If you’re tired of the Xbox 360 games on the market and find yourself longing for a different kind of game, Microsoft wants you to make it yourself.
In hopes of creating its own YouTube for gamers, Microsoft has announced it will soon sell a scaled-back version of the pro software its game designers use to create titles for the Xbox 360.
Called the XNA Game Studio Express, the program is a very watered down version of the company’s XNA Framework. It will be available Aug. 30 for a $99 annual fee.
Users will need a Windows-based PC to use the program, but it will let virtually anyone make their own games and then share them on the Xbox Live service.
Microsoft VP Peter Moore has said the move is the company’s first step in creating its own YouTube service for video games. In addition, it’s hoped to inspire a new generation of game designers, artists and programmers. “It will give you everything you need to bring your game to life on Xbox 360,” Moore said.
If the concept goes over well, Microsoft might sell expansion packs for the software so games can be enhanced, Moore said.
This is an incredible step on Microsoft’s part and a very cool idea. Taking indie games to a new level, this concept is likely to give wannabe game makers a chance to show off their stuff and a place to do it at, too.
Just like YouTube, however, it’s likely that a lot of the offerings will be less than great. Despite this, those who manage to make good games with great ideas behind them might find themselves with a new career outlet given the proper training.
Would-be game designers should take note that Microsoft doesn’t intend to rip off their work. Those who post games on Xbox Live will retain ownership of their work, but they can expect Microsoft to be watching for intellectual property issues and appropriateness for its site.
It’s not very often I find myself saying this, but awesome move Microsoft. This is taking next-gen to the next level for certain.