XNA Creators Club: see your game on XBLA

Announced months ago, the XNA Creators Club officially launched today. Available on Marketplace as a four month subscription for $49 or a yearly subscription at $99, the Creators Club allows programmers of all stripes to share their game ideas over Xbox Live. Subscriptions provide access to game assets, white papers, tech support, and even starter kits for aspiring programmers. Combined with Microsoft's free XNA Game Studio Express, the Creators Club allows almost anyone to create and share their game ideas with the world.

In celebration of this ground breaking launch, Microsoft is hosting the "Dream-Build-Play" competition starting this January. Open to all XNA Game Studio Express users and Creators Club members, the winner of the competition will receive a chance to have his or her game published as an Xbox Live Arcade title.

We were jazzed about the idea of a community arcade when the Creators Club was first announced, and it seems to be getting closer to fruition. XBLA really is an innovative platform and we hope that lots of people out there (including our readers) will participate in creating some new ideas. Is there anyone out there dabbling in XNA that wants to enter the contest? Send us a link to your game and we'll pimp it to the world. Also, if you'd like to streamline the development process, you might want to sign up for the beta of Garage Games' TorqueX tools.

Full press release after the break.

REDMOND, Wash. - Dec. 11, 2006 - Your World. Your Game. With today's release of Microsoft® XNA™ Game Studio Express and the launch of the XNA Creators Club, this phrase has never been more true. Based on the easy-to-use Visual C#® 2005 Express Edition and Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, XNA Game Studio Express opens up the world of game development to the masses and is now available for free to anyone with a Windows® XP-based PC at http://www.msdn.com/XNA. With the release of XNA Game Studio Express, Microsoft Corp. unveiled the XNA Creators Club, opening up video game development to untapped creative minds, enabling anyone to affordably build and play amazing game ideas on Xbox 360™ systems for the first time ever.

The XNA Creators Club is available on Xbox Live® Marketplace for $49 (U.S.) for a four-month subscription, or $99 (U.S.) for an annual subscription. Both subscriptions provide aspiring game developers with access to thousands of game assets from Microsoft and key supporters such as Turbo Squid Inc., as well as white papers, specialized starter kits, samples and technical product support to help turn Your World, Your Game into a reality.

"The XNA Creators Club is really the first of its kind - an opportunity to join a community of other developers who are empowered to bring their game ideas to life on a next-generation console system," said Chris Satchell, general manager of the Game Developer Group at Microsoft. "When it comes to encouraging development on XNA Game Studio Express and through the XNA Creators Club, the limits are truly endless. What users will see today is just the beginning of the plans we have to revolutionize game development one creative game idea at a time."

In addition, to celebrate the worldwide launch of XNA Game Studio Express, the "Dream-Build-Play" contest will be open to XNA Game Studio Express customers on Windows as well as those on Xbox 360 through the XNA Creators Club membership. The contest offers the opportunity for the community to showcase its innovation and talent to the world, culminating in the incredible chance for the winner's game to be published on Xbox Live Arcade, the premier source for downloadable independent, retro and original games. The "Dream-Build-Play" contest will be launched in January. Additional contest details will be available at http://www.dreambuildplay.com .

"Xbox Live Arcade has opened up a wealth of new publishing opportunities for established and independent developers alike, so it made perfect sense to also extend this privilege to hobbyists and amateur programmers," said Greg Canessa, group manager of Xbox Live Arcade at Microsoft. "We have a tremendous opportunity to shine the spotlight on up-and-coming talent through the 'Dream-Build-Play' contest, and we can't wait to share their creativity with our gaming community around the world."

To coincide with the release of XNA Game Studio Express, XNA supporter GarageGames has launched an open beta for its Torque X platform, including Torque Game Builder. Based on the XNA Framework, the easy-to-use Torque X tools bring drag-and-drop game development to Windows and Xbox 360. Final availability of the Torque X platform is scheduled for early 2007.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.