Microsoft Reveals New Xbox Live Creators Program
At this year's Game Developers Conference, Microsoft announced the Xbox Live Creators Program, which should make it easier to get a game published on the Xbox One or Windows 10 marketplace.
The key differentiator between this new program and the team's current ID@Xbox program (which lets developers self-publish on the platforms) is a lower barrier to entry: Anyone with an Xbox One can use that console in conjunction with a number of compatible game engines (including Construct 2, MonoGame, and Unity) to develop a game for it and the Windows 10 store, complete with full Xbox Live integration. The games will have their own section in both stores. Microsoft will not have to provide concept approval of the game in order for it to go up on the store.
A chart on the program's official page shows off the differences between a Creators game and an ID@Xbox game: Creators games won't have a "Rich Presence" on the storefront, multiplayer support, or achievements. Anyone interested in developing games through the Creators program can start here. Additionally, Creators program participants can enroll in the ID@Xbox program even after their game releases, allowing them to scale features after a game's initial launch.
With Microsoft building this program and Valve replacing Greenlight with Steam Direct, more platforms and moving towards less curated, more open platforms. I have to wonder if Sony and Nintendo will soon move towards more open platforms as well.