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ID@Xbox has paid out more than $4bn to developers in ten years

Microsoft's indie initiative has launched over 3,000 games, another 3,000 to come, revamped submission process in the works

At a glance

  • Microsoft has paid ID@Xbox devs more than $4 billion since 2013
  • Retail program to produce physical versions of ID@Xbox games now in pilot phase
  • New process to submit for deal consideration, including Game Pass, in the works

Microsoft has revealed that it has paid developers in its ID@Xbox program more than $4 billion since the initiative first launched in 2013.

A blog post by the program's director Chris Charla reflects on the first ten years of ID@Xbox, including some facts and figures around what it has accomplished so far.

The program is designed to help independent developers release games on Xbox platforms, and has produced titles such as Cuphead, Untitled Good Game, Celeste, Spiritfarer, Tunic and Hades.

In addition to the $4 billion in payouts, the company reported it has released more 3,000 titles via this program over the past ten years, with over 3,000 more are currently in active development.

Microsoft says that more than 5,000 studios from over 100 countries are currently members of ID@Xbox. For comparison, the first year saw around 200 sign up.

Yesterday, the platform holder announced plans to upgrade some of the ID@Xbox services, presented as the ID@Xbox Developer Acceleration Program. We'll have more details via a full interview in the coming days.

In his post, Charla discussed other initiatives Microsoft is working on to further support indies, including a retail disc publishing program. Currently in its pilot phase with a limited number of studios, this will enable developers to produce boxed versions of their games with a low "minimum order quantity" from Xbox.

The company is also working on ways to better prepare developers who wish to submit for inclusion in ID@Xbox and Xbox Game Pass. Charla said the new process will provide "a template that has all the info developers need to submit a concept for deal consideration," which will be approved by decision makers from ID@Xbox, as well as the platform holder's business development, Portfolio and Game Pass teams.

More information on this, and the retail program, will be shared in the April edition of the ID@Xbox newsletter, which is sent to partner studios.

"Ten years on from the dawn of ID@Xbox, one thing is crystal clear – games from independent developers are foundational to the Xbox offering," Charla wrote.

"This GDC we’re excited to talk about our efforts to ensure that players get to experience games and stories from the broadest number of Creators too, with the ID@Xbox Developer Acceleration Program.

"We’re also excited to meet with developers in person, keep listening and keep planning how we can improve our offerings for independent developers on Xbox, whether that’s through discovery improvements, promotional amplification, sharing more data to help developers maximize their success on our store, or ways we haven’t even considered yet."

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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