Community games hit Xbox 360 this fall

XNA Creators Club titles to sell for $2.50 to $10; developers to keep "up to 70 percent" of the money.

In February, Microsoft made a big noise about introducing hobbyist-developed games on the Xbox Live Marketplace by the end of the year, but the software giant has been more or less mum on the subject since. That changed this week during the company's Gamefest 2008 developer-focused game conference, as Microsoft used its keynote address to flesh out some details on the endeavor.

Set for launch this fall, "Xbox Live Community Games" will sell for 200 Microsoft points ($2.50), 800 Microsoft points ($10), or at a third price point between those two. The consumer cost of the game will be decided by the developers, who will receive "up to 70 percent" of the revenue their games generate.

Developed using Microsoft's XNA Game Studio toolset, the community titles will need to endure a peer-review process before being made available to the general Xbox 360 userbase. End users will also be able to rate the games on Xbox.com, as well as view clips and play a demo of each game before committing to a purchase. Microsoft expects that the community games will double the size of the system's game library.

The United States, Canada, and Europe will receive the new community games channel on Xbox Live Marketplace this year, with launches in other regions to come.

To help promote the launch, Microsoft is organizing the second annual Dream-Build-Play contest for XNA-developed games. One winner will receive a chance at an Xbox Live Arcade publishing contract. Three of last year's standouts--Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, Blazing Birds, and Yo Ho Kablammo!--are set for release on Live Arcade "in the near future."

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Discussion

59 comments
Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

must....have...dishwasher.... Seriously, it's the best game i ever got to play on live arcade next to puzzle quest and braid, certainly the most action-packed. And $10 is a sweet price if that's the highest they're going to charge. but as cool as arcade's gotten, they really need to drop the restrictions on the size of arcade games. i really think we would start to see plenty of quality arcade games if MS would just let the devs do their thing without having to dance to their tune. It's not the devs fault that MS decided to go for a 20gig hard drive that has essentially 13 gigs of usable space.

jay_lee112084
jay_lee112084

KnightwingX7 I love how everyone claims Microsoft is this "Big Bad" corporation, that only cares about profits. While (like any company) profit is of foremost concern, I've noticed that Microsoft is committed to making gaming FUN, and basing it off of a COMMUNITY. This is just one more example of an "everybody wins" scenario where Microsoft makes money, Unknowns get their games actually PUBLISHED and in the hands of GAMERS, and gamers get to enjoy fresh, new ideas in gaming. Companies that only care about profits stick to conventional means of making them. I don't see Sony or Nintendo doing anything remotely like this. But I am sure someone will find a way to turn this into a negative against Microsoft. This is the type of "gamer" we need to see more of.

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

I don't like the "up to 70%" part. That means these indie devs could get short changed.

mikekearn
mikekearn

Damn, we still don't know how much Dead Samurai is going to be? I am betting on the highest price, but even so, I'm still definitely getting it. Out of all the XNA-games I've played, that was far better than the rest.

KnightwingX7
KnightwingX7

I love how everyone claims Microsoft is this "Big Bad" corporation, that only cares about profits. While (like any company) profit is of foremost concern, I've noticed that Microsoft is committed to making gaming FUN, and basing it off of a COMMUNITY. This is just one more example of an "everybody wins" scenario where Microsoft makes money, Unknowns get their games actually PUBLISHED and in the hands of GAMERS, and gamers get to enjoy fresh, new ideas in gaming. Companies that only care about profits stick to conventional means of making them. I don't see Sony or Nintendo doing anything remotely like this. But I am sure someone will find a way to turn this into a negative against Microsoft.

Tandem_Toad
Tandem_Toad

This is an amazing opportunity. What a cool set for the individual program enthusiast. I wish the tools didn't have such an extreme learning curve for those who have absolutely no experience in programing and code writing, though. I tried out the beta version and it was not easy to learn. There were tutorials, but the tutorials were just introducing very basic code language, which seemed to be a far cry from actually creating a workable game. XNA may seem like a wonderful and easy tool for those who have experience in C++, but I just wanted to create. It would be neat if they put out the tools for creation similar to map editors and character creators that could be molded, tweaked, and assigned to scenarios. Maybe, the full version has more options.

xbox360progamer
xbox360progamer

i never been in the dream-build-play contest .but i am going to try to be in it this year seems fun.. i want dishwasher

okassar
okassar

XNA was a real good idea.I should try it some time.And it's cool how you actually make a profit if you make a really good game on it.I'm probably going to buy Dishwasher lol.

SteeleInd
SteeleInd

Awesome. I can't wait for Dishwasher. That game was amazing.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

Congrats. If twelve million people play online, Then lets say a million people buy your game. Dude your making seven hundred thousand dollars. Holy crap thats a lot of money. I wonder if there is a catch. This is amazing and sounds to good to be true. The games are two dollars to ten dollars and all offer achievements. This is going to rock the house.

shinchy
shinchy

AND I'm already nearing the end of my own game.

ftjx
ftjx

the developers should get 100%:)

tungee
tungee

I'll take that bet. Microsoft really can't go around mouthing off to the press and their developers about them taking away 70% and then end up lying about it. Perhaps you should wait to see more information before betting money. Now, if you'd like to listen to what they told us developers at the conference... Developers do get a flat 70%, but we will be able to give up some of that % for certain things: Xbox promotions on Marketplace, having games featured, and perhaps some other options. When can I have my money? :)

ghost867
ghost867

$20 says that 70% profit line is just that, a line and it's not true in the slightest.

