CVG has published an internal Microsoft email which shows XNA and DirectX will be retired from its ‘MVP Award Program’. The email reads: “The purpose of the communication is to share information regarding the retirement of XNA/DirectX as a Technical Expertise.” It also states that: “Presently, the XNA Game Studio is not in active development and DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology.”
The XNA framework was put into place as a development tool for those wishing to publish content on the 360’s Xbox Live Indie Marketplace, and has been used in many published titles, most notably the initially platform-exclusive Bastion and Fez. And while the cited email leaves little room for speculation on the future of the current software, there is no word yet on a potential replacement for indie development, leading some to speculate whether Microsoft plans to phase out the Indie Game Marketplace as well.
“What will be interesting will be to see if Microsoft replace XNA with another newbie-friendly technology, which seems unlikely, or if they will persist with XBLIG for the next-gen using their other technologies,” a development source quoted to CVG. “No-one wants to learn a dying technology, and a big part of XNA’s appeal was the prospect of selling a game on Xbox Live, even if that wasn’t the most commercially-sensible thing to do. If there are no advocates of the technology, and we infer from the lack of internal support in Microsoft that there will be no XBLIG on the next-gen machine, there is no-one to drive XNA adoption and no incentive to learn it.”
While the email also claims the DirectX technology is “no longer evolving”, a US-based representative informed Polygon that there are no plans to phase out the technology as of yet.
Report filed by Thomas Coutts