Microsoft is officially launching its Xbox Live Creators Program today, to let developers directly publish games to the Xbox One or Windows 10 PCs. The first games are available today from a special section in the Xbox Store named “Creators collection.” Only nine games are available right now, but the hope is that indie developers will publish basic titles that can be played across PCs and Xbox One consoles.
Microsoft has simplified the certification process for Creators collection games and no concept approval is required, making it even more open than the existing ID@Xbox program. That does mean that Creators collection games won’t be the usual standard found from ID@Xbox or regular Xbox games, and developers will be able to publish unfinished titles to the Store to receive feedback.
Creators collection games won’t get access to Achievements, Gamerscore, or Xbox Live multiplayer, and any developers wishing to access those features will need to move to the ID@Xbox program. The Creators Program is more designed for hobby game creators, instead of small studios that publish through ID@Xbox. Indie developers can use retail Xbox One consoles to create and publish games, and titles must be created as Universal Windows Apps so they can run on Windows 10.
“This is just the beginning,” says Chris Charla, director of Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program. “You’ll find creative games, some familiar styles, and some brand-new experiences; really, whatever these imaginative developers chose to make.” Creators collection games are available in the Xbox One Store and Windows Store starting today.