David “LetsKillDave” Weller
The XNA team is delighted to announce the Xbox LIVE community games, scheduled for launch in the holiday 2008 season. This is the stuff we know you’ve all been waiting for, and we can finally say “The wait is over!” (ok, almost over). The Xbox LIVE community games brings to life the community-driven gaming vision we have talked about in the past. This offering gives the opportunity to share, peer review, download and play games created by the community, for the community. Starting with the beta launch of the service later this Spring, XNA Creators Club subscribers will be able to submit their own game creations for self-publishing through to Xbox LIVE Marketplace. A community of your peers will be given a chance to download, play and review the game and its content for appropriateness and conformance to the Terms of Service. Should it pass, the game will then get added to the global games catalog on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and available to gamers connected to Xbox LIVE.
For consumers, we will offer a special preview of a subset of Xbox LIVE community games starting today, February 20th, 2008 after the GDC keynote announcements. These community games will be available for download from 11am PST on Feb 20th, and will be playable for a very limited time. Those of you that frequent the XNA Creators Club Online forums might see a few familiar games from these initial seven preview games:
• The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai
• Little Gamers
• Proximity HD
We invite you to download and try these games, then talk about them with other gamers on the Xbox LIVE community games forum on the Xbox.com forums.
Most of you are now probably asking, “Can I make money off of this?” Well, the answer is “Yes!”. While we don’t have all the specific details (the lawyers are huddled in the corner, making serious faces and muttering incomprehensibly, so we have to wait for their final word), we can at least tell you a few juicy tidbits:
1) We will offer different revenue sharing models to let you sell (or give away) your game. We will announce more complete details on this prior to the retail consumer launch this holiday season.
2) You will be able to self-rate your game with a provisional rating, subject to agreement of the peer reviewers that look at your game before you publish it
3) Microsoft retains the right to remove your game from the Xbox LIVE community games should you violate the Terms of Service in any way
4) Achievements, Gamerscore, and Leaderboard features will not be available. Those features are reserved for games published on Xbox LIVE Arcade.
Those of you that already have subscriptions for the XNA Creators Club are all ready to enjoy the benefits of publishing your game to the Xbox LIVE community games once we make it available. Those of you that don’t – have no fear! While you are required to have an active XNA Creators Club subscription in order to submit your game for publishing on the Xbox LIVE community games, you can still prototype your game on Windows for free.
But wait, there’s more! In order to submit your game for review and publishing, you need a place to submit it. That’s why we’re delighted to announce the new XNA Creators Club Online website, coming this spring! The site has been completely revamped with a new look and feel, but we’re also added a publishing and review section, along with new areas such as Community-submitted features and links.
While we’re tremendously excited about all this, we owe you, the game development community, a HUGE thanks for patiently waiting for this feature while giving us some excellent feedback on how to create a tool that lets you build great games. With this final barrier down, we are extremely excited to see just what this great community of games developers (yes, that’s you!) will be creating for our millions of gamers on the Xbox 360!
Read more about this at http://creators.xna.com/whatsnew.aspx
Jacta alea esto!*
*A latin phrase that roughly translates into, “Let the games begin!”