While celebrating the third anniversary of its ID@Xbox program this week, Microsoft announced that “tons” of independently produced Xbox One games will hit Windows 10 over the next several years, with many “amazing” titles premiering by the end of 2016.
The publisher also announced plans to introduce a Windows 10 version of its Steam Early Access-styled Xbox Game Preview program, allowing PC gamers to preview and purchase in-development games before their official release.
Microsoft launched its ID@Xbox program in 2013 in a bid to attract independent developers and publishers to its Xbox One console. As part of the program, enrolled developers get free devkits and access to Unity middleware, along with support and publishing assistance from Microsoft and other affiliated companies.
Recent firmware updates for the Xbox One also made it easier for hobbyists to test their projects on retail units, among other developer-friendly additions. More than 300 ID@Xbox games have hit the Xbox One to date, including recent standouts like Playdead’s Inside, Psyonix’s Rocket League, and Versus Evil’s The Banner Saga.
“More than 300 games have shipped on Xbox One via the ID@Xbox program since Strike Suit Zero debuted in April 2014, and there are more than 1,000 (way more than 1,000!) games in development today for Xbox One and Windows 10,” ID@Xbox program director Chris Charla stated. “We’ve seen multiple million-sellers, and independent developers working through ID@Xbox have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in sales revenue in the Xbox Store.”
Charla additionally outlined Microsoft’s plans to introduce its Game Preview program on Windows 10 PCs starting later this year with the launch of Rockfish’s Everspace. Originally introduced as Xbox Game Preview in 2015, the Early Access-inspired program allowed in-progress Xbox One games like Elite: Dangerous, The Long Dark, and Sheltered to be sold digitally via the Xbox Store prior to completion.
“I’m super happy that we’re enabling PC gamers to preview and purchase work-in-progress digital titles, participate in the development process and help developers make Windows 10 games the best they can be,” Charla said. “We’ll have lots more games to talk about in Game Preview for Windows 10 soon.”