David "LetsKillDave" Weller of the XNA team posted the following details about the XBox Live Community Game service announced today at GDC:
- Scheduled for launch in the "Holiday 2008" season
- Beta in "Spring 2008"
- "A community of your peers will be given a chance to download, play and review the game and its content for appropriateness and conformance to the Terms of Service. Should it pass, the game will then get added to the global games catalog on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and available to gamers connected to Xbox LIVE."
- Achievements, Gamerscore, and Leaderboard features will not be available. Those features are reserved for games published on Xbox LIVE Arcade.
- "We will offer different revenue sharing models to let you sell (or give away) your game. We will announce more complete details on this prior to the retail consumer launch this holiday season."
- "While you are required to have an active XNA Creators Club subscription in order to submit your game for publishing on the Xbox LIVE community games, you can still prototype your game on Windows for free."
This should answer most questions people have about Xbox Live Community. Games may or may not be free, depending on what the developer(s) decide on a per-game basis. But the price won't be set by Microsoft. And, as expected, the games will not include Achievements, though it is disappointing that they also won't have any leaderboard functionality.
Unfortunately, the service won't be available until this holiday season.