Earlier this year at GDC, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Live Creators Program, a new initiative to make it easier for indie developers to publish their games on the Windows and Xbox stores. Compared to the pre-existing ID@XBOX program, developers joining the new initiative will be able to integrate Xbox Live into their game (with some exceptions such as Achievements or Internet multiplayer) and publish to Xbox One and Windows 10 without the need for concept approval.
Today, the Xbox team announced that the first wave of Creators Program games are now live in the Windows Store, starting with nine games. All of them are UWP apps, but some are actually available on Xbox One, Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile and even HoloLens:
- Animal Rivals ($4.99)
- Block Dropper ($0.99)
- Crystal Brawl (Free)
- Derelict Fleet ($9.99)
- ERMO (Free)
- GalactiMAX (Free)
- kubic. (Free)
- Space Cat! (Free)
- Stereo Aereo ($3.99)
If you’ve never heard of these games before, that’s normal, and the Xbox team says that you should expect “games that can be quirky and have varying degrees of polish, but are always interesting.”
As these games don’t have to respect the same quality standards as ID@XBOX games, they won’t be proeminently feature on the Windows Store. On a Windows 10 PC, Creators Program games will appear in the Games category, but on the Xbox One they will be regrouped into the Creators Collection section of the Xbox Store. “This gives us all the best of both worlds: A curated store and a fully open marketplace in the Creators Collection,” explained the Xbox team.
It will be interesting to see if many game developers embrace this new initiative, but Microosft promises to “regularly add new games as developers finish their work.” If you’re a game developer, you can learn more about the program on the dedicated website.