Microsoft is gradually yet surely destroying the barriers it had set up at the start of its Xbox One reveal. In an announcement today, the company revealed that developers creating games through its ID@Xbox program will be able to receive the Unity engine license for free.
For comparison, console licenses can run up in the thousands of dollars, so this should take a load off small companies. This makes the effort more than just a status quo of implementing needless obstacles in the first place.
Upon the Xbox One’s first reveal, the community was in uproar about the lack of self-publishing on the new console, especially since Sony did allow it for PS4.
Prior to today’s announcement, Microsoft already offered the same deal to developers publishing under its own banner. Now, this arrangement extends to any developer wanting to create games for the Xbox One, through the ID@Xbox program.
An Xbox One update to the Unity engine is planned for early 2014.
The ID@Xbox program will allow its users to develop with Unity’s pro tools and the engine will even include a specifically crafted version for Xbox One. Through this dedicated version, developers will be able to integrate the Xbox One’s new controller triggers, but also its auxiliary programs like Kinect and SmartGlass.
Leaving no stone unturned, the free license will also be available for Windows Phone and Windows 8 games.
Unity has always had ease of use in mind for its engine. It’s one of the most versatile and widely used development tools to date and recently announced a collaboration with Facebook to bring full-fledged games to its platform.
In a prior agreement, Unity also offered free licenses to Wii U developers, to help Nintendo increase its third party support.