. That translates to experience, which then translates into better-prepared developers eventually making bigger and better games. Or, could you imagine applying for a job with Bungie or BioWare and being able to include in your portfolio a collection of games or "experiences" you've created and published through the Creators Program?
Heck, developers might even use it as a recruiting tool on their own. As [email protected] head Chris Charla pointed out during the announcement, games published here will be accessible through every Xbox One out in the wild, as well as the "hundreds of millions" of Windows 10 PCs in the world. It'd probably take something truly special to get noticed in the ocean of games that could be in development for the program, but it's certainly better than nothing.
If this sounds like something you might want to check out, be sure to drop by the program's official page, read up on the details and get to downloading.