If you’re a developer (new or old), from Africa and an underrepresented minority with ambitions to bring your gaming projects to consoles and most specifically the Xbox, then this latest initiative from Microsoft is for you.
A new program aiming to empower underrepresented creators with the resources and information needed to bring their creativity, innovation, and originality to Xbox has been launched. They aim to achieve this mission by focusing on the following areas.
Porting: For emerging developers the investment required to release on multiple platforms can easily conflict with other priorities such as further development, polish, or marketing. For this reason, the funding offered by the Developer Acceleration Program is non-recoupable and does not require exclusivity or company equity. Instead, it is intended to help developers find success on the platform by offsetting their porting investment. Offers are unique to each developer’s situation and take into account the developer’s need and experience.
Information: In addition to funding, participating developers gain access to information and best practices in the form of monthly webinars called Green Room events where developers engage with members of team Xbox covering topics like game lifecycle, marketing tips, certification prep and more. These topics are not exclusive to the program, but the goal is to create an environment where new teams can connect directly with subject matter experts and ask questions in an open and welcoming environment.
Prototypes: Many underrepresented developers have lacked access to resources and networks to get their ideas off the ground. The Developer Acceleration Program is piloting a prototype initiative with the goal of partnering with a small number of promising developers with great ideas and offering the funding and support needed for the teams to create a prototype that accurately communicates their vision. The funding offered is non-recoupable.
The types of developers that we seek to support includes but is not limited to developers who are led by those from Black, Indigenous, Latino or LGBTQIA+ communities, women, developers with disabilities, developers from emerging markets or teams with unique perspectives. This also includes independent developers working on a game that responsibly centers the experience around diverse characters or that prioritizes accessibility.
If this is you, contact the team at Xbox at IDAP@Microsoft.com. Their team will follow up with next steps to begin the application process.