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Microsoft Wants Users to Get Creative

 - Jul 24, 2008
References: reuters
Microsoft is setting the stage for users to create the next Xbox 360 games. Journalists are interpreting the move as a strategy alike that of Facebook and Youtube.

When Facebook opened up its API platform, the world became flooded with creative games and applications. Perhaps this sort of innovation could inject new life into the Xbox 360, much needed in the presence of the Sony PS3 and Nintendo Wii.

This isn't the first time that Microsoft tried getting users to create games. In 2006, the company launched XNA, a platform of tools for consumers to create games for Xbox 360 and Zune devices. At the time, the strategy didn't result in much success.

The new platform will be an extension of XNA, but provide a more comprehensive set of tools and marketing platform. For a $99 / year membership, consumer developers can get access to the platform AND a share of the revenue.

Chris Satchell, the Xbox 360 CTO, told Reuters, "Not only are we democratizing game development with Xbox Live Community Games later this year, but we're creating an opportunity for aspiring developers."

A new online store, specifically for user created Xbox 360 games, will be launched this fall.

Here's one example of an XNA developed game: