Yesterday, Microsoft announced to developers registered with their Xbox Live Indie Games program and XNA Creators’ Club for the Xbox 360 that both programs would be completely shut down by 2017. A gradual slow down process will take place before the program is completely stopped.
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Here are the bullet points from yesterday’s announcement:
- As of today, we’ve stop taking new subscriptions or membership renewals, but we’ll ensure that current members who are still working on games have any memberships that expire “topped off” until September 9, 2016. After that date we’ll no longer allow new games to be published. All creators with a valid subscription as of today will receive a free lifetime Windows Developer account (normally $99).
- In September 2017, we’ll stop selling XBLIG games, close the store and pay out all money earned by developers. Of course, players will still be able to re-download games they own and continue to play the games they own.
- Longer term, over the next two years we’ll be working with game conservationists and creators to preserve the legacy of XBLIG content. We look forward to sharing more details in the future.
The post goes on to mention that the Xbox One ID@Xbox program is the spiritual successor to both programs. However, they also recognize all of the hard work so many independent developers put into it in order to make the Xbox 360 a place to see independent games.
The new ID@Xbox program has been noted for the promise Microsoft made that developers would be able to use their Xbox One’s as development kits. Thus far, that promise has not come to pass.
If you are interested, you should take a moment and read the blog post the community managers for both programs left. It is a touching goodbye.
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