Xbox.com Developer FAQs



Sections:

I have a great idea for….

  • Q: I have a fantastic idea for Microsoft that doesn't fall into any of the other questions here. Where can I send it?
    A:  You can email omc@microsoft.com.

  • Q: I am a game developer and have a game proposal. Who can I pitch it to at Microsoft Studios?
    A: You can email gamesub@microsoft.com. Unfortunately due to the high volume of unsolicited game proposals we receive, we are not able to respond to each and every submission. If your ideas are of interest to us, somebody will respond to your email. In order to raise your chances of success, we look for fully-fleshed out game proposals from experienced developers.

  • Q:  I want to develop a Kinect game, who do I talk to?
    A: Thank you for your interest in supporting the Kinect platform. Please review the processes above for other game submissions. Please note that a playable demo of your game will be required at the time of submission.

  • Q: I have an accessories idea for the Xbox. How can I get it authorized by Microsoft?
    A: Microsoft accepts voluntary submissions of content or concepts from third parties (which must not contain any confidential information). However, we may choose to develop, promote or offer products that compete with your product or concept. Since we receive so many submissions, most unsolicited concepts are reviewed without action by Microsoft. (There’s no guarantee that we’ll use your content or concept, and won’t compensate you unless we otherwise agree at a later date).

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Academia, students, educators and universities:

  • Q: I’m a student looking to get into the games industry, what should I do?
    A: There are many online resources for students who would like to make a career of game development. A great place to start is with the Microsoft Student site at www.microsoft.com/student. Not only will you find great student deals and opportunities to boost your productivity, but there are also many activities and tools to help you take developing to the next level. In particular, there are many software titles available for students to download through the DreamSpark program, available at http://www.dreamspark.com. DreamSpark is dedicated to delivering the latest software development titles (such as Visual Studio, Windows Server, XNA Game Studio, Windows Phone SDKs, and more) to students, all at no charge.

    Also, a general resource to visit is the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) homepage where you can find articles, forums, competitions, and local development clubs.  Students may also be interested in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2012 Game Design: Xbox/Windows Competition, which gives you the opportunity to learn the art of video game design and allows you to showcase your talent on the world stage – your first steps toward a career in game development. Changing the world just became a little more fun! Sign up and get started building your game today.

  • Q: I am a student and want to learn on a dev kit, how or where do I get one?
    A:  We currently do not offer dev kits to students or Universities. Dev kits licenses are only offered to professional game development companies that have passed our rigorous qualification process.

  • Q: Does Microsoft offer internships or hire new college graduates in the field of game development?
    A:Yes – we do both! Internships at Microsoft Studios provide students an opportunity to be part of a first-class entertainment internship that provides real-world experience (and pay!). New college graduates also have unique opportunities with entry level positions designed to give training and career growth before hitting the ground on a development team. Your first stop should be to visit the Microsoft Careers site and navigate to the Students and Graduates area. New college graduate positions and internships for Microsoft Studios are listed in the “User Experience” section, where we encourage you to upload your resume.

  • Q: How can educators and universities get involved in game development?
    A: For educational institutions who are interested in making game development part of their program, we encourage you to visit the Microsoft Faculty Connection portal, which provides information on course materials, learning activities, presentations, and reference information. In addition, please consider becoming involved with the Foundations of Digital Games annual conference and becoming a Faculty Mentor in the annual Imagine Cup worldwide game development competition. Link: www.microsoft.com/education/facultyconnection

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Xbox Developer Programs:

  • Q: I heard that Xbox now allows self-publishing. Is this true?
    A: Yes! Developers may now publish games on Xbox One independently of a publisher. For more information on this program, please visit www.xbox.com/id.

  • Q: I am a tools or middleware company and I want to be approved for Xbox One, who do I talk to?
    A: For more information about the Microsoft Tools and Middleware Program, please visit http://www.xbox.com/en-US/developers/xbox/tools.

  • Q: I'm an Xbox developer. Can you provide recommendations for testing resources?
    A: The Authorized Xbox Test Program (AXTP) consists of Microsoft qualified, third-party testing companies that have demonstrated their ability to test Xbox 360, Live apps, and Xbox Live on Windows and Windows Phone games for compliance and functional requirements in a secure environment. Game developers have access to the complete list of AXTP Vendors on the Game Developer Network Portal at https://developer.xboxlive.com/en-us/xbox/resources/thirdparty/Pages/Xbox360TestVendors.aspx.

  • Q: Interested in Authorized Xbox Test Program (AXTP)?
    A: The Program is only open to new Vendors during an annual application cycle. If you would like to be considered in the next application window, send your company name, Web site address, and email contact details to axtpinq@microsoft.com.

  • Q:  I want to be a certified Xbox publisher. How do I do that?
    A: Companies interested in becoming a publisher for the Xbox gaming platform should write an email to newpub@microsoft.com. Interested companies will be required to show a strong commitment to retail products and a solid plan for multiple Xbox titles. Applicants will be asked to share that plan along with information about their company’s history and experience.

