Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program to gradually encourage more self-publishing

microsofts idxbox program to gradually encourage more self publishing idatxbox

Microsoft promised to reveal more of its approach in the next-gen to handling indie developers at Gamescom 2013, and that promise was kept in the console-maker’s kickoff presentation. Sort of. The Independent Developers @ Xbox program – or ID@Xbox – now has a name, as well as a scant bit of information on how to register and how indie offerings will be treated differently in the Xbox One’s marketplace. However, this isn’t a call of encouragement to all developers everywhere that many had hoped it would be.

The most concrete detail relates to the console’s online marketplace: the notion of separate sections for Arcade titles, Games On Demand, and the XBLIG library is finished. Now, all games will be lumped into a single, all-inclusive space no matter who made or published them. New sections of the store like Trending, Recommendations, and Spotlight all aim to help with discoverability. These all might seem like common sense improvements to anyone that regularly uses the likes of Netflix or Spotify, but they’re necessary changes to online retail policies that were established in 2006 when the Xbox 360 launched.

An info page on provides more information about how ID@Xbox works, but here’s a summary. In the early days, Microsoft is asking that only indies with “a proven track record of shipping games on console, PC, mobile, or tablet” apply for developer status. Accepted applicants will receive two Xbox One development kits at no charge as well as all of the tools necessary to build games for the console.

Yes, development kits. Although Microsoft’s Marc Whitten confirmed in late-July 2013 that “every Xbox One can be used for development,” that’s not the way things are going to be at launch. The info page confirms that Whitten’s promise is still very much the goal, but there’s no timetable for when developers might be able to register their retail boxes for use as devkits.

In terms of how any of this impacts you, the gamer, the answer is “very little,” at least in the short-term. A less segmented online marketplace is good for everyone, but Microsoft’s vague revelations about how ID@Xbox works is too heavy on the PR and too light on actual details. The Xbox One may well turn into an indie paradise over time … or it could end up being just another closed marketplace, complete with its own set of hurdles and headaches for creator-types to overcome.


Eat your way to a limited-edition Xbox One X in new Taco Bell contest

If you like the idea of a limited-edition Xbox One X that makes Taco Bell's famous "bong" sound every time it starts up, then you need to enter a new contest launched by the fast-food chain and Microsoft without delay.

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

Grab a comfy saddle — ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ campaign clocks in at 60 hours

According to Rockstar Games co-founder and head writer Dan Houser, Red Dead Redemption 2 features a 60-hour story. Houser said "superfluous" content was removed from the game. It launches October 26 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

From Blackout to Zombies, here's everything we know about 'Black Ops 4'

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. Here's everything you need to know about the game, including info on multiplayer, Zombies, Blackout, and Signature Weapons.

Epic Games sues ‘Fortnite’ YouTuber creators over cheating software

Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against two YouTube users for their role in promoting cheating and hacking tools for Fortnite via a YouTube channel and personal website. As of now, the channel is still live.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Emerging Tech

Light-swallowing room promises Call of Duty fans the blackest of ops

What's it like to be in a room fully painted with the world's darkest material, Vantablack? The makers of one of the year's top video games teamed up with Vantablack scientists to find out.

Terrifying clowns try to kill you in this teaser for ‘PUBG’ Halloween event

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds seems to be getting a frightening Halloween event. In a brief teaser, we get a glimpse of two masked assailants, creepy nurses, and an utterly terrifying clown that looks something like Pennywise.

Huawei thinks its Mate 20 X is better than the Nintendo Switch

Huawei positioned its Mate 20 X, a gaming-centric smartphone, as a Nintendo Switch killer, calling it "the best portable gaming machine." The Mate 20 X has better design specs than the Switch, but it also comes with a steep price.

You can preload ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ soon, and you definitely should

Red Dead Redemption 2's launch is quickly approaching. If you're planning on buying a digital version, you should keep in mind that the file size is roughly 90GB. Thankfully, you can preload the game starting October 19

These guns will literally blow away the competition in Black Ops 4's Blackout

Finding a good weapon in Black Ops 4's Blackout mode is hard, especially when there are so many options. Whether you like to get up close or keep some distance between you and your enemies, here are the best guns in Blackout.

Wings on the bus: ‘Fortnite’ Battle Bus now sends you to your death even faster

A new update for Fortnite: Battle Royale has made the starting Battle Bus significantly faster, meaning you can get killed by a better player even faster than you could up until now.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

Dinner is cancelled! How to keep Call of Duty's zombies from eating your brain

New to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Zombies mode and don't know how to succeed? We've got the tips you need to blast away at the undead and keep yourself alive for longer, even without other players helping.