Microsoft is letting everyone be an Xbox One game publisher

One of the key differences between the PC and consoles is that anyone can publish games for the former, while you have to have a relationship with a publisher to produce games on the latter. 

However, Microsoft is soon set to change this by allowing anyone to publish games on the Xbox One with the Xbox Live Creators Program announced at GDC 2017 and available for as little as $20 (and as much as $100). 

The announcement follows last year's move to turn any Xbox One into a development kit

The program will allow anyone who owns an Xbox One to publish games for Microsoft’s ‘Universal Windows Platform’ which allows software to be cross-compatible on both Xbox One, Windows 10, and soon Project Scorpio. 

Universal gaming

Because of this tie to UWP, users of the new program will not have full access to the Xbox One’s power; for that they’ll need to get access to a hardware-based SDK which can only be accessed via ID@Xbox (the company’s indie-foccussed self-publishing initiative) or by working with a publisher. 

This is not the first time Microsoft has attempted such an initiative. Back on the Xbox 360 the company launched the Xbox Live Indie Games program, which allowed users to self-publish their own games. 

However, the scheme suffered with a large amount of low-quality content flooding the scheme’s dedicated store which made it difficult to find the games worth playing. The scheme was closed down last year. 

The new Xbox Live Creators Program could be about to repeat the same mistakes by limiting its games to its own dedicated creators section of the store, but with good content filtering options the initiative could hopefully make it easy for gamers to find titles worth playing. 

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.