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Microsoft XNA game development platform rebranded

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Microsoft’s XNA Creators Hub has been rebranded as the App Hub in a move to cover Windows Phone 7 game development.

This means XNA and Windows Phone developers are now catered for under the same umbrella. A new website reflects the change.

Senior director for mobile platform services, Todd Brix, said on the following on the Windows Phone developer blog:

“App Hub is now the single place where Windows Phone and Xbox LIVE Indie Games developers can register; find development tools, support and resources; and submit and manage their apps for Windows Phone and Xbox LIVE.”

XNA Game Studio has been available since 2006, and its free XNA Game Studio Express package, which is free, has been instrumental in getting Xbox Live Indie titles on its online service. Though, more elaborate versions of the software require a subscription fee, games can be developed without the need.

How much will it cost? According to Brix on the same blog, a $99 subscription to the new App Hub will allow developers to “submit apps and games through your dashboard for both the Windows Phone Marketplace and the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.”

This is definitely a wise move for Microsoft. Grouping its successful Xbox platform with its first, committed attempt at the mobile device market, will surely result in both platforms getting many of the same games experiences, and more excitingly, it may mean the platforms are more closely linked. Multiplayer gaming between both is a prime example.

And, at the least, it makes things easier for developers because of the knowledge readily available from more experienced users.

Games that will be spearheading Windows Phone 7 include Bejeweled Live, Hexic Rush, Rocket Riot, Twin Blade: The Reaping Vanguard, Frogger, Flowerz and Star Wars: The Battle for the Hoth.

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