We all knew it was coming and finally its confirmed and coming to an Xbox 360 console near you later this year. Using the free XNA Game Studio 2.0 coupled with Visual C# Express Edition from Microsoft you can now not only design and build your own games to run on Windows and the Xbox 360 gaming console, but now you can share them with the community through the Xbox LIVE network of over 12 million members. I’m assuming the new feature will be delivered with the New Xbox Experience later this year called Xbox LIVE Community Games.
As a Premium member in the XNA Creators Club, you’ll be able to submit any complete Xbox 360 game you’ve created in XNA Game Studio to the Creators Club community at http://creators.xna.com, for peer review. Other Premium Creators will check to make sure your game is safe to play. If it is, you’ll set a price point – between 200 and 800 Points – that people will pay to download your game.
Once the game is reviewed and the price point set, you’re done. The game is listed on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, and you’ll get a check every quarter, for up to 70% of the game’s total revenue in your own currency. Depending on your game’s success, you may even have your game advertised on Xbox 360 and other Microsoft online properties.
Just imagine – your game in the hands of millions of Xbox 360 gamers around the world: that’s the power of Community Games.
But wait, that isn’t even the best part. You can also put a price tag of between 200 and 800 Microsoft Points on your game and you’ll get a quarterly payment from Microsoft as users buy your game. Well you’ll actually get 40% to 70% of the revenue depending on how its marketed but normally it will be a 70% revenue share. Wicked stuff isn’t it? I think so.
The only big drawback right now is that its only available to XNA Creators Club Premium members in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Italy and Spain for now. They plan to add more countries to the list later in the year.
Head on over to the XNA Creators Club site and sign up, download the tools and while you are at it, enter the XNA Dream-Build-Play Challenge 2008 and win. Thanks Microsoft, this is an awesome idea for the aspiring game developer and a great way to grow the game developer community.
The 2008 Microsoft XNA Dream-Build-Play Challenge has begun and its looking like its going to be a really cool competition this year. The best part is that is a worldwide competition so that means even us South Africans can win.
There is a total of $75 000 up for grabs but everyone is a winner as everyone that enters gets a free 12-month XNA Creators Club trial membership.
The goal is to develop a groundbreaking game for the Xbox 360 platform using the free development tools Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Express Edition and Microsoft XNA Game Studio 2.0. To get started I recommend reading up more information on creating games over here. Good luck to all!
Finally the marriage between Xbox LIVE and XNA has been announced. Major Nelson live blogged it from GDC (Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco on his twitter feed and promptly posted about it.
It was just announced at GDC that we are introducing a new, open distribution service for games created by the community. Games created with the XNA Game Studio will be available over Xbox LIVE. Later today, seven games created by the community will be available for download over Xbox LIVE.
Up until this announcement community and hobbyist game developers have been rather limited in terms of distribution of their games. XNA games produced using the awesome (and free) XNA Game Studio 2.0 have only been able to distribute XNA games through the paid for XNA Creators Club. An open distribution service sounds like an awesome new facility that could seriously blow open the casual gaming market for hobbyist and community game developers.
Other highlights I happened to notice on Major’s live blogging feed up to this minute include:
- XNA games are coming to the Zune. This could be a huge leap for the Zune mobile media player that could start to encroach on the iPod’s market share.
- There will be over 1,000 games on the Xbox 360 by the end of the year.
- The Halo 3 community is uploading approximately 100,000 pieces of user generated content per day, that is 30% more content than all of the daily uploads on YouTube.
- As of 2007, gaming is bigger than music on a global basis. Wow, I’m sure the music executives can’t be too happy about that, watch out film industry, you’re next. 😉
Watch this space for more interesting tidbits as they get announced.