Every registered developer will receive two development kits for free, and will have access to the full power of the console, cloud services, Kinect, and Xbox Live tools like SmartGlass, multiplayer, Achievements and Gamerscore system, alongside more features.Applications to the ID@Xbox Program will be accepted from 20th August at www.xbox.com/id. Every developer who is accepted will become a registered Xbox One developer.The Xbox maker said that this status will be granted “with priority” to independent developers with “a proven track record of shipping games on console, PC, mobile or tablet”, thus creating a not-truly-open platform like the Android market or the App Store.
No application fees apply, and not fees for title updates are present either, unlike the Xbox 360 of not-too-long-ago.
A global support team, led by ID@Xbox director Chris Charla, will also be present to help developers. Charla is tasked with maintaining personal communication with the developers, while community managers will provide swift answers to submissions, and a slew of events are planned to explain how all this will work.
Many indies are wondering just how will gamers discover their games on the Xbox One, and how will Microsoft help, to which Microsoft replied that all games will be located together on the Xbox One Store, with “rich search scenarios” through Kinect voice commands will enable easy discoverability.
Furthermore, “Trending” will showcase what your friends and the community are playing, “Recommendations” will recommend you new games to play based on the ones you play, “Spotlight” showcases the Editor Picks, and with Xbox One’s Game DVR and Upload features, new games can be found when gamers capture and share their videos. Special events can be created out of Achievements and Challenges, too.
The program’s first phase will kickstart this autumn, but Microsoft invests into the future, planning to make every Xbox One console a possible development kit for self-publishing purposes. “This means that any hobbyist with a great game idea can make it come to life on Xbox One,” as Microsoft put it.
Marc Whitten, Xbox Chief Product Officer also said:
“We know Xbox fans will fall in love with the quality and diversity of games on our platform. We are committed to ID@Xbox and are fully invested in helping independent developers succeed on Xbox One.”
Microsoft EMEA boss Phil Harrison noted that:
“I am really looking forward to the diversity and creativity of games that will come to Xbox One through the ID@Xbox program. We’ve worked with the community of developers to craft a platform that helps creators self-publish on Xbox One – irrespective of their size or location.”
SpyParty creator Chris Hecker praised Microsoft’s new initiative:
“I’m really excited that Microsoft has listened to feedback from developers and created this program.
As an independent developer, I want SpyParty to be available to as many players as possible, and it feels like Microsoft is interested in not only removing roadblocks for indies to get their games on Xbox One, but they’re also genuinely interested in finding ways to bring new and innovative indie games to their platform to help games reach their potential as an art and entertainment form.”