tungee
tungee

I was just at the GameFest conference, and I'm looking to make a launch game for XNA Community games with my team, and I thought I'd try to answer some questions: Achievements and Leaderboards: At launch, the Community Games will not support either of these, but they may be added in 2009. Peer Review: It's called 'review' but that's a bit misleading. Peer Review has nothing to do with approval process. Peer Review is largely to make sure that you accurately rated your game to XNA (level of gore, violence, language, etc), and to make sure you don't break any of the small list of Microsoft No-no's (porn, nudity, etc). As long as you don't break those restrictions, you don't sneak in any trojans or viruses, and it doesn't crash the system, the game will release. In other words, even if your game totally sucks and every peer reviewer hates it and believes you need to be skinned alive, as long as it doesn't break any of the above, it will be able to be sold on Xbox Marketplace. Just don't expect it to be at the top of the list or for it to do well. When the new dashboard launches in the Fall, XNA Community Games are listed directly under Xbox Live Arcade games. They aren't in the same category, so you shouldn't be confused about which are indie and which are microsoft games. That should answer a lot of the basic questions I've been seeing here. Please remember I am not a microsoft employees and just a small indie developer who attended the conference. I'm merely relaying the information to everyone as fast as i can. There's a lot more, but I cut it off here. Any questions, just post them up after this and I'll answer them if I have an answer. Thanks

ScreamDream
ScreamDream

Really strange Gamespot failed to report that the developers will get 50-70% of the profits depending on the price of the title that their sister company CNET reported.

Beaglesniffer
Beaglesniffer

you still need to have a lot of skills to make a game like this i was thinking i might make something basic but i looked at some of the coding and thought no.... its a good idea for people that are starting out who have already aquired some skill

lamprey263
lamprey263

I like this idea 'cause it's a chance for indie developers to really get something out there... though there's likely to be some huge successful titles, I'm sure a majority of it is going to suck, just like indie music and indie film, a few gems among the many piles of crap, but I still think this is a good idea, it allows indie programmers to get some early experience

Spartan1017
Spartan1017

this is gonna be huge... gigantic, just like all your other ideas

darkmoney52
darkmoney52

If Dishwasher was any indication this should be a lot better than professionally made XBLA titles.

VenDaler
VenDaler

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Henninger
Henninger

This is actually a great idea by M$. This i have 2 say is probably the best thing i've heard them do in a long time.

PEELEDbanana
PEELEDbanana

I am glad to see that some indie games are getting some recognition. Those games will bring the much need innovation. Sorry if i offend some Nintendo fanboy here, but Nintendo's innovation isn't as innovative as i had hoped. Hopefully, this will get some cool new games out. Maybe another Katamari Damacy (maybe just as crazy too!).

MigElite
MigElite

The Dishwasher is going to own. Hard.

FraserAlexander
FraserAlexander

what happened to gymnast?? it says it was released over at ign a week or two ago. Anyone know what's going on?

09231991
09231991

This truly is the most amazing thing I've seen MS do. I've seen some of these games and they just look awesome. Plus, like they said, this will increase their overall Arcade games library by a huge margin. I also like how they are gonna make a separate section for these games as well. This fall is definitely gonna be memorable. I can't wait to see what creations are gonna be made by the community games this fall.

Masterdj1992
Masterdj1992

They need a seperate section under Xbox live titles so we know which ones to be cautious about. Im sure some of the best games will come out of it but with those will come some slapped together stuff that is peer edited. Has lots of room for greatness but can lean towards what some of nintendo's 3rd party creators have been doing...slapped together money making junk.(Clarification: 3rd party stuff is worst on wii but there are good ones out there)

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

The peer review process it's a layer that needs to also get passed before moving on. After that all the games have to pass certification. Also with the addition of multi-player in XNA and everything else that certification process would mean standard Achievements, cross-communication, etc...just like every other 360 title will have to be in place. "Junk in a room" games simply won't see the light of day, but for the dedicated basement coder this is far and away the best thing that has come along tool wise, never mind the fact you could actually make money off it.

Link256
Link256

So... achievements or no achievements?

ctortolini
ctortolini

Phantom5800 has a point regarding quality... that is the biggest problem with user created content... and there is where Peer-Review becomes the key... Hopefully, it will be a better filter than the ones in other systems...

ctortolini
ctortolini

The peer-review process should put very high standards or we are going to see a parade of crappy titles... I am willing to pay 2.50, 10 or even more but the game must be worthy.

gr8jedimaster
gr8jedimaster

I played trials versions of some of those games. They're fantastic. I'd love to support these amateur designers and developers. It's really a great time for gamers who want to create. It's inspiring that you can easily get your creation out there for thousands of people, maybe even millions of people to experience. It's great that Microsoft is offering an outlet for creativity.

doomsoth
doomsoth

Yay for indy games! I enjoyed the demo of some of these games! I look forward to user created content!

Phantom5800
Phantom5800

I really don't see much coming from this. I am sure there will be plenty of gems, but I have always though user created games should not be allowed on a system like this (no offense to anyone making a game for this service since I don't know how good your game will be), but if a normal user is allowed to make whatever they want, that is a major leak in quality control. Amount of games shouldn't matter if there is a large amount of crap on them (this goes for WiiWare as well).

KingSigy
KingSigy

This is cool, but I'm waiting to see if any of the games are worth it.

markharris31
markharris31

Rock on. Can't wait to see what comes along.

hunter8man
hunter8man

I'm actually developing some games for this right now. I hope this becomes a widespread success across all platforms.

imperial_agent
imperial_agent

will user created games have achiements? just wonderin

VenomRitual
VenomRitual

they should show the ratings users give it next to the game. faster than going to website.

reckeweg
reckeweg

Awesome I have been waiting for Dishwasher: Dead Samurai for the longest time. I can't wait to download that gem.

Setsuka13
Setsuka13

This is a great way for small developer's to get their game's out there. I can't wait to see them. Besides. XBLA games are starting to wear a little thin in number's. This will be the perfect bounce back