When we started the [email protected] program (nearly nine years ago!), we really didn’t know much. We knew that independent developers were driving the pace of video game innovation faster than ever, and we knew that the work they were doing was incredibly progressive and important. We also knew that our Xbox players loved the art and diversity that these developers offered, and that in order to make sure that our players got the best and most diverse range of games possible, we had to do everything we could to help developers. to maximize your success in the Xbox ecosystem.
So, we listened a lot, learning directly from the developers what they wanted and what they needed. They were never shy about telling us what worked and what didn’t. Innovations like cross-play between other consoles, for example, came directly from [email protected] partners. Based on your feedback and requests, we’ve made a lot of changes to our back-end publishing systems and even our app framework. These changes may seem mundane, but they are really important as we seek to allow independent developers to easily distribute their game on Xbox and PC.
The results have exceeded our wildest dreams. Since the program’s inception, independent developers have earned more than $2.5 billion in royalties and total revenue generated from [email protected] partners on Xbox nearly doubled in the last three years. These are staggering numbers and speak to the power of independent developers.
We’ve also paid Xbox developers and publishers hundreds of millions of dollars in Game Pass license fees. There are amazing games available today on Xbox (and other platforms!) that would never have existed without the support of Game Pass members, and that has truly been an incredible phenomenon. Ensuring that millions of Game Pass members can experience some of the best indie games ever made has been transformative for Xbox gamers and developers.
We know that talent is universal, and it’s critical to support developers of all sizes, from one-person startup studios to veteran indies with multiple hit games on the market. We’re proud that more than 4,600 developers from 94 countries around the world are looking to deliver experiences to gamers through Xbox, including more than 1,000 creators who signed up for the [email protected] program in the last two years.
Even with over 3,000 independent developer games on Xbox, we still have a long way to go. One area we talk about a lot with developers and players is “discoverability.” Microsoft teams work every day to help solve discovery challenges so gamers can find the games they love, and in turn, ensure that developers find the audience for their games. Whether it’s to help advertise games like wrestling or escape academy to millions of viewers in a /[email protected] Showcase with /twitchgaming, providing opportunities for creators to feature their games on Xbox channels or include their titles in themed sales and promotions, we’re always looking for ways to connect creators with new audiences.
Game Pass is another avenue that helps encourage Xbox gamers to discover new genres and games. After joining, the average member plays 30% more genres and 40% more games, and most of those games are outside of Game Pass.
Beyond that, we’re investing heavily in marketing and merchandising programs all the time to ensure that Xbox gamers everywhere discover the more than 3,000 indie titles available on Xbox.
At this GDC, Microsoft also introduced a new program that grew out of developer feedback: [email protected] It is directed by Nick Ferguson, Director of [email protected](which was an original [email protected] team member back in 2013, when we were just a virtual team with an idea), and it’s for developers on any platform, from iOS and Android to Switch, PlayStation, and PC (and Xbox, of course!) who want to use Microsoft’s services. cloud gaming in your games. If you are a developer, please check it out at http://www.azure.com/id
Nine years ago, we made a promise to independent developers that we would work as hard as we could on their behalf, because we knew Xbox gamers would love to support their work. In no way do we consider that promise fulfilled, because we see our work as an ongoing commitment by Xbox to independent developers. but through [email protected], the launch of [email protected]our work with Game Pass and beyond to help developers bring their games to Xbox, and with the community’s response to the amazing games we’re seeing coming to the platform, we feel like we’re making progress in the right direction.