The program aims to empower underrepresented creators with the resources and information needed to bring their creativity, innovation, and originality to Xbox.
Xbox has set out to reach billions of gamers, which means creating gaming experiences that appeal to new audiences. Because players expect new stories, experiences, and mechanics, we are actively seeking out and empowering developers with unique perspectives to create games that appeal to the diverse audiences on Xbox.
In 2019, we saw an opportunity to bring more games to Xbox from underrepresented creators. The team took action by carving out funding to ensure that new developers with diverse perspectives and unique content had the resources needed to bring their games to Xbox. More specifically, we offered non-recoupable funding to help teams offset the cost of porting their games. This effort has since helped 100 emerging independent developers offset the cost of bringing their games to players on Xbox, allowing players to enjoy titles like Onsen Master, ValiDate and Paper Ghost Stories 7PM.
Today, we are publicly announcing the [email protected] Developer Acceleration Program. The program’s mission is to empower underrepresented creators with the resources and information needed to bring their creativity, innovation, and originality to Xbox. We aim to achieve this mission by focusing on the following areas.
Porting: For emerging developers the investment required to release on multiple platforms can easily conflict with other priorities such as further development, polish, or marketing. For this reason, the funding offered by the Developer Acceleration Program is non-recoupable and does not require exclusivity or company equity. Instead, it is intended to help developers find success on the platform by offsetting their porting investment. Offers are unique to each developer’s situation and take into account the developer’s need and experience.
Information: In addition to funding, participating developers gain access to information and best practices in the form of monthly webinars called Green Room events where developers engage with members of team Xbox covering topics like game lifecycle, marketing tips, certification prep and more. These topics are not exclusive to the program, but the goal is to create an environment where new teams can connect directly with subject matter experts and ask questions in an open and welcoming environment.
Prototypes: Many underrepresented developers have lacked access to resources and networks to get their ideas off the ground. The Developer Acceleration Program is piloting a prototype initiative with the goal of partnering with a small number of promising developers with great ideas and offering the funding and support needed for the teams to create a prototype that accurately communicates their vision. The funding offered is non-recoupable.
We are excited to announce the program as a way of ensuring that we are reaching the developers that most need our support. By removing longstanding barriers to entry for creators and normalizing diverse storylines and characters in gaming, both players and developers win.
The types of developers that we seek to support includes but is not limited to developers who are led by those from Black, Indigenous, Latino or LGBTQIA+ communities, women, developers with disabilities, developers from emerging markets or teams with unique perspectives. This also includes independent developers working on a game that responsibly centers the experience around diverse characters or that prioritizes accessibility. You can find a collection of available games that are part of this program here, or on the Microsoft Store on Xbox.
If this is you, we invite you to contact us at [email protected]. Our team will follow up with next steps to being the application process.