Top Four XNA Contest Winners Get XBLA Contracts

Four indie developers will have the opportunity to publish their XNA Game Studio creations on Xbox Live Arcade, XNA head Chris Satchell announced during his keynote today at the Microsoft Game Technology Conference. The winners took the top four spots in Microsoft's Dream-Build-Play contest that ran from March 5 to July 2.

nope When the contest began, Microsoft said the first-place winner would receive an XBLA publishing contract. With two contestants tying for first place and a second pair tying for second, Microsoft extended the contracts to all four developers.

Ontario-native David Flook's Blazing Birds--a badminton-influenced sports game--and New Yorker James Silva's The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai--a stylized side-scroller--shared the top spot and won their creators $10,000 each. Second place and $5,000 went to both Steve Olofsson of Sweden for Gravitron Ultra and Daniel McGuire of the UK for Yo Ho Kablammo!, while third place was shared among 16 other winners, whose games can be viewed on the Dream-Build-Play Web site.

Satchell also announced the availability of Microsoft-owned game content to the public for non-commercial use. Certain assets from Microsoft-published games like Shadowrun, Perfect Dark Zero, and games in the Halo series can be used under a license "similar to Creative Commons" as outlined on a page at the Xbox Web site.

Away from the conference, XNA Studio users got other promising news with the announcement of XNA Game Studio 2.0, announced by XNA Community Game Platform manager Michael Klucher on the XNA team blog. The update includes an improved interface, enhanced compatibility with Visual Studio 2005, and updated XNA Framework and should be out later this year.