XNA Studio Express Ready, Creators Club Launched
Microsoft's XNA Game Studio Express has launched along with the new XNA Creators Club. What was described as the first step toward a "YouTube for video games" by Peter Moore is now a contest, the winner getting an Xbox Live Arcade release.
"When it comes to encouraging development on XNA Game Studio Express and through the XNA Creators Club, the limits are truly endless. What users will see today is just the beginning of the plans we have to revolutionize game development one creative game idea at a time," said Microsoft's Chris Satchell, general manager of the Game Developer Group at Microsoft.
Out of beta, the XNA Studio Express software is now available free for download at the official site for the Windows XP operating system.
Also available is the XNA Creators Club, which will allow developers to take their game creations from their PC onto their Xbox 360's. Available in the Xbox Live Marketplace, a four-month $49 subscription is available along with a $99 annual subscription. Users hoping for the "Youtube for video games" to take off on Xbox Live are sure to be disappointed, only Creator Club members will be able to try these custom games, provided they transfer the code to each other through their PC's.
For garage developers hoping to use the new tools as a stepping stone to selling a game over Xbox Live, the "Dream-Build-Play" contest will award the best user-made creation with an Xbox Live Arcade release. More details about the contest will be made available here in January.
What a great concept. I have to say that I have been pretty excited about this since I first heard about it. I just wish MS would open up more avenues for distribution besides the occasional Xbox Live contest winner and code sharing between Creator Club members. Oh well, it is a big step in the right direction.