Indie Game Development on Xbox retools with ID@Xbox
I’ve become a huge fan of the Indie Game developer community in the past few years. I am blown away by the creativity this community comes up with and the relentless release cycle we see with new and innovative games that come to services like Steam and the various mobile platforms.
I’m extremely excited about the news that the Xbox team announced today at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, for the new ID@Xbox program. ID@Xbox (Independent Developers @ Xbox) is a new publishing program that allows independent game developers to self-publish games to Xbox One as well as gain access to all of the great gaming features that publisher-supported games have had access to.
Games that come through this program will be able to access the exact same features as any other large game company on Xbox One: Achievements, Gamerscore, Kinect, Xbox SmartGlass, Xbox cloud services and more. What’s also exciting is that these games will be available in the exact same marketplace (Xbox One Store) as every other game on Xbox One, making discovery for players easier by using all the curation and discovery tools that Xbox One will offer, including Spotlight, Trending, Recommendations and great social discovery with features like Game DVR and Upload.
I’ve talked to a number of independent game developers who’ve always had a sour taste with the opportunities for Independent Game Developers on Xbox in the past. It’s been a steep uphill battle for any independent game developer to land a publishing deal and get access to the full toolset that Xbox has to offer. This program brings together a level playing field for game developers at all levels. ALL GAMES ARE NOW EQUAL!
…we can get you the tools you need to create great content on Xbox One. It starts with us providing you two Xbox One development kits, as well as access to a full suite of developer documentation, developer forums, etc.
In addition, we’re going to be developing documentation for registered ID@Xbox developers that explains some details you’ll need for console publishing, such as getting ratings, addressing geopolitical policies, etc. We’re also going to be providing some best practices for things like promotion and marketing – things that aren’t directly related to coding games, but that can have a big effect on your success. Our goal is to give you the tools your studio needs to maximize your success on Xbox One.
Right now the team is looking to add game developers who have a track record of shipping games on Console, PC, mobile or tablet. This is most likely to fine tune the program. The program does state that the long term plan is that anyone with a retail Xbox One will be able to develop, publish, and sell their game on Xbox Live.
This program looks very promising and I can’t wait to see what innovative games the indie game community brings to Xbox One.