Xbox Game Preview will include first-party games

[/img]Microsoft is going to use Xbox Game Preview to support early access-style development of its own games, publishing head Shannon Loftis has confirmed.

Speaking to Kotaku, Loftis said there is “no question” on that count.

“I can’t make any announcements about first-party games we’re going to put in Preview but typically at this point, given the way games development’s going, and the complexity of the systems, it is very important to us the consumer goes along with us the whole way,” the executive said.

“Game development itself has evolved in the last two, three, four years. It’s become far more community driven and far more incremental. This is a way to extend the beta experience and also support development a little in the process.”

Loftis said Xbox fans love the service, and that there’s been a “huge amount of uptake”.

“We’ve had a bit of a mad rush from the development community,” she added.

Xbox Game Preview is pretty much Steam Early Access for Microsoft consoles; it allows developers to sell an in-development version of their games, using the community to test and provide feedback as projects build towards full release.

However, elsewhere in the linked interview Loftis said Xbox Game Preview will be curated, unlike the free-for-all on Greenlight. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but Loftis said Microsoft’s main motivation in walling off its garden is to prevent bad user experiences.

“We’ve been very clear with developers and gamers both that this isn’t a viable means of funding development. You have to be able to actually finish the game in order to get into the program,” she said.