The Future of Microsoft Game Development

When Microsoft first showed off Windows 8 and its development stack, their diagram answered some lingering questions and posed a few new ones.

Win8 Platform and Tools

In the world of Indie Game Development, we had many questions. Can we make any game for Windows8 and release it in the Windows Store? Will we be tied down to C++ and DirectX? Wait a minute, where is XNA?


There have been some revisions to this diagram, which you can see on

Windows8 Platform and Tools (revised)

By now, it’s clear that we have the following options for app/game development on Microsoft’s new platform:

  • HTML5/CSS/JavaScript
  • C# and XAML
  • C++ and DirectX

Fast-forward to 2013… WIndows 8 and Windows Phone 8 have been out for several months, and a new Xbox is coming soon. On a related note, it was announced that the XNA/DirectX MVP award will be phased out in 2014.

So, what’s to become of XNA? I was recently interviewed by to discuss the future of XNA and Microsoft game development for Indies. Here is an excerpt:

”Technologies come and go, and XNA is no different. Although Microsoft won’t release updated versions of the XNA framework, that won’t stop us from using Visual Studio 2010, C# and XNA to create games that run on Windows Vista, Windows7, and even Windows8 (non-RT version). For the rest of the year, we can also continue to publish to Xbox Live Indie Games on the Xbox 360.”

You can see the full post here, including an interview with David Johnston from Smudged Cat Games, and a commentary from Oliver Radini of

Whatever happens, you can be sure that game developers will be able to continue publishing their titles on Microsoft platforms.

3 thoughts on “The Future of Microsoft Game Development

  1. Pingback: Ninja Cat Runner: My First Windows 8 Game! | Wake Up And Code!

  2. Jim Perry

    ” For the rest of the year, we can also continue to publish to Xbox Live Indie Games on the Xbox 360.”

    Just just for the rest of the year? There’s been no talk of XBLIG shutting down at the end of the year. The end of the XNA MVP award is not related to XBLIG in the least.

  3. Shahed C Post author

    You’re right. I guess I was already preparing for XNA’s demise, since there won’t be any more official support for it.

    I’m ready to learn the new tools/engines that Microsoft recommends for game development on Win8 and Xbox One.


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