Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 21:21 EDT

Microsoft Pushes For User Created Xbox Games

July 23, 2008

Microsoft Corp is following the lead of popular websites Facebook and YouTube, as it begins to rely on Xbox 360 users to create new video games and broaden the types of games available on its console.

The world’s largest software maker said on Tuesday that it would begin offering “user-generated” games later this year on its online Xbox Live service. The company plans to share up to 70 percent of revenue with the game developer.

During 2006, Microsoft began offering game production tools to amateurs and hobbyists. The initiative called, “XNA”, allowed developers to make a game compatible for the Xbox, a Windows-based computer, or its Zune media player.

Advertising supported websites like Facebook and YouTube rely heavily on user-created content. However, the video game industry has focused mostly on deep-pocketed developers to create sequels or games based on licensed properties.

Facebook and YouTube do not share advertising revenue with users, but they do provide a free forum for new software applications and videos.

Microsoft does development a little bit differently. The prospective video game developer must buy a $99-a-year premium membership to the XNA Creators Club, but Microsoft offers a piece of the revenue.

Xbox Live Marketplace will sell the user created games at three different prices — the equivalent of $2.50, $5 or $10 — using Microsoft points.

The user-developed games must also pass a peer-review system, before it is ever made available at the Xbox Live store.

Chris Satchell, chief technology officer at Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business group said, “Not only are we democratizing game development with Xbox Live Community Games later this year, but we’re creating an opportunity for aspiring developers. “

Microsoft estimated the user created games will double the amount of Xbox 360 games available this fall. That’s when the Community Games section of its Xbox Live online store comes out of “beta,” or test, mode.

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