Microsoft has announced that they are launching a self-publishing program for indie Xbox One developers. Independent Developers @ Xbox (or ID@Xbox for short) is already accepting applications from indie developers, although Microsoft is favoring those with a proven track record, at least in the beginning.
“We wanted to recognize that this program is just starting out,” said Chris Charla, head of the ID@Xbox program and its support team. “We’re really looking for qualified developers, especially in the early stages.” Although the actual criteria has not been explicitly stated, Charla told Joystiq that the program is looking for “established indies” to provide them with the feedback that they think will help the program properly take off. Once accepted, developers will get two Xbox One development kits, full access to Achievements, the Xbox Live toolset, cloud services, Kinect and SmartGlass all for use in the development of their games.
“We have a pretty quick turnaround to letting people into the program, and signing their hardware agreements and that sort of thing,” Charla said, “if we get 1000 entries on Tuesday, it’s going to take a couple days longer than if we get 200.”
Xbox One drew criticism early on due to its original policies on indie publishing. The ID@Xbox program seems to be a big step in the right direction with the ultimate goal being to allow anyone to turn their Xbox One into a full development and publishing kit with a simple software update. As far as the criticism, Charla asks that those with concerns should just “call” them. “We like criticism. It never feels good to be criticized, but that’s how you get better, right? I think we’ve come up with something that devs will be really happy with, and that’s really just focused on getting the best possible original games onto Xbox One.”