Earlier this year at the Games Developers Conference (GDC) 2017, Microsoft announced the "Xbox Live Creators Program" – a new system allowing independent developers to quickly publish titles on the Xbox One. Unlike the ID@Xbox program, which comes with its own concept approval process, limitations and procedures, the Creators Program was established to offer a more direct line to the Xbox platform and its offerings.
It now appears that the first wave of Creators Program titles has hit the Xbox One, via the Alpha Ring of the Xbox Insider Program. Accessible through a subsection of the Xbox Store called "The Creators Collection," players can now get hands-on with six independently published games from early adopters of the program.
As discussed during our interview with ID@Xbox Director, Chris Charla, the games published through the Creators Program undergo significantly less curation than other Xbox One titles. While ID@Xbox developers are subject to legal ties and a closer relationship with Microsoft, the new Creators Collection is a more open avenue, essentially open to anyone. Games will have to align with certain content policies, but ultimately these new titles mark the beginning of a more open storefront, akin to mobile app marketplaces.
For those wishing to get hands-on with the titles offered by The Creators Collection, Alpha Ring Xbox Insiders can now find the store page via the "Insider content" section of Insider Hub app. Right now, three paid titles and three free titles are available, as listed below.
- Whispers in the Dark
- Stereo Aereo
- Animal Rivals
- Derelict Fleet
- Space Cat!
- Solitaire HD
While there's a range of different titles on offer, their stability is still rather questionable. During our brief testing, several of the games were ridden with stability issues and that's if they started on the console. Although this could be attributed to the in-progress nature of the Creator's Collection, this is also a by-product of offering an open and somewhat uncurated platform.
It should also be noted that while developers can charge for Xbox Live Creators Program titles, the program does set some limitations on the games available. Xbox Live sign-on and leaderboards can be leveraged, whereas achievements and multiplayer still remain perks of formally published experiences. These titles will also remain in a closed-off section of the Xbox Store going forward, to still maintain the curation expected with a console experience.
For more information on the Xbox Live Creators Program and what to expect, make sure to check out our interview with ID@Xbox Director, Chris Charla, at GDC 17. Have you managed to try out the Creators Collection on Xbox One? Let us know what you think of the new store section in the comments section.