Has Microsoft ended the Xbox Creators Program?

I’m hoping (in vein probably) it’s just a bug but the Partner Center dashboard no longer seems to allow Xbox Creators Program to be enabled for any UWP game.

I’ve received no notification and found nothing at all about it on the whole internet but oddly, the category “Games” is also missing from the list if you create an “MSIX or PWA App” product type. The warning text about how the “Games” category is special is still there.

Clicking the “Xbox Creators Program” link in the submission just takes you to a page that says, “This product is not currently allowed to use Xbox Live” and to contact your Xbox accounts manager, which of course you don’t have as just a Xbox Creator Program member.

The upshot is that if you upload a package that targets xbox then it will not allow you to submit the game since Xbox Creators Program is not enabled for it. Untick the box for Xbox then it doesn’t care. This means no more UWP Xbox games.

If they have killed it without warning or notification of any kind, I will be furious. I can hardly believe they would but I don’t know how else to interpret this.

Is there anyone else here with a partner center account who could verify or otherwise what I’m seeing?

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The simple and short answer is NO, the creators program is still alive and kicking.

The longer answer is that the program has evolved in the past few months (mainly deprecating the requirement for UWP)
The full details regarding Xbox development (which is the Xbox “brand”, including Windows and Cloud, confusing I know) can be found here:
Xbox One Game Development - Microsoft Game Dev | Microsoft Learn

And the creators program is listed here: (under the creators tab, half way down)
Xbox Official Site: Consoles, Games and Community | Xbox (microsoft.com)

Also, ID launched the Developer Accreditation program for creators, which aims to assist the next generation of indies back in March, details here
The New ID@Xbox Developer Acceleration Program Will Empower Underrepresented Creators - Xbox Wire

As you can see, lot’s going on, just not as much marketing about it

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Hey Simon, thanks for the quick reply and the links.

However I’m afraid I’m going to have to push back with much scepticism on this one. Forgive me, I spent 18 straight hours yesterday trying desperately to submit a game for PC & Xbox only to find myself snookered every which way.

What I’m concerned most about is the ability to publish games to Xbox specifically, not anything about “brand” or windows/cloud in general.

Looking through your links, link 1 is from 2019 and just says,

Quickly publish your Universal Windows Platform (UWP) game to Xbox One and Windows 10, with a simplified certification process and no concept approval required. Your game will be featured in the “Creators Collection” on Xbox One and alongside other PC games in the Microsoft Store.

Sounds great, so definitely UWP and definitely to Xbox and definitely will be featured in the “Creators Collection”? Well no.

Today, as yesterday for me at least, none of that is true.

I simply cannot publish a UWP Game (or app I assume) to Xbox and the games I have published in the past have never seen a “Creators Collection” on the store, since I started in summer 2019.

The second link just contains a button that links to a page that when you click “Signup” take you here:


which redirects me to here


Sorry, we couldn’t find that page.
Click here and try again

A broken link, maybe because I’m already signed in with an account but who knows.

Your third link, well probably the less said about that the better.

So undocumented “things happening behind the scenes” aside, specifically I’m seeing that the Games category is now missing when choosing “MSIX or PWA App” product type:

And if choosing a “Game” project type then we end up in this situation:

One final point is that even if your positive message had been correct, why has none of it been mentioned anywhere on the internet or communicated in any way to registered developers whom it would impact?

Maybe it’s just me, this is a bug or service outage or something like that. If you have a partner center account yourself would you be able to confirm what I’m seeing, that I’ve not lost my mind entirely?

Xbox Live is not enabled
This product is not currently allowed to use Xbox Live. If you would like to use Xbox Live, please contact your Xbox Account Manager

I’m seeing the same issue when creating a new game. I’m allowed to view the Xbox services page for all my existing games though.

I’m interested in knowing more about them depreciating UWP for the Creators Program. Are there any links regarding that?

Dropping a note here in support of and in solidarity with Simon and others interested in this topic.

  1. The Xbox Creators Program for UWP games is still active.
  2. There is not a known outage with the publishing pipeline. Will work with folks like Simon to track this down.
  3. However, I think we may be using terminology differently and it might help to clarify what you are trying to do.

Xbox Services (formerly “Xbox Live” Services) are not required for UWP games and only available through the ID@Xbox or other managed developer programs. Please let me know if you find any of the guides for UWP on Xbox game development that still appear to either require or advertise Xbox Services.

My hypothesis is that this error happens when trying to use Xbox Services without being enrolled in Partner Center as a publisher with a corresponding license.

UWP on Xbox One - UWP applications | Microsoft Learn

Clint Woon
Game Developer Experiences (Team Xbox)


Thank you very much for the reply. I’m glad the Xbox Creators Program for UWP is continuing.

