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 Xbox One Early Access programme is a possibility, says ID@Xbox director

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Heartlezz Crazh

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Join date : 2014-07-11
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PostSubject: Xbox One Early Access programme is a possibility, says ID@Xbox director   Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:47 am


Ever hear of Steam? It's this indie PC storefront that's taken off in, I don't know, the last 50 years, or something. According to reports, Steam originates from a Valve, and now includes an Early Access programme whereby developers can release - and even sell - incomplete versions of their games. Sometimes this results in what is commonly known as "doing a Minecraft", where players effectively become co-developers, paying to contribute to the evolution of a brilliant game. Sometimes, however, you get burned.

According to ID@Xbox boss Chris Charla, many developers would like to see a similar programme on Xbox platforms. The issue is at boiling point, one might say. "Right now on Xbox One and Xbox 360, you can do betas. A lot of games do, and some games do private betas," he told Develop recently.

"When we talk about early access, it typically means a game that you buy and it evolves over time to become 1.0, so you're buying it before it's 1.0 - Minecraft on PC is a perfect example. It's something developers have been asking for, and we are listening really closely to developers, but I don't have anything to announce on that right now."

There's a problem, though: developer support for an unfinished Early Access game may "evaporate" overnight, as earlier promises turn out to be so much hot (steam-filled) air, causing fan outrage to "condense" into a "stream" of complaints that "dampen" the wider market's enthusiasm for such programmes. Charla would rather this doesn't happen on Xbox One, if it's all the same with you.

"It's a really interesting issue with digital marketplaces, and it's something our store and marketplace team think about all the time," he said. "There's a lot of heavy deep thinkers, experts, PhDs working on these problems at Xbox every day - not just for the Xbox store, but for Windows Store and Windows Phone. Our goal is to have a rational marketplace, where good games are visible and sell well."

Here's something else developers are asking for on Xbox One - the ability to sell digital games back to the publisher. I'd ask for lower digital game prices, too, but that might get me into hot water. Read our last interview with Chris Charla for more about the ID@Xbox programme.

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