Microsoft to share up to 70pc of game revenue with hobbyists

24 Jul 2008

Hobbyists who create their own video games can now embark on a fully fledged games developer career through a marketplace Microsoft has created that will allow developers to receive up to 70pc of total revenue generated by the sale of their games.

Last year, Microsoft unveiled the XNA Game Studio to allow developers, particularly students and hobbyists, to add to the texture of the Xbox 360 landscape by creating their own games using the software.

The company has described the move as leading to the greater democratisation of games development, allowing individuals and businesses to partake in the multi-billion console games business.

Newly appointed chief technology officer of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business Group, Chris Satchell, said community games that have been submitted by XNA Creators Club Premium members and successfully pass a rigorous peer-review system will be added to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalogue for sale to consumers.

Creators will be able to choose from three suggested preset retail price points, varying from 200 to 800 Microsoft Points, to sell their creations and will receive up to 70pc of the total revenue generated by their game.

“Not only are we democratising game development with Xbox LIVE Community Games later this year, but we’re creating an opportunity for aspiring developers to start their careers on the world stage,” Satchell said. “It is really a win-win for both developers and consumers because this will no doubt act as an incentive for game creators to continue to develop the best, most innovative games for Xbox 360.

A host of new and creative ideas are already appearing on the Xbox LIVE Community Games beta.

When the service launches for consumers in the autumn, community created games on Xbox LIVE are expected to double the size of the Xbox 360 video game library.

By the end of 2008, Xbox 360 owners are expected to have access to more than 1,000 titles spanning community games, Xbox LIVE Arcade and retail blockbuster titles.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: screenshot of the XNA Game Studio website

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years