Microsoft launch XNA Game Studio Express, XNA Creators Club, and Dream-Build-Play game creation competition

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We’ve reported on the XNA Game Studio Express before, and today Microsoft released this software that allows anyone to create their own Xbox 360 game using Windows XP.

They’ve also launched the XNA Creators Club, and a global game development competition called “Dream-Build-Play” in which the winner’s game will be published on Xbox Live Arcade.

Now, whilst anyone can theoretically build a game from scratch, it doesn’t sound like a complete no-brainer. Microsoft say:

“XNA Game Studio Express is based on the easy-to-use Visual C#(R) 2005 Express Edition and Microsoft .NET Compact Framework. A subscription to XNA Creators Club provide aspiring game developers with access to thousands of game assets from Microsoft and key supporters such as Turbo Squid Inc., as well as white papers, specialized starter kits, samples and technical product support to help turn Your World, Your Game into a reality.”

That’s starting to sound complicated. Still, the $49 (4 month) or $99 (annual) subscription could make game development more easily accessible to those who aspire to it.

“Xbox Live Arcade has opened up a wealth of new publishing opportunities for established and independent developers alike, so it made perfect sense to also extend this privilege to hobbyists and amateur programmers,” said Greg Canessa, group manager of Xbox Live Arcade at Microsoft. “We have a tremendous opportunity to shine the spotlight on up-and-coming talent through the ‘Dream-Build-Play’ contest, and we can’t wait to share their creativity with our gaming community around the world.”

The contest begins on the 2nd January 2007.

Dream-Build-Play

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Andy Merrett