Microsoft to Developers: Come Out and Play!

Microsoft Corp. Tuesday unveiled two unique programs aimed at independent
game developers.

The programs — the Xbox Independent Developer Program and the Xbox
Incubator Program — address the company’s recently launched Xbox video
game console.

The programs are unprecedented in that they enable independent game
designers to create prototype Xbox games, according to Kevin Bachus,
director of third-party relations at Microsoft.

“Changes in the video game industry and the rising cost of production
have made it more difficult for independent developers to access major
publishers and their distribution channels,” he said. “History has proven
that great games can come from anywhere and we want to establish an
environment in which gifted game designers, regardless of their resources,
have the opportunity to realize their creative visions.

Independent programmers are invited to participate in the Xbox
Independent Developer Program via applying to receive a prototype kit (XPK),
which offers details on creating games. The Incubator Program is intended
for video developers who want to commit resources to developing an Xbox game
using an Xbox Development Kit (XDK) before securing relationships with
publishers.

To participate, independent developers should submit written descriptions
of the game concepts to Microsoft’s Xbox team. If invited to join the
program, developers must license an XDK that contains the hardware, software
and tools necessary to build Xbox games.

The Xbox, which is scheduled for release in the fall of 2001, is a
future-generation video console.

According to J. Allard, a spokesperson for Microsoft, the online gaming
console addresses an arena that began as a novelty but will become a
necessity.

“People care about games. This console is a next-generation platform that
will take gaming forward,” he said. “This is the most powerful game box there is. Now, we are working with systems
developers to build killer content.”

News Around the Web