Gamasutra interviews Dave Mitchell, Director of Marketing for Microsoft's Game Development Group, about the recent XNA development tools launch. XNA -- which either doesn't stand for anything or "XNA's Not Acronymed" according to the FAQ -- lets hobbyists and small developers create games for the Xbox and Xbox Live Arcade. Gamers have had many questions about the homebrew style of the tools, and Mitchell avoids directly answering most.
Instead, at least Mitchell says that Microsoft is trying to answer the important questions, like those relating to IP ownership and distribution. He says that Microsoft wants creators to retain IP "where possible," and the company is uncertain how much policing will be needed to block clones and infringing games, but that he expects that kind of activity. As far as users selling products, setting prices, and if Microsoft will host games or if users need to provide storage space, Mitchell describes a few possibilities without a real plan.
The XNA tools have the potential to create a community for homebrew developers and players, but we hope that these fundamental questions are answered soon.