The ID@Xbox program has a wealth of titles from independent developers. Very often, there's a good few hidden gems in there which might otherwise have been overlooked. Xbox are understandably proud of their unique publishing arm and the developers within it – they have paid out $1.2 billion to developers in sales of their games since the program's launch.
Corrections have been made to this article to clarify that Xbox have paid $1.2 billion back to developers in sales of the developers' games, rather than in funding. Chris Charla clarified this on Twitter.
In an interview with Kotaku, ID@Xbox Director Chris Charla said "We've paid more than $US1.2 billion (AU$1.7 billion) to independent developers this generation for games that have come through the ID program". Charla continued, saying "There's great commercial opportunity. There's great artist opportunity." Many massively popular games have come through the ID@Xbox program, such as Stardew Valley, Cuphead, Overcooked and Slay the Spire, and so it's clearly an effective program. Charla said that at first it was just "two or three people in a three metre by three metre space", but that now they feel they've accomplished their aim, "which was to have devs have it as easy as possible to have their games shipped on Xbox One."
That massive AU$1.7 billion going back to developers' wallets seems to be reflected in the increasing critical and commercial success of independent developers in general. Charla says they've "seen some independent studios who are now approaching the 30 person level and doing bigger games...They're exploring more multiplayer games, and areas that traditional games have done." The success of the ID@Xbox program is clear to see. In a letter on the ID@Xbox website, Charla stated that almost 400 titles were put out by the program in 2018 alone, helping them reach over 1,000 titles launched via ID@Xbox. The current generation has benefited from the investment in ID@Xbox, and it's interesting to think what the future may hold for the program.
Check out our full list of ID@Xbox games to judge for yourselves how well all of that money has been spent. A large proportion of ID@Xbox games end up in the Xbox Game Pass as well, so make sure to sign up if you want to sample a bunch at no additional cost.
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