What means Series X for ID@Xbox?
We spoke with Agostino Simonetta, Director ID@Xbox Global Partnership Team, about who ID@Xbox is right for, how you can benefit from it and what’s new on
ID@Xbox with the new Xbox Series X/S.
Making Games: What are the new features of ID@Xbox with the launch of Xbox Series X/S?
Agostino Simonetta: The technology of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S enables indie developers to provide gamers with transformative gaming experiences through richer, more dynamic living worlds, more realistic AI and animations as well as support for higher frame rates including support for up to 120 fps.
Another great aspect for indie developers is our backwards compatibility. Backwards compatible titles run natively on the new hardware and automatically benefit from several new features. Auto HDR leverages an innovative HDR reconstruction technique to enhance existing SDR games with no additional work from dev teams and no impact on available CPU, GPU or memory resources. This is super convenient, especially for indie developers that do not have huge teams and resources to spend. Also, games load faster, look and perform much better – also with no additional investment from developers. Overall, the new hardware is just super useful and accessible to develop on and really benefits the workflow of indies.
How many ID@Xbox titles were in the start lineup, how many will be released in the first six months? What are the highlights?
Right now, we do not have a definitive roadmap to share for the next six months – but to say the least, a lot of exciting titles are on the way.
As for the launch lineup: Through our backwards compatible gaming catalogue, we had thousands of titles ready at launch to be played on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Some of those have received Xbox Series X|S enhancements on November 10 through Smart Delivery for free – like Manifold Garden for example.
But we also saw brand new ID@Xbox games release at launch: The Falconeer for example, an aerial combat game in which you pilot a giant wave bird in the skies above a vast open-world covered by an endless ocean. The title was created natively on the new hardware, is fully optimized for Xbox Series X|S and runs in 4K at 60fps on Xbox Series X.
Normally you buy a new console because of the better technology. Don’t indie games have a hard time attracting attention because they are usually not among the technically leading titles?
Independent games represent amazing clarity of vision and the fruits of creative freedom that only those types of games can deliver. This is true when we have a look at some of the most popular indie games of this year like Among Us or Fall Guys. Or take Minecraft for example: A game that started as an indie project with a clear and set vision, transformed itself into a global franchise becoming the most sold video game ever released.
How many titles have already been released under the program? And which three games are your favourites?
So far, more than 2,000 titles have been released through ID@Xbox generating a revenue of over 1.5 billion US-Dollars. We are very happy about the sheer variety and quality of titles and are incredibly proud of every single release. Behind every game that you see is a talented team or even a single person that wants to bring their vision to life.
As for my three favourite titles, Inside has always been a personal favourite of mine and I play Human Fall Flat very regularly at home with my family. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming launch of 12 Minutes by Luis Antonio also which will be debuting on Xbox in 2021.
To what extent does ID@Xbox benefit from the Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass is empowering players and their friends to branch out and discover new games they might not have played before or may never even have heard of. After joining Game Pass people roughly play 40% more games and more than 90% of members have played a game, they wouldn’t have tried without Game Pass – often discovering new genres they have not yet experienced. So Xbox Game Pass directly gives indie games more exposure with audiences they wouldn’t have normally been able to reach. With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offering cloud gaming on Android this becomes even more true, since games are accessible to a whole new and even bigger audience.
Can you give an overview of how many titles come from North America, how many from Asia and how many from Europe?
We can’t comment on specifics but we are really pleased with the number of developers and diverse range of studios we are working with globally and looking forward to expanding this even further in the future.
Please name the three most important reasons why a developer should become part of ID@Xbox. And which requirements you have to fulfil to be able to participate.
If you want to create a game, just apply to ID@Xbox through the official online form – it’s that easy. As for the three most important reasons to become a part of ID@Xbox I would say that First :You will have access to a powerful network of likeminded people that have the same passions and beliefs as you. Second: Benefit from our industry insights and support from one of the biggest gaming publishers and technology companies on the planet. Third: Get access to powerful tools and the latest state of the art technology that empowers you to achieve more.
Director ID@Xbox Global Partnership Team
Agostino Simonetta is the Director of the ID@Xbox Global Partnership Team. A veteran of the videogame industry, Agostino has spent the last 16 years of his career working with the independent development community. In his spare time he loves reading Mangas, seeking out local coffee shops for that all-important espresso in the mornings and enjoys spending time with his wife, two lovely daughters Julia and Sylvia and adorable pup Toffee.
What means Series X for ID@Xbox?
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