Microsoft Lets Xbox Live Users Build And Sell Their Own Games - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Lets Xbox Live Users Build And Sell Their Own Games

If it passes a peer review, the creator will receive up to 70% of the total revenue generated by the game.

Xbox 360 fans who think they can make better games than what's available commercially now have a chance to prove it.

Microsoft on Tuesday said it's opening up the popular console to games created by gamers using the company's XNA Game Studio software. "We're creating an opportunity for aspiring developers to start their careers on the world stage," said Chris Satchell, chief technology officer at Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment unit, in a statement.

Under the plan, individual Xbox game creators can sell titles they've made using XNA with other gamers over Microsoft's online Xbox Live service, which boasts more than 10 million users. "This will no doubt act as an incentive for game creators to continue to develop the best, most innovative games for Xbox 360," said Satchell.

Homebuilt games from members of Microsoft's XNA Creators Club will be added to the Xbox Live Marketplace if they pass a peer review, the company said. Creators will receive up to 70% of the total revenue generated by their games.

Among the homespun games that Xbox users can already share is "Little Gamers" -- a 2-D, side-scrolling action game created by a 24-year-old Belgian software programmer. There's also a puzzle game called "Trilinea" that was built by a trio of Brazilian developers. And "Rocket Ball," developed by a U.S. gamer, features a street version of dodge ball.

Microsoft is hoping that the effort will lead to an explosion in the number of titles available for the Xbox 360.

The company earlier this month introduced a new addition to its line of Xbox 360 video game consoles -- a model that features 60 GB of storage and a $349 price tag.

The 60-GB version of the Xbox 360 will hit stores in the United States and Canada starting in early August. It replaces a 20-GB version, which also sold for $349. Microsoft said it would continue to sell the 20-GB version while supplies last at a reduced price of $299.

Microsoft is looking to maintain recent Xbox sales momentum in the face of stiff competition from the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii unit. The 40-GB PlayStation 3 sells for $399, while the Nintendo Wii sells for $250.

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