Xbox One to provide ID@Xbox devs with free Unity kit

Microsoft said that it's looking to "level the playing field" for all developers

Sony has been making a concerted effort to lure indies to the PS4 and PlayStation ecosystem as a whole, but since the announcement of its ID@Xbox self-publishing program, Microsoft has been making its case too. Today, that case has become a stronger one as the company has partnered with ubiquitous engine firm Unity to offer the Xbox One add-on for Unity at no cost to all developers in the ID@Xbox program. Microsoft will also provide a special Xbox One-only Unity Pro seat license for Xbox One developers in the ID@Xbox program, when it starts in 2014.

"We talked internally at ID@Xbox about ways we could help developers for Xbox One. Many developers we talk to are using Unity today to get up and running quickly, and to be able to harness the power of hardware and realize their creative visions without spending tons of time on technology development. We thought about paying for some developers' Unity licenses but the more we talked about it, the more we felt paying for some developers' licenses and not others just didn't feel right," said ID@Xbox director Chris Charla.

"...we want to make sure the dev who's working away in Omaha, or Coventry, or Chiba will have the same shot to realize their vision on Xbox One as one of my developer friends we hang out with in Seattle or at a trade show like GDC or Gamescom," he continued. "Because at the end of the day, we want gamers to pick the hits. That's what Xbox One is all about: One games store, the best discovery tools on console, and a powerful, equal playing field for all games, from developers big and small."

Importantly, the Unity add-on for Xbox One supports all the typical features, including Kinect, SmartGlass and even the impulse triggers of the new controller. And because Unity is also available for Windows and Windows Phone too (at no cost) developers could - if they wish - ship their games across all Microsoft platforms.

"Microsoft continues to show their commitment to creating opportunity for developers of all shapes and sizes, a commitment shared by Unity. The drive behind the ID@Xbox program is exciting for Unity and the games development community in general. We can't wait to see the results," said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies.

In a recent interview with GamesIndustry International, Xbox Europe corporate vice president Phil Harrison told us that Microsoft has seen "an avalanche of interest" since unveiling its ID@Xbox program.

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Latest comments (3)

Mihai Cozma Indie Games Developer 7 years ago
Very good news. Still haven't found (or missed) how much a subscription to this program does cost?
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 7 years ago
That's actually a very nice idea, but I think one of the biggest things they need to worry about is actually XBox Gold. Sure not every indie game has multiplayer but the need to pay to play online is going to be quite discouraging, the user base of the PSN is still much larger than XBox.

Good that they're taking more steps to encourage to encourage indie devs in any case, but for devs the biggest gain is probably their games being available multi-platform rather than the indie gamer user base on XBox. Will be interesting to see how all this pans out.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 7 years ago
This is good news but, Kingman first off Sony have sold 80 million PS3 so that slashgear number of 110 million users of PSN is pretty nonsense. Especially when the 65 million of steam is said to be above both Sony and Microsoft's active users figures. This implies that Sony must have LESS than 65 million active users and likely less or at least equal the number of active users as Microsoft.

However, I wouldn't hitch my wagon to the Microsoft train for a very different reason. That being that the apparent successor to the CEO position at Microsoft would actually consider selling the Xbox division. A move that would accomplish two things.

1. Kill Xbox dead the very instant it was announced.
2. Cripple Microsoft as a company as the loss of trust from anyone but, their shareholders would be so damaging as to render them untouchable to consumers.
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