Following the range of announcements at GDC this year, Microsoft has now revealed the Xbox Live Creators Program. Developers that make use of the program will have a much easier time self-publishing their games to Microsoft’s gaming platforms.
Previously, to get a game into the Xbox One, developers either needed a third-party publisher or join Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program. A particularly challenging task to new developers entering game development, which is where Xbox Live Creators Program comes in.
Xbox Live Creators Program
Essentially, the program allows developers to publish games without any concept approvals from Microsoft along with a simpler certification process. The integration of Xbox Live sign-in and other Xbox Live social features into games of the program is also available.
In addition to this, the program doesn’t even require developers to own Xbox One dev kits to develop their games. Microsoft is graciously allowing Xbox Live Creators Program participants to use ordinary Xbox One consoles to do this task.
Obviously, to include these features, the game must be a UWP title, letting developers publish their games to the Xbox One, Windows 10 and even to the upcoming Microsoft console – Project Scorpio – later this year.
The Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms will publicize the new games in different formats in their respective stores. The Xbox One receiving a new ‘Creator Games’ section on its store while on Windows 10, appearing alongside other games.
However, some limitations come along when using the Xbox Live Creators Program.
Although developers can integrate some Xbox Live features, they lose out on the big apples.
Namely, Xbox Live multiplayer matchmaking, Xbox Live achievements, and Gamerscore functions are not available to use in these games. However, developers can apply for Microsoft’s ID@Xbox platform to gain the missing features, even after launching their game.
The program is currently in preview, only available to a few select developers as of now. In time, Microsoft is planning on opening up the submissions to the public.
On the whole, even with the restrictions we mentioned before, the Microsoft program is an attractive option for indie developers looking to join the Xbox ecosystem and now, thanks to the Xbox Live Creators Program, expect to see a drastic upswing of indie titles launching on Microsoft platforms in the near future.