Microsoft Reveals ‘ID@Xbox’: Xbox One Indie Self-publishing Program

By: Radu Tyrsina
3 minute read

Microsoft wants to do all that it takes to promote better the upcoming Xbox One. For that, the Redmond company has announced that it will allow independent (indie) developers to self-publish on the Xbox One. And now Microsoft has officially unveiled its ID@Xbox program, which stands for Independent Developers.

Starting from today, indie developers can submit their applications to get the official Xbox One developer status. However, as per some recent reports, the program will be initially available only in the United States, so if you will access the ID@Xbox website from another country, you might not see yet the program being active in your region.

ID@Xbox detailed

xbox one indie developers

The Xbox One registered indie developer will get two Xbox One dev kits for free, which is indeed really cool. They will thus be able to utilize Xbox One’s entire power, along with Microsoft’s cloud services, Kinect and the Xbox Live toolset consisting of the Xbox SmartGlass, Xbox multiplayer, Xbox Achievements and Xbox Gamerscore.

Getting your Xbox One developer status might take a while but if you “have a proven track record of shipping games on console, PC, mobile or tablet“, then you should receive it faster in order to prepare yourself for the Xbox One launch. Not only that indie developers will get two Xbox One dev kits completely for free but they will also not pay any application or certification fees. Accepted indie Xbox one developers will also get free support.

Marc Whitten, Xbox Chief Product Officer:

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 added

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.

The ID@Xbox program will be ideal for the indie games developers that don’t belong to any major publishing house; by using this program they will get early access to the Xbox One. After all, we’ve seen so many awesome indie games that were developed by small teams. Microsoft’s move in this direction is to be appreciated.

xbox one indie

SpyParty’s creator, indie develop Chris Hecker is convinced of the potential of the ID@Xbox program:

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.

Recently, Microsoft announced that they will reduce the number of launch markets for the Xbox One which has obviously created a lot of frustration among possible buyers. Now, Redmond wants to get some love from the developer community with the introduction of the ID@Xbox self-publishing program.

Recently, we’ve seen that Microsoft has hired former Steam boss Jason Holtman in order to improve the gaming and entertainment strategy on Windows. Also, Redmond will be closing the Xbox.com PC marketplace as soon as August 22nd this year. Now, with the launch of the ID@Xbox, Microsoft shows that it is changing its approach towards gaming. But will this be enough to lure long-time PlayStation users and maintain PC gamers’ interest?

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