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Microsoft sunsets XNA Creator's Club and Xbox Live Indie Games

No new games will be published after September 9, 2016

Microsoft is officially shutting down the XNA Creator's Club and Xbox Live Indie Games and will stop selling all XBLIG games and close the store on September 2017.

"Today we communicated to developers that we're beginning the sunsetting process for the XNA Creator's Club and Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) on Xbox 360," said a forum post from Microsoft's Chris Charla and Andy Dunn.

"XNA and XBLIG were our first attempts to open up the closed console world - to let students, hobbyists, and anyone with a great idea make games and publish them without needing a studio or even a business license. Over the last nine years, we have seen many great developers get their start in XBLIG and we are very proud of all that has been accomplished."

As part of the sunsetting process No new subscriptions or membership renewals will be accepted going forward and no new games will be published after September 9, 2016. In September 2017, sales of all XBLIG games will end as the store closes. At this points all monies owed to developers will be paid. Microsoft suggested it had plans to "preserve the legacy" of the XBLIG content but didn't offer any details.

The post was also understandably keen to point out that ID@Xbox is the "spiritual successor" of XBLIG and developers could open Windows Developer accounts and make games using Unity, GameMaker, and Unreal Engine.

"All creators with a valid subscription as of today will receive a free lifetime Windows Developer account (normally $99)."

Developer Andy Dunn of ZBuffer and Exato Game Studios also offered his thoughts of the end of an indie development era.

"I've worked with lots of people besides Microsoft using XNA; and since then, I've had the opportunity to speak at conferences, teach at universities, make games and meet some (hopefully) lifelong friends. And tens of thousands of others had the same opportunities. Careers have been founded, millions have been made and in at least one case, a marriage occurred! The XNA/XBLIG community is easily the best set of people I've had the pleasure to be on the internet with. The forums were full of Microsoft employees and knowledgeable experts mixing with total n00bs wanting to write their own MMO. I know the mods were not always popular but we made sure they were a great place for almost everyone.

"We've known the end was coming for a while, and thankfully two years notice is plenty of time for those still in progress."

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Latest comments (5)

Nathan Fouts President, Mommy's Best Games3 years ago
I loved XNA and the XBLIG program. It was amazing how it cracked open a closed console-environment and let anyone release their games! Plus the XNA development suite was incredibly well done and mostly really easy to use, without lacking power.
We're taking our previous XBLIG games to Steam, http://mommysbestgames.com/Presskit/sheet.php?p=mommys_best_action_pack
I know some XBLIG hits like Escape Goat are already out on Steam.
Any other devs doing the same now that XBLIG is really on the way out?
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Curtis Turner Game Developer - Monsters of War 3 years ago
XBLIG and Windows 7/8 probably didn't do much for the wallets of developers of the majority of XNA developers. But because of MonoGame, aka XNA 5.0, I think XNA games can still do a lot of damage.

What's funny is I chose XNA, because at the very least I could release my game on one platform, the X-BoX 360... I even bought the Windows Phone developer license when it went on sale, because I thought it was linked to X-BoX 360, but they changed it to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 instead.

I'll be releasing my game on pretty much everything I can, except apparently X-BoX 360...

Monsters of War!
http://www.moddb.com/games/monstersofwar

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Curtis Turner on 10th September 2015 7:34pm

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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises3 years ago
Nathan, I'm moving to Steam from XBLIG too. But it's mostly for new games I'm making in Unity, since only one of my XBLIG games got Greenlit.

Unity really is magic, you still get to code in C#, but they give you this amazing level editor, and let you deploy to any platform you want.
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James Barnard Founder / Developer, Springloaded3 years ago
My whole studio still uses XNA, but we never released a game on xbox 360. We do f2p mobile games, and are also working on current gen consoles. It's funny that for the xbox one we had to write an XNA wrapper for unity, which it turns out is the only way to run c# on the platform.

Without XNA I wouldn't have learned how to code, it changed my life.
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Nathan Fouts President, Mommy's Best Games3 years ago
Curtis, good luck with Monsters of War. Releasing on multiple platforms is a pretty good idea if you can make the time.

Craig, yup, I love still being able to code in C# even in Unity. I keep thinking about going back to XNA as it works best (better than Mono I think) for Windows, but we'd need to use Mono to port to everything else.

James, fascinating--I've not done anything for Xbox One yet--I didn't realize there'd need to be a C# wrapper for it. Thanks for the tip!
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