Microsoft unveils free Unity support for its independent developer publishing program on Xbox

Xbox dashboard
Xbox dashboard (Image credit: Windows Central)

Does it feel like you're forking out for tools and the means to create some content for the Xbox console (or any platform for that matter)? Microsoft may have a solution for you with its independent developer self-publishing program for Xbox One. Heard of Unity? The popular, highly rated and expensive kit will be available for free to those who are signed up for the Microsoft program.

When will developers be able to take advantage of the free Unity license? When the Xbox One add-on for Unity launches in 2014, it will be available for no cost to developers in the ID@Xbox program, as will special Unity Pro seat licenses. The idea is to provide a level playing field for all developers, while devoting marketing and promotion to promising looking titles in development.

Microsoft aims to have its Xbox One Store populated with high-quality content, whether it's produced by a 1,000 man studio or a teenager in his (or her) bedroom. This is a neat announcement for developers since the Unity add-on for Xbox One will support not only the console itself, but also Kinect, SmartGlass and even the new impulse triggers - everything's included, except the kitchen sink.

Microsoft has attempted to lower friction between the company and developers, removing as many obstacles between both parties as possible. This is just another step on that path. Here's what David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies, had to say on the deal:

“Microsoft continues to show their commitment to creating opportunity for developers of all shapes and sizes, a commitment shared by Unity. The drive behind the ID@Xbox program is exciting for Unity and the games development community in general. We can’t wait to see the results."

The add-on is also available at no extra cost to developers on Windows Phone and Windows 8, enabling content creators to release top quality games on multiple platforms. Awesome.

Source: Xbox News (opens in new tab)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • 8 days! I'm so excited! :D
  • I really hope Indie does well on the Xbox One.
  • Right now Xbox One has a better indie program than Sony. Also aside from the ID@XBox program. Every Xbox One can be a devkit! That's right a $500 devkit. A normal devkit can cost more than twice as much. Which is the case with the PS4.
  • Yup!
  • Not a developer, but anything that helps great games get made I'm all for.
  • Really good news and a smart move to dissipate some of the negative connotations associated with working with then.
    Even if they still treat devs like dirt, as long as they're showering them with perks and bonuses like this, I don't see anyone complaining
  • Add this to the fact that every retail Xbox one is a dev unit really strengthens their.stake in catering to Indies...
  • Microsofts independent developer program for Xbox should be the Windows Store.
  • You can also use it for Windows Phone and Windows Store games.
  • Three screen concurrent app/game publishing, here I come... already developing for Win8 on Unity Pro and it is really nice. Can't wait for XBOX One
  • Awesome!
  • Great! now if MS would just verify my indipendant publisher's application... It seems the big names still have the advantage.
  • I'm right in saying that indie games will now have achievements, aren't I? I think it would make a huge difference.
  • Im officially fucking stoked over this. Go Microsoft!