A couple of hours ago, Microsoft had announced the Xbox One Dev Kit Mode in a bid to further their Universal Windows Platform agenda. However, the new mode is going to miss out on one of the key features that would have made it even more exciting i.e. open game development.
By bringing the UWP to Xbox One, Microsoft is opening the gates to developers but at the same time they are being restrictive about it so that the identity and placement of their ID@Xbox program is not affected.
According to ArsTechnica, since Microsoft already has a partner program and independent developer scheme, they are asking developers who want to submit games to become a part of the iD@Xbox program instead.
In their eyes, this is not really as open as Windows developer registration is.
So the Xbox One dev kit mode does let you make all sorts of apps including games, but the fact that there is a dev kit mode doesn’t mean you can jump to development, the ID@Xbox membership is still a prereq.
Chris Charla, the director of ID@Xbox clarifies that you have to pass your game through their program and pay a royalty fee if you want it on the console. However, this is one major step ahead at inviting more developers to work with them.
If they want to use Xbox Live on Windows, or release a game on Xbox One, they can work with ID@Xbox to enable Xbox Live for their title or bring it to Xbox One. If a developer has a game that they want to publish, they apply to ID@Xbox, tell us about the game, and once the concept is approved we sign a contract. Then as they get closer, we help them out getting through certification. We also do promotion of the game at events like what we had at GDC, where we invite a lot of press.
We are hoping to see many more creations with the Xbox One dev kit mode.