Announced at Gamescom, Microsoft is launching a new Independent Developers @ Xbox (ID@Xbox) program for developers to create and publish digital games on the upcoming Xbox One console.
Applications for the ID@Xbox program start as of right now, but it’s limited:
“For now, we’ll be open to people who have some established track record shipping games,” explains ID@Xbox director Chris Charla in an interview with The Verge. “We’re looking for developers who are going to help get games into the store in a pretty rapid pace.” Despite this, Charla says Microsoft is looking to expand the program “at a pretty good clip,” and will look at every developer individually and honestly. “We don’t have some sort of checklist where you have six of eight checks and get in… we’re going to look at every case on its own merits.”
Microsoft is also removing any fees for certification or updates for giving those accepted into the program TWO FREE Xbox One dev kits.
It seems that GameInformers source was pretty damn accurate and today Microsoft has confirmed self publishing for indies will be possible on the Xbox One. This is what Major Nelson (Larry Hryb) and Marc Whitten had to say on the matter:
Major Nelson: “I had a great chat with Marc Whitten about self publishing and Xbox One. I’ve got him scheduled to come on the podcast next week update us on Xbox One, but in the meantime he wanted me to share some great news with you about the upcoming Xbox One Self Publishing program that we’ve been working on for some time.”
Marc Whitten: “Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August.”
Reading between the lines, having quoted that every Xbox One can be used for development does seem like pretty strong confirmation that all Xbox One consoles can be debug consoles at the flick of a switch on Microsoft’s authority?
Sources close to GameInformer have leaked that Microsoft will do another U-Turn and allow independent developers to publish via digital distribution without a publishing partner. Additionally, Microsoft is said to be drastically overhauling its certification process. By using a certification model similar to iTunes they will be targeting a 14-day turnaround for all approvals by dropping an extensive code check process (current), and will instead opt for terms of service violations and significant bugs only.
We’ll report more information if and when Microsoft confirm the news.