According to CVG, Microsoft sent out a mass email earlier this week, in which the company states it has decided to discontinue its XNA platform.
For those who don’t know, XNA is a tool kit many of these studios use to make games for Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox Live, so without it, XBLA may no longer be an attractive option for devs with a tighter than average budget.
The news is leading to some to speculate this could mean either Microsoft is phasing out XNA in order to make way for a new and improved tool kit designed for the “Durango” or it could be a sign that Microsoft is planning to cut the Xbox Live Indie Games section from the Marketplace.
I’m really hoping it’s the former rather than the latter. I know the indie games section has its fair share of crap on it but there’s plenty of cool stuff on there if you look hard enough. Not too mention there’s also plenty of fantastic XBLA games like Fez, Dust: An Elysian Tale, and Bastion that have been developed using XNA as well, so this decision could potentially prevent a lot of talented people from developing for the Xbox brand.
So my fingers are crossed for the reveal of an XNA successor, cause if Microsoft is going to hurt the indie developers who helped build XBLA as a marketable platform, it’s going to shoot itself in the foot.