Well it's been fun >_____>

ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
edited February 2013 in The Rock Band Network
Not sure what this means for the future of RBN, but since the entire platform runs on XNA, I can't imagine it's good.


The Microsoft XNA development platform is being discontinued, which might be sad news for indie developers. The toolset, which was used in the creation of Xbox Live Arcade titles like Fez, Bastion, and Dust: An Elysian Tail, served as way for smaller developers to get their titles in the hands of Xbox 360 gamers.

According to an internal email obtained by CVG, XNA is "not in active development," and the company is retiring it from the MVP Award Program. In effect, Microsoft is phasing out XNA as a development platform, which is a bit of a surprise considering how many smaller development studios used XNA to produce some of the games that defined Xbox Live Arcade and Xbox Live Indie Games.

Microsoft has not announced any plans for any replacement or successor to the XNA platform.

Harmonix's response:
HMXLachesis;4978268 said:
Deep breaths, everyone. I really wish GameInformer had picked a less sensationalist headline.

What the email from Microsoft actually said:

1) XNA is being retired from the MVP program on April 1 of 2014.

To start with, what is the MVP program? The MVP program is the Most Valuable Professional program at Microsoft. Microsoft MVPs are independent community leaders who help people around the world learn to better use Microsoft products. The MVP program is Microsoft's way of saying "thank you" to those leaders for their promotion and passion for Microsoft.

Before now, had you ever heard of the MVP program? I'm betting not - and if you had, you hadn't heard of it in connection with the RBN. That's because most (all?) RBN authors are uninvolved with the greater XNA community. As far as I know, there are no XNA-related Microsoft MVPs among the RBN authors. (As far as I know, there aren't even any at Harmonix.)

In short, the cessation of this program doesn't affect us. And if it did, it wouldn't affect us for over a year.

2) XNA is "not in active development".

This ought to come as no surprise. XNA was launched all the way back in 2006, so it's almost 7 years old at this point. XNA releases used to come out roughly once a year, but the last release for Microsoft XNA (XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh, updating XNA Game Studio 4.0 to support Windows 7.5) was on 10/6/11.

Why shouldn't we expect another release of XNA? Giant Bomb has more info here (http://www.giantbomb.com/news/the-future-of-xna-game-studio-and-windows-8/3667/), but to sum up, the basic answer is Windows 8. As conceived right now, Windows 8 is the future of Microsoft and XNA is an aging framework that doesn't produce Metro-style apps.

But the RBN doesn't need Metro-style apps, or Windows 8, or even Xbox compatibility. Although the RBN takes advantage of the existing XNA framework, we are not producing games for Xbox or Windows phone - so we don't need the XNA framework to be updated. We just need the underlying XNA framework to be there, and to remain supported - supported, not actively developed - by Microsoft.

As long as Microsoft continues to support our specific use of the XNA pipeline, we're fine. And our plan is to support RBN for Xbox 360 as long as Microsoft continues to support us.

Wishing you a drama-free day,


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