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

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a 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 on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.