John Schappert, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Live, Software and Services for the Interactive Entertainment Business (whew!) spoke minutes ago at the company's GDC press conference. As he puts it, the company feels it's time to "unleash" the potential of amateur developers. ""An awful lot of democratization going on today," he stated.
Shortly after, Chief XNA Architect Chris Satchell took the stage to speak about the community side to the program. Just 18 months ago, the company took new steps into providing resources for amateur game developers through the XNA Game Studio. "The response has been incredible," he said, revealing that there have been over 800,000 downloads of the toolset. "That's a lot of creativity and passion that we've tapped into out there." Over 400 universities have embraced the software.