Microsoft takes “wait and see” approach to XNA business plan

XNA has given many gamers and aspiring developers a chance to make their mark and present new and unique ideas to the industry in a very open way. Gamers with a creative streak can delve into the development side of things and play with ideas until they come up with something revolutionary… for a small fee of course. Gamesindustry.biz got a chance to chat with XNA group manager Chris Satchell to go over the immediate future of the XNA release platform and he had some interesting things to say.

Most notably, and perhaps surprisingly, Microsoft has no current business plans to turn XNA into a profitable venture, ” At the moment we haven’t got business models behind it. It’s more about how we take the things that we’re great at, which is understanding developers, develop the tools, partnering with brilliant people out there in the community – how do we get that creativity pushed towards Xbox 360 and pushed towards Windows, and try to connect the games on one side with the community on the other.”

He continues, “So at the moment it’s not really about business models and transaction models and everything else, it’s about ‘let’s enable that creativity and that connection, that community’, because I think that’s what will make our platform stand out, that’s what gamers would love – with the hundreds of new games they can play with creative concepts – and that’s what creators want – they want a stage to perform their best work on. So we’ve really focused on the infrastructure to do that more than a business at the moment.”

Business is not the first thing on their mind? That seems to violently contradict the common view of Microsoft as a money hungry juggernaut bent on world domination, don’t you think? Perhaps MS is turning over a new, developer-friendly leaf, but in any case it’s nice to see that up-and-coming game creators will get their fair shot at our hard earned cash. Programs like XNA might seen be the only thing we have to freshen our palettes between triple-A titles from mega-devs like EA and Activision. Support your local garage developer, kids, they might just save the industry some day…

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