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Microsoft Studios:

  • Q: How do I get a job at Microsoft testing games?
    A: To apply for employment at Microsoft, please follow this link: www.microsoft.com/careers.

  • Q: I am an unsigned developer and have developed an Xbox game. How can I submit it to Microsoft for distribution?
    A: In order to distribute your game on either Xbox retail disc or Xbox LIVE Arcade ("XBLA"), you need to work with a licensed publisher. If you would like to submit your game to Microsoft Studios for publishing evaluation, please review the page at http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Developers, including our submission policy. In order to raise your chances of success, we recommend submitting when you have a playable demo of your game (or actual gameplay videos, at minimum).
    All game developers are required to sign our mutual NDA prior to sharing detailed documentation and game builds.

    You can also self-publish to the Xbox through the Xbox Independent Publishing program. For more information please contact us at webgames@microsoft.com.

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WINDOWS (PC/Tablet)

  • Q: Why would I work with Microsoft Studios on a Windows game?
    A: As a publisher, Microsoft Studios can offer production, test, localization, marketing and more for your product.

  • Q: I don’t need a publisher, but I do want Xbox Live in my game. How do I do that?
    A:
    Currently Xbox Live on Windows is only available to developers working with Microsoft Studios or other publishing partners. There is not a freely distributed SDK or service available unless you are working with Microsoft Studios or another of the Live publishing partners.

  • Q: Would Microsoft Studios consider publishing my game if it’s already released for PC, console, tablet, mobile or handheld platforms?
    A:
    Yes.

  • Q: Is Microsoft Studios interested in working with developers who have created games for non-Windows platforms, such as web, mobile, tablet or console?
    A:
    Yes.

  • Q: Is Microsoft Studios interested in original game concepts?
    A:
    Yes, definitely. It is important to note that for original proposals we strongly consider developer experience creating successful commercial games. Additionally, a great prototype or demo of the concept running on Windows 8 is helpful for us if you do not have an extensive track record of creating commercial games.

  • Q: What kinds of features do you look for in games for Windows (PC/Tablet)?
    A:
    We are most interested in games that demonstrate innovative, compelling use of:

  • Q: What is the development process like when working with Microsoft Studios?
    A:
    Developers generally create games using C++ and DirectX 11.1 in the Metro style. See this guide on getting started with games development for Windows 8 and Metro.

  • · Games published under the Microsoft Studios label undergo a series of quality assurance reviews during development to ensure games adhere to our publishing quality guidelines. You will work with Microsoft Studios to determine a development schedule tailored to fit your product and studio needs. Separately, before commercial release, games must be certified by both Xbox LIVE and the Windows Store software marketplace.
    Before submitting anything to Microsoft, please review Microsoft’s submissions policy.

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WINDOWS PHONE

  • Q: Why would I work with Microsoft Studios on a Windows Phone game?
    A: As a publisher, Microsoft Studios offers production, test, localization, and marketing and more for your product. Our games also have access to Xbox LIVE services for Windows Phone.

  • Q: I just want Xbox LIVE in my game. How do I do that?
    A: At this time, Xbox LIVE services are only available to a specific list of publishing partners. Microsoft Studios is one publisher for Windows Phone. If you do not work with Microsoft Studios, you may work with any of the other approved publishing partners. Microsoft Studios does not manage the Xbox LIVE platform or services.

  • Q: Will Microsoft Studios publish my game if it’s already released for other mobile or handheld platforms, or for Windows Phone?
    A: Yes.

  • Q: Is Microsoft Studios interested in working with developers who have created games for non-mobile platforms, such as web, PC, or console?
    A: Yes.

  • Q: What is the development process like when working with Microsoft Studios?
    A: Developers generally create games using C# and XNA. Check out this article on the App Hub on the Windows Phone Developer Training Kit.

  • Games published under the Microsoft Studios label undergo a series of quality assurance reviews during development to ensure games adhere to our publishing quality guidelines. You will work with Microsoft Studios to determine a development schedule tailored to fit your product and studio needs. Separately, before commercial release, games must be certified by both Xbox LIVE and the Windows Phone marketplace.

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WEB GAMES

  • Q: How do I distribute my web game on Microsoft platforms?
    A: We are currently accepting single-player Flash games for distribution on MSN Games. For consideration, please email casualgamesub@microsoft.com with information about your company. (Note: Do not send unsolicited game concepts or pitches to us. We cannot and will not evaluate unsolicited game materials. Further, due to the high volume of submissions, there may be a delay in response, but we intend to read and respond to all incoming mail.)

    Xbox LIVE Web Games on Xbox.com can be single- or multi-player, developed in Flash or HTML5. In order to distribute your web game on Xbox.com, you need to work with a licensed publisher. If you would like to submit your game to Microsoft Studios for publishing evaluation, please email webgames@microsoft.com with information about your company. (Note: Do not send unsolicited game concepts or pitches to us. We cannot and will not evaluate unsolicited game materials. Further, due to the high volume of submissions, there may be a delay in response, but we intend to read and respond to all incoming mail.)

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