Malcolm Owen On July 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm

And lo, from the heavens of Redmond comes news about what Microsoft are gonna do for the community games…

Overview: With Microsoft Corp.’s offering of community games, the company delivers on its promise to truly democratize game development and revolutionize the way consumers get and play community-created games on Xbox 360. Using XNA Game Studio, the community will be able to create games and submit them to a peer-review system, through which other XNA Creators Club members will classify and review submissions for appropriateness and accurate representation before allowing them to be listed on the Xbox LIVE for all to download and play.

The rich online and connected capabilities of Xbox LIVE will provide a thriving storefront filled with community-developed games. The goal of this offering is to provide customers with an unprecedented opportunity to participate in and drive the ongoing growth of the games industry, and to offer the most diverse, unique selection of games available on any platform through a consistent and easy-to-access marketplace. A beta to develop and publish community games on Xbox LIVE is now available to XNA Creators Club Premium members in the U.S., and the service will be more broadly available to creators and consumers by the holiday season.

Distribution Pipeline:

● Developer tools. XNA Game Studio offers efficient and accessible tools for developers of all levels to create rich gaming experiences. XNA Game Studio also enables multiplayer games and matchmaking capabilities using Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows – LIVE. An XNA Creators Club membership is required to develop for Xbox 360, submit games for peer review and rate community games for Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Memberships are available for $49 (U.S.) for four months or $99 for 12 months. Faculty and students are provided with a free, personal development license for educational use only.

Jury of one’s peers. Game submissions and classifications will be reviewed by other XNA Creators Club members who will collectively enforce basic policies to ensure appropriateness and integrity of content and accurate rating representation before approving games for listing on Xbox LIVE.

Safety and security. As part of the peer review process, when reviewers identify unauthorized or inappropriate content in a game that does not comply with the basic policies, the game will not be listed on Xbox LIVE until the submitter removes such content. After publication on Xbox LIVE, Microsoft will actively remove infringing content when properly notified by the copyright owner(s) and will remove inappropriate content when notified by the community. Microsoft takes the safety and security of the Xbox LIVE service seriously, and continues to help members better control their online experience and help provide a safe and enjoyable time on Xbox LIVE.

Ease of search and play. Xbox 360 owners will be able to find and download user-created games through Xbox LIVE. They also will be able to more easily search the Web for detailed reviews, comments and game ratings.

True democratization. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this new offering is that it finally allows for the true democratization of game development. Microsoft has delivered on its promise to provide the greatest, most accessible tools and the first-ever community-created forum for game distribution to ensure that the best games continue to be built for the Xbox 360 platform.

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