Microsoft introduces Xbox Live Creators Program at GDC

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It’s been a busy day for Xbox news, and another big story has just entered the fray. Today, Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox, introduced the Xbox Live Creators Program, which will allow any developer to integrate Xbox Live into their game and publish to Xbox One and Windows 10 without the need for concept approval.

While the program is still in preview, the program will ultimately allow developers to rapidly publish Xbox Live-enabled games on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. Creators Program developers will be able to include integrate Xbox Live sign-in, presence, and social features into their UWP games, then publish their game to Xbox One and Windows 10. Chris Charla describes how the program works:

This means their title can see exposure to every Xbox One owner across the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio this holiday, as well as hundreds of millions of Windows 10 PCs, and millions of folks using the Xbox app on mobile platforms. The Creators Program offers a straightforward way for developers to address a huge audience across Windows and Xbox One, with minimal additional development time. An important element is that developers can continue using the tools they’re already using today to create UWP games. Game engines with “out of the box” support for UWP games include Construct 2, MonoGame, Unity, and Xenko.

Interestingly, Charla points out that the program works with retail Xbox One consoles, which means there is no need a dev kit to get started. Additionally, developers who want access to more Xbox Live capabilities and gain additional development and marketing support for their game, can also still enroll in the ID@Xbox program even after their game ships.  The differences between the Creators Program and ID@Xbox can be seen in the graphic below.

ID@Xbox vs Creator's Program
ID@Xbox vs Creator’s Program

Details on how to enroll in the program can be found here, and it’s as easy as following four simple steps: creating a Microsoft Account, a Dev Center account, taking a survey, and reading the necessary documentation. It is also worth noting that for Windows 10, Creators program games will be available on the Windows Store, and on Xbox One, games from the Creators Program will appear in a new, distinct Creators games section in the Store.