When you mention “other managed developer programs” that doesn’t include the Creators Program? I’ve extensively used Xbox Services in my MonoGame Xbox games through the Creators Program up until now. For example one of my games (Concept Coaster Craft 2) has had thousands of downloads and the ability to switch between Xbox and Windows with Cloud Saves has been a great feature for players.

With regards instances which imply Xbox Services can be used within the Creators Program, there are quite a lot I think. Here are a few I found just:


Whether you’re just getting into game development, finishing a student project, or looking to take your latest creation to the biggest screen in the house, the Xbox Creators Program is for you! If your game integrates Xbox services and follows our standard Store policies, you are ready to publish.

Integrating Xbox services into your game gives you access to over 55 million users and includes features that will help players discover and engage with your game, including: Xbox presence, Leaderboards, Cloud Saves, Game Hubs, Clubs, Party Chat


Xbox Live Creators Program
The Xbox Live Creators Program allows anyone to integrate Xbox Live into their title, and publish to Xbox One and Windows. There’s a simplified certification process, and no concept approval is required outside of the standard Microsoft Store policies.

Samples for integrating Xbox Services into Creators Program UWP games.

Multi-user applications (My understanding is this is only applicable for Xbox accounts and that would also require Xbox Services to be used)

Hope that helps and thanks again.

Thank you @Squarebananas (awesome username btw).

Thank you for those callouts. Yes, I think we could be more explicit about Xbox Services not being available outside of our managed licensing programs. I need to circle back with the team on how we’re going to talk about the roadmap either before or at GDC because the short story, is it’s complicated and we’re not trying to take anything away, we’re trying to make everything easier. We will reach out again through Ambassadors like Simon who shoot flares across the bridge of my nose every time we can do better.

What are our managed programs?
Similar to other platforms, we have programs like ID@Xbox that manage license agreements directly with individual studios up to large publishers. There are strict privacy, player safety, quality, and network security requirements that come with accessing our Xbox Services that go above and beyond even the Windows App Store requirements that are managed via this level of license agreement.

If you do not need these features:
We removed the requirement to use a min level of Xbox Services for UWP games because of overwhelming feedback from creators in this space that it was too much of a burden. You will see some other important additions (GitHub - microsoft/GDK: Microsoft Public GDK) coming soon in this same theme of lowering overhead for developers to reach larger audiences via our store.

If you do need these features:
Apply to ID@Xbox or look at popular gaming services suites (we have Azure Playfab) that provide equivalent options starting at free tiers and go up from there based on the number of users. Achievements and other Xbox Social graph features will be the types of things that motivate people to apply to ID@Xbox up front.

Note: I don’t see an option to drive email notifications for updates to this thread, so I’ll try to keep up here. Worst case, you can find me on our Discord channel here for game dev concerns of this nature.

User: 622624766301306920 - Clint W. (Xbox)

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At bottom of any given thread (set to Watching):

In User Preferences (accessed by clicking your profile pic in top right):

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Thank you for the response, I appreciate it.

While it’s great the option is available to not use Xbox Services, not having the option at all does take a lot of features away from the Creators Program like Leaderboards and Cloud Saves. While I noticed months ago Xbox Services was no longer required according to the store policy, until this thread I hadn’t heard of Xbox Services not being available at all. This does seem like a major change without notice and will affect current projects I’m working on.

There are a few questions I have regarding this:

  • How will this effect existing Creators Program games which already rely on Xbox Services. Will I still be able to update them as before?
  • If Cloud Saves are no longer available and only local storage can be used instead, does this mean players will lose their save games when replacing or upgrading their Xbox console?
  • If Xbox Services aren’t available then the player’s permissions and parental consent can’t be checked. I believe there may be some areas where the store policy can’t be complied with if these permissions are unavailable. Could this be the case?

I have previously been accepted into the ID@Xbox program and attended an ID@Xbox event. I do hope to publish there eventually. My games so far are generally small solo projects though and I would say they don’t necessarily fit in with the visual standards I typically see of ID@Xbox games. While my games have had hundreds of thousands of downloads on Xbox (mainly back with the Xbox 360 indie games program) I wouldn’t necessarily expect them to be put front and centre on the store or next to other new releases. So I am interested in finding out more about the expectations of visual standards as I feel that could be an issue with moving across.

Thanks again.

RE: Grandfathered Titles
If you reach out to me on LinkedIn or Discord, we can have a private conversation where I ask you for things like your SellerID to determine what level of services you should still be able to access. Best case scenario, ID@Xbox support still considers you active and has your account flagged for access.

RE: Player & Parental Consent
These are requirements as I mentioned to protect when the player is sharing personally identifiable information or engaging in multiplayer or communication activities on the Xbox network. Since you will not be using the GamerTag, those downstream services (multiplayer, party chat, etc) don’t factor in. If you believe there are other activities that would require consent, let me know. I’d like to focus on protecting the player in this context and would love to hear what you think we should be doing to achieve that here if we are not today.

RE: Xbox Services
The (legacy) APIs that are shared across PC and Xbox for these services have a dependency on some of the Xbox user identity system that requires those privacy and other safety measures I mentioned earlier. Until we can release versions of these APIs - REST or otherwise - without that dependency, they’re locked behind ID@Xbox membership. There was a period in which we were granting UWP games the same access levels and it looks like the forum where the notification was posted, was lost in the reorganization of our Microsoft Q&A space where the UWP Creators Program was launched. I’m working with the team to rectify this.

RE: Leaderboards
This does not mean you are out of luck. Leaderboards don’t have a UI on PC outside of the title, which means you can connect any service you want to that. I think the key is (speaking as someone who hates reinventing things for my own projects) finding a free or low-cost service. As mentioned before, PlayFab has leaderboard features available in their Free tier - 100K Users.

Thanks for bearing with me here. While I personally am committed to making sure our messaging is clear and accurate, I hope you agree the more important thing is getting you unblocked so you can focus on making your game fun and profitable. Let’s chat so we can do some matchmaking of our own to the right folks :slight_smile:


Thanks to all those who have replied so far, I truly appreciate it.

Yes I think so too.

The Xbox Creators Program to which I’m referring to (and that appears to have had the plugged pulled) is the one listed here:


The Xbox Live Creators Program is a good starting point for Xbox Live if you are looking to familiarize yourself with Xbox Live development. No approval process from Microsoft is required to join this program, and there are minimal certification and publishing requirements.

The Xbox Live Creators Program only supports the creation of titles (games) for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) ⬀. These titles created as UWP games run on Windows 10 PCs and on Xbox One (or later) consoles. For more details about running UWP games on Xbox One (or later), see UWP on Xbox One ⬀.

Whilst it has been true for some years that a UWP Game author is not required to actually make use of any Xbox Live Services, this isn’t (currently at least) true in terms of making a game submission. To submit a game, the Dashboard insists that the “Xbox Live Creators Program” be enabled in order to proceed with the submission:

When attempting to enable the “Xbox Creators Program”, this is what is displayed:

Which means that the game submission cannot now proceed. The Packages section is marked as “Incomplete” and the “Submit to Store” button is greyed out, citing “validation issues”.

So while I appreciate all the nice words about the Xbox Creators Program still being active, how Xbox Live Services are not required for UWP Games and how there is no known outage with the pipeline, the actual evidence in the Partner Center Dashboard seems to the contrary.

If the statements made are accurate, could it be spelled out here, or somewhere else on the internet how exactly we can publish “Xbox Creator Program” Games (UWP or otherwise) to Xbox?

If there actually is a bug in the system and that it’s supposed to work the way that you say, then where do I go to report it as everywhere I’ve tried so far has replied saying it’s out-of-scope for them?

It seems to me that every bit of information on this in the public domain right now is neither clear nor accurate. If changes have been made behind the scenes, as seems has been done, that now blocks developers from making game submissions, why on earth was none of it communicated to us, it’s not like you don’t have our postal and email addresses?

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We will fix the communication issue. There have been a series of changes that need to be documented so that developers can clearly see the game development roadmap over the next few years.

Moving forward, we have a protocol for changes and deprecations that we can do a much better job of enforcing across our documentation. My presence here should be an indication we are actively researching which partners are blocked and helping them 1:1 in parallel to fixing the pipeline.

Same offer is that if you are blocked, please reach out to me on Discord so we can inspect your account status and get you moving forward. A few folks have pinged me directly and each case so far has been unique, but fixable.


Hello, I have the same problem, what should we do, has anyone found a solution?

11/27 Update: Treating this as an outage that is being investigated.


@VRGameStudio , @VpBBK_NO

11/28 Update: We are working on a fix on the back-end service that will be deployed shortly.

Root Cause: The user interface was expecting a property flag set in the backend that was erroneously removed during recent maintenance. This change was not intended.


Ok , thanks, i saw this link too :


Thank you very much for your help with this issue.

11/30: Confirmed that the fix is live and should be working for everyone. Will keep an eye here and will be posting an update in our Discord forums.

12/1: Official notification posted on the Microsoft Game Dev Discord. (Microsoft Game Dev).


Hello, Yes the problem is solved, thanