GDC: Microsoft Launches Xbox Live Community Games

Now anyone can get their game up on Xbox Live Arcade.

There’s no denying that Xbox Live Arcade games are often more fun than many of the full blown titles available on the platform. However, as good as official Live Arcade games are, many indie games out there are even better and Microsoft knows it, hence the launch of Xbox Community.

The premise is simple: developers, be they one person in a bedroom or a larger group, can produce games using the XNA (a recursive acronym standing for XNA’s Not Acronymed) Game Studio released last year and then distribute them via the Live Marketplace. While doing so isn’t free, the annual $99 fee required to join the XNA Creators Club isn’t extortionate to allow Xbox 360 access – especially as this isn’t required to actually create a game, only to distribute it.

The service will rely on user input to decide what games are worthy of accolade and which need to go back to the drawing board. Users will be able to play and rate games and those reaching a certain level of rating will be submitted for full-scale distribution. Quite how this system will work, and how the service will work as a business model, hasn’t been ironed out yet but Microsoft is working on the issue.

To actually play the games you’ll first need to download the XNA Creators Club Launcher which then allows you to download and play individual titles. The initial line-up includes dodgeball game “RocketBall” and the puzzle game “JellyCar” – the latter one I can’t wait to get my hands on because it looks insanely fun. If you want a glimpse at the games available you can check out this video on Gametrailers. Otherwise, what are you waiting for? Get downloading!

Xbox Live Community Games

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