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Feature: 'Microsoft Game Studio's Shane Kim on XNA Studio Express'

For today's Gamasutra feature, Microsoft Game Studio's Shane Kim discusses the future of XNA Studio Express, fan reaction to Shadowrun, and the challenges facing indie Live
For today's Gamasutra feature, Microsoft Game Studio's Shane Kim discusses the future of XNA Studio Express, fan reaction to Shadowrun, and the challenges facing indie Live Arcade developers, in the first half of our two-part interview. In this excerpt, Kim explains, as much as Microsoft can yet reveal, specifics on how the XNA strategy, through the use of Xbox Live, can live up to its 'YouTube of Games' potential: "We're not ready to talk about those plans in detail yet, but, as an update, we are definitely making progress. We feel even more confident in the fact that we'll be able to start delivering solutions to not only our creators out there, but also to gamers who want an alternative type of creative content. The backbone of that entire service will be Xbox Live. We just announced this week that we've exceeded six million members for the Xbox Live network. Games for Windows Live is now taking that service over to the Windows platform, where we've got more than two million gamers. If you combine those two platforms, that ability to use that as a backbone -- as an infrastructure -- to deploy community-created games -- that's what we're excited about. Enabling that "YouTube for gamers" model is completely based on an integrated experience and is possible for all commercial games and community games." And while Kim wasn't prepared to give out firm numbers for the percentage of developers currently working on or sharing their XNA creations to date, Kim did say that "based upon forum activity and the types of games people are submitting and sharing, that the vast majority of them are first-time game developers." "We're seeing lots of testimonials being posted where users say, "I've tried developing with other tools before, but this is the first time I've succeeded and I actually have a game." That excitement just carries on, and they're making a second and a third game as they get better and better and learn more and more." You can now read the full Gamasutra interview with more from Kim on Xbox Live, and how 'Sony has helped us with their own missteps' (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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