For many Indie developers, the thought of having a set of programming language tools as flexible as XNA to work with is a bonus. The underlying .Net framework is relatively easy to use if you have some experience of games-making and it underpins the Xbox Indie Games market, such is its popularity.
Microsoft have announced that as of the 1st of April 2014, XNA Game Studio Tools will be officially retired. Apart from anything else, the new Windows 8 “Metro” interface does not support it and neither does Windows RT, the mobile side of the current Windows family. I can only surmise that the new Xbox software will be in a similar compatibility situation.
Does this herald a new era for the Indie developer for the new Xbox hardware that is incoming soon and where does this leave Indie developers such as Psychotic Psoftware, in the midst of developing their games for the current market? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain, the currently updated version will be its last incarnation, a move which has disappointed many.
Monogame, the team behind the open source version of the XNA framework have commented to Gamasutra;
“Microsoft have essentially turned their backs on 10,000 developers on one of the most promising gaming APIs available today. Everyone knew it was coming, but were secretly hoping that Microsoft were going to spring a surprise XNA 5 on them. Essentially, with no movement on XNA for more than a year and the key Microsoft developers moving on to other projects, it was wishful thinking to expect anything but this.”
CEO of Unity, David Helgason took to Twitter:
“Farewell XNA, you were never quite the worthy opponent I expected, though you hit some high notes along the way.”
XNA has been around since 2004/5, with the latest version, 4.0, being released in 2010.
Are you going to be affected by the retiring of XNA? Let us know below.