When we started this [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 before, and we knew their work was incredibly progressive and important. We also knew that our players on Xbox loved the artistry and diversity of these developers, and that we had to do everything we could to help developers maximize their success to ensure our players were getting the best and most diverse selection of games possible Xbox ecosystem.
So we listened a lot – and learned directly from the developers what they wanted and what they needed. They were never afraid to tell us what worked and what didn’t. Innovations such as cross-play across other consoles came straight from [email protected] Partner. Based on their feedback and requests, we’ve made many changes to our backend publishing systems and even our app framework. These changes may seem mundane, but they’re really important because we want to make it possible for independent developers to easily publish their game on Xbox and PC.
The results have exceeded our wildest dreams. Since the program began, independent developers have earned more than $2.5 billion in royalties and total revenue from [email protected] Partners on Xbox has almost doubled in the last three years.
We’ve also paid hundreds of millions of dollars in Game Pass royalties to developers and publishers on Xbox. There are amazing games on Xbox (and other platforms!) today that would never have happened without the support of Game Pass members, and this is truly an incredible phenomenon. Ensuring that millions of Game Pass members can experience some of the best independent games of all time has been paramount for Xbox players and developers.
We know that talent is universal and supporting developers of all sizes, from startups, one-person studios to seasoned indie companies with multiple successful games in the market, is crucial. We’re proud that more than 4,600 developers from 94 countries around the world want to bring experiences to gamers through Xbox, including more than 1,000 developers who have 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 that we talk about a lot with developers and players is discoverability. Teams at Microsoft work every day to solve discovery challenges so gamers can find games they love and in turn make developers find audiences for their games. Whether it helps to announce games like WrestleQuest or Escape Academy millions of viewers in a /[email protected] Feature with /twitchgaming and offer developers the opportunity to feature their games on Xbox channels or include their titles in themed sales and promotions. We’re always looking for ways to connect developers with new audiences.
Game Pass is another way to encourage Xbox players to explore new genres and games. After joining, the average member plays 30% more genres and 40% more games, with the majority of those games being played outside of Game Pass.
In addition, we continually invest heavily in marketing and merchandising programs to ensure Xbox players everywhere discover the more than 3,000 independent titles available on Xbox.
At this GDC, Microsoft also introduced a new program that grew out of developer feedback – [email protected] It is led 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 every platform from iOS and Android to Switch, PlayStation and PC (and Xbox of course!) using Microsoft’s want cloud gaming services in their games. If you are a developer, please see below http://www.azure.com/id
Nine years ago we promised independent developers that we would work as hard as we could for them because we knew Xbox players would be thrilled to support their work. By no means do we consider that promise to be fulfilled, as we see our work as Xbox’s ongoing commitment to independent developers. But through [email protected], the start of [email protected]