First approved independent Xbox One developers include several well-known studios

Microsoft announced the ID@Xbox self-publishing program for independent game and app developers in August, though the application for entry into the program indicated a developer's pedigree would be taken into account. Now Microsoft has announced the first 32 approved ID@Xbox developers, and it includes several well-known studios.

Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox, wrote a blog post announcing the first approved developers, saying that thousands of developers applied for the program, and Microsoft will "continue to make some big strides to lower the barriers for independent developers to self-publish on Xbox One." Charla cited the Unity game engine being free to ID@Xbox participants as one way Microsoft is attempting to make the program easy, as well as the fact that all Xbox One consoles will eventually be capable of serving as development kits.

Some of the more notable developers include Crytek, the studio behind the Crysis games and "Ryse: Son of Rome" for Xbox One; Half-Brick, the developer of "Fruit Ninja;" Team17, best known for the Worms franchise; veteran developer Tim Schafer's studio, Double Fine, which created "Psychonauts;" and Hidden Path, which co-developed "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" with Valve. Crytek is undoubtedly the headliner of the list, as it's easily the biggest independent developer of the bunch, with several studios located across the world.

Some lesser-known developers include High Voltage Software, which generated a lot of interest for its first-person shooter "The Conduit" on the Nintendo Wii; Capy, which is developing the timed-exclusive game "Below" for Xbox One; Other Ocean, which made the Windows 8 game "The Gunstringer: Dead Man Running;" and Double Eleven, developer of the PlayStation Vita version of "LittleBigPlanet."

The full list of developers revealed in the blog post is as follows:

  • Behaviour
  • Bongfish
  • Born Ready
  • Capy
  • Comcept
  • Crytek
  • Definition 6
  • Double Eleven
  • Double Fine
  • Drinkbox
  • Gaijin Games
  • Half-Brick
  • Happion Labs
  • Hidden Path
  • High Voltage Software
  • Inis
  • Iron Galaxy
  • Jackbox Games
  • The Men Who Wear Many Hats
  • Nicalis
  • Ninja Bee
  • The Odd Gentlemen
  • Other Ocean
  • Panic Button
  • Signal Studios
  • Slightly Mad Studios
  • Team17
  • Team Colorblind
  • Vlambeer
  • Way Forward
  • Zeboyd Games
  • Zen Studios

Charla's blog post noted that development kits for ID@Xbox have been sent to more than 50 studios, meaning several have yet to be announced.

Source: Xbox Wire | Image via Microsoft

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14 Comments

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I don't understand what MSFT is trying to do here. Things that don't require "approved developers" as long as they can afford publishing:
-windows
-windows phone
-windows store apps
-everything else in the world.

why does xbox feel the need to do what the world decided it doesn't need: an approval process based on merit, not just a subscription fee.

Because it's 100% consumer, has been a money losing venture for some time, and it's one of their few products that requires little, if any, customer customization. QC has to be high because of this.

JonnyLH said,
Really solid list there. Looking forward to some more of the smaller games to play! Bring on next-gen worms.

Agreed. Some great dev studios there. Let's hope they put out some polished stuff.

I think that would be the case, besides its better for developer to target their games to a wider range of audience as its potentially has more profit

vcfan said,
I hope Microsoft has the brains to mandate that every game must be compatible with windows 8.1

It's not a requirement as far as I'm aware. While I'm sure Microsoft will encourage that, you don't want to stress indie studios out and create bad buzz.

All the games will surely be capable of being ported to Windows 8.1 relatively easily (all things considered -- most of these are smaller studios, mind you), so it's always a decent chance.

vcfan said,
I hope Microsoft has the brains to mandate that every game must be compatible with windows 8.1

Well the games partition uses completely different application stacks and does not use the RT framework like the OS/Apps do. It'd require a complete re-write for the application.

I wonder if there is some language cross-over though? For apps like Cut the Rope etc which are established on the RT framework and would require basic input handlers adding for the controller, then its a massive opportunity missed.

JonnyLH said,

Well the games partition uses completely different application stacks and does not use the RT framework like the OS/Apps do. It'd require a complete re-write for the application.

I wonder if there is some language cross-over though? For apps like Cut the Rope etc which are established on the RT framework and would require basic input handlers adding for the controller, then its a massive opportunity missed.

pretty sure id@xbox dev runs in the RT environment,not game portion. microsoft has said in the past that if you want to learn xbox one development,then learn win 8 development. the same guy showed some xbox code in visual studio at build,and it was winRT. im sure indies are not getting access to low level apis,and critical parts of the system. that would be a security nightmare for one thing.

vcfan said,

pretty sure id@xbox dev runs in the RT environment,not game portion. microsoft has said in the past that if you want to learn xbox one development,then learn win 8 development. the same guy showed some xbox code in visual studio at build,and it was winRT. im sure indies are not getting access to low level apis,and critical parts of the system. that would be a security nightmare for one thing.

That's the way I understand it also, and it could mean big things for Windows 8/RT/phone 8 development as these people will then have the codebase and skills to quickly port over. Once MS merges the markets we could see a pretty sweet ecosystem

vcfan said,

pretty sure id@xbox dev runs in the RT environment,not game portion. microsoft has said in the past that if you want to learn xbox one development,then learn win 8 development. the same guy showed some xbox code in visual studio at build,and it was winRT. im sure indies are not getting access to low level apis,and critical parts of the system. that would be a security nightmare for one thing.


From Microsoft's original announcement: "Games that come through this program will be able to access the exact same features as any other large game company on Xbox One: Achievements, Gamerscore, Kinect, Xbox SmartGlass, Xbox cloud services and more. What's also exciting is that these games will be available in the exact same marketplace (Xbox One Store) as every other game on Xbox One, making discovery for players easier by using all the curation and discovery tools that Xbox One will offer, including Spotlight, Trending, Recommendations and great social discovery with features like Game DVR and Upload."

"Achievements, Gamerscore, Kinect, Xbox SmartGlass, Xbox cloud services and more."

I don't see how this cant be available on the RT portion. what I meant earlier was, devs get access down to the metal on the game portion, I don't believe this will be the case for indie development,not only is it unnecessary in terms of performance,but it really would be a security liability. as far as im aware, even directX is a low level variant,and not the same as the windows version.