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Microsoft Launches Game Development Scheme for Xbox One

Microsoft developed 3-D screen recently. The Xbox One is not even on sale yet and Microsoft is already trying to encourage more developers to create games for the system. Big name game developers are already set to release titles for the upcoming Microsoft games console of course, but the new ID@Xbox scheme from Microsoft is designed to encourage smaller indie game developers to build titles for the system which will be published via Xbox Live.

After signing up to the scheme developers will be provided with full game development documentation, access to two software development kits used for developing games compatible with the Xbox One, as well as access to guidance and assistance from Microsoft staff who can help with the design, construction, and promotion of the game.

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This scheme is currently aimed at smaller indie games developers who already have a proven track record of producing good quality games either for PC, mobile or tablet, but Microsoft has also stated that it intends for the scheme to be available to all Xbox Live users further down the line.

Initially, the Xbox One was the next generation console that was attracting the most attention from the gaming community, but after a negative backlash that followed from the Xbox One announcement earlier this year it has fallen behind its arch rival the PlayStation 4 on most gamers’ wish-lists.

Part of the problem was that Microsoft had planned many features that were not too popular with the bulk of the gaming community. Firstly it had placed quite restrictive DRM features into the system, and had designed the console so that games were tied to individual consoles. What this means to gamers is that they will no longer be able to purchase second hand games at cheaper prices and will no longer be able to lend games to friends. It had also designed the console to always require an internet connection, a misguided policy that had also been adopted by many PC game developers much to the annoyance of gamers.

However, this new scheme could revitalise interest in the console by providing budding game developers the chance to make their own console game and have it published to millions of Xbox Live users across the globe, potentially making them famous or perhaps even wealthy. But this begs the question of whether most Xbox users, who are quite adept at playing video games, actually have the skills necessary to produce their own games with the development tools provided by Microsoft.

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Will this new scheme result in a new burgeoning culture of indie game development, or will it merely populate the Xbox Live system with junk? There is no doubt that indie developers who have a “proven track record” of producing good quality games for PC, mobile and tablet will publish some very interesting games that will not be available on the PlayStation 4. But opening up the scheme to all Xbox Live users could perhaps fill the system with junk titles were it not for the fact that games are moderated by Microsoft and only published on Xbox Live if they meet their quality standards. With this in mind, it is unlikely that Xbox Live will be filled with useless content due to the new scheme.

Microsoft has launched a similar scheme recently to encourage developers to work on Metro apps for the Windows 8 operating system, which has also seen a decline in popularity after a few hiccups at launch. The “App Builder Rewards” program rewards people who successfully publish Windows 8 Metro apps either with an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro or various Xbox games. The App Builder Rewards scheme was dismissed by many critics as a desperate act on Microsoft’s part, and there is some concern that the latest ID@Xbox scheme is another short-sighted attempt to wrestle back support for the Xbox One after a number of bad decisions made by Microsoft.

This guest post was written by Simon Drew from UK money saving community Suppose.com