Note: Before reading this article please read Microsoft’s XNA Press Release URL http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/aug06/08-13XNAGameStudioPR.mspx entitled “Microsoft Invites the World to Create Its Own Xbox 360 Console Games for the First Time.”
Eventually this will be the world of games. Of course the major players, EA, Activision, etc. can and will survive in this changing environment, but this is the future. A time when players can alter pre-made games using their PC and then uploading it onto Xbox Live. Users rate the quality of the game so obviously you don’t want to make just a clone. Alter the physics settings, add in new 3D models, etc. BAM! You’ve got a working FPS, Racing, or sports game!
Now the foundamental gameplay wouldn’t change using the template. The template would just be the key to unlocking the door of how to 100% make your own games. Every now and then when a new gamelay mechanic comes along, Microsoft would buy the rights from the developer/hobbyist and add it to the Xbox Live developer’s template program collection.
If you can imagine this, then you can imagine what will become a reality very shortly. Whomever is able to break down this wall between players and content providers, will be rolling in the money.
Nintendo has stated that they are supporting indie developers with the Wii. Nintendo will release its online service called WiiConnect24. Sony is putting their money also on a system like Xbox Live. I’d bet that at least one of these companies has something to challenge what could become an industry dominated by Microsoft.
I was an Xbox basher all the way through its lifetime, but the 360 is another story. I’d definitely love to try out XNA. I saw the GDC 06 interface design and lets say that I won’t touch the program until they give it a game designer’s touch, instead of a programmers. Hopefully the final product will be very easy to use…