If you’ve always wanted to build Xbox games, now’s your chance. Microsoft’s recently announced Xbox Live Creators Program, which will allow any publisher to publish games for the platform.

As part of the Xbox Live Creators Program (Why can’t Microsoft come up with simpler names?), any publisher will be allowed to publish any game on the Xbox platform without the need for seeking concept approval. That last is a necessary step on other platforms to ensure that the game does, in principle, meet community guidelines.

The certification process will be simplified and games so published will be featured in a “Creator’s Store”. One caveat is that all such games need to be UWP (Universal Windows Platform) compatible.

The Creators Program is very different from the ID@Xbox developer program because the latter are qualified developers who even get development and marketing support from Microsoft. The new program is meant to boost indie game development on the platform. UWP compatibility is a bonus as this will add to Microsoft’s growing repertoire of cross-platform apps.

UWP, if you don’t know, are apps on the Microsoft Store. The theory is that UWP apps will work on any platform that supports Windows 10, this includes Xbox, mobile devices and possibly, the upcoming, ARM-compatible version of Window 10.

For Microsoft, it’s a win-win. They get more games on Xbox and UWP and their work is minimised.

The Verge reports that there’s a one-time fee for the program and that it ranges between $20 (around Rs 1,300) and $100 (around Rs 6,700), with no clarity on the criteria for the variation. Microsoft also reserves the right to pull down any of the apps after they’re published.

Since an existing Xbox One can double as a development kit, developers need not spend extra for dedicated hardware. A number of game engines, including Unity and Xenko already support UWP and the Creators Program.

Publish date: March 2, 2017 2:49 pm| Modified date: March 2, 2017 2:53 pm

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