There's already been some pretty interesting news coming out of Xbox at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, but Microsoft's latest initiative, called the Xbox Live Creators Program, should make independent UWP developers pretty happy. At its core, the program is a streamlined certification process meant to help developers quickly publish Xbox Live-enabled games on both Xbox One and Windows 10.

Xbox Live

While Xbox Live integration may not sound like much on the surface, it comes with some pretty clear and substantial benefits. From Microsoft:

With the Creators Program, anyone can integrate Xbox Live sign-in, presence, and social features into their UWP games, then publish their game to Xbox One and Windows 10. This means their title can see exposure to every Xbox One owner across the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio this holiday, as well as hundreds of millions of Windows 10 PCs, and millions of folks using the Xbox app on mobile platforms.

It should be pointed out that this new program won't mean a sudden influx of mobile games and the like from the Windows 10 Store suddenly appearing on Xbox, as there's a certain level of Xbox integration required. And while the Creators Program supports things like Xbox sign-in and social features, it leaves out things like achievements and multiplayer that are supported through ID@Xbox. You can see a side-by-side comparison of the two in the chart below:

ID@Xbox vs Xbox Live

Ultimately, Microsoft says, the Creators Program will let UWP developers keep using the same tools they've been using to access a much larger audience across Windows and Xbox One. Crucially, that means they won't require an Xbox de kit to get started developing for the console. Should developers want more support and development resources from Microsoft, it sounds like developers will be able to upgrade to the ID@Xbox program if they wish. Still, the simplified certification of the program should mean a much easier path to publishing.

The program is currently in preview, but for more, you can read about the Xbox Live Creators program and learn how to sign up at Microsoft.