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Microsoft kicks off Xbox Live Community Games beta

Premium members invited to take part in Xbox games creation initiative

Microsoft has begun testing its Community Games on Xbox Live project in closed beta.

First revealed at GDC 2008, users are able to create games and rate the work of others, with the best picked to appear on Xbox Live.

Only premium members of the XNA Creators Club Online will be able to take part for now. Membership costs USD 49 for four months or USD 99 for a year.

The XNA tools have continued to gain momentum since their launch in 2006, with student initiatives and design competitions hosted by Microsoft in order to drum up support from its community.

Most recently, Microsoft unleashed a batch of XNA-developed games as demos on Live during the Game Developers Conference 2008.

Yesterday, Xbox Live portfolio planner David Edery discussed the Community Games initiative in some detail with GamesIndustry.biz, suggesting that the service will help the company leapfrog WiiWare and PlayStation Network in the downloadable space.

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