XNA boss confirms plans for â??distribution mediumâ?? allowing public game sharing

Microsoft actively working towards YouTube-like games service

Chris Satchell, general manager of Microsoft’s game developer group, has revealed that Microsoft is working towards a service where users can publicly display and share XNA games.

In an exclusive two-part interview with Developmag.com, part one of which is available today, Satchell said: “It’s always been our vision since we’ve started.

“We use a music analogy – you know, it’s like we’ve given the instruments so they can go and play music now, but what’s the radio station where they can reach everyone? It’s cool that they can invite people around and play in front of them, which is sort of the Creators Club, but hey, they want to play to the world.”

The concept of a ‘XNA YouTube’, where users could share XNA-developed games for PCs and Xbox Live, has long been rumoured and talked about when discussing Microsoft’s programming framework.

Currently, PC games that use the XNA platform can be freely distributed between users, but Xbox 360 binaries can only be played by those with a subscription to the XNA Creators Club, which costs £65 per year.

In his talk at this year’s Develop conference, Satchell hinted at a more open distribution platform when he said that providing a technology base could only be a first step, and that the community needed to be seeded with content and have a viable distribution platform before it would start to flourish to the fullest extent.

“Yes, we’re actively working on how we would do [that sort of service] – the technologies required to make that happen,” confirmed Satchell, to Develop.

“We don’t have anything to announce about it yet, but I think it’s really exciting, and to me that’s the next really big step – we’ve opened up the Xbox, we’ve given a cross-platform framework, we’ve changed the paradigm of game development to make it easier.

“Now we need to provide people a stage to play on, a distribution medium so that they can show off their creativity to everyone. That’s always been our vision and remains our vision.”

Part one of the interview, which covers the Xbox Live support and other new features in the upcoming Game Studio 2.0 release, can be read here. Part two, in which Satchell discusses the future for XNA and Microsoft’s new fair-use IP rights for users, will be published tomorrow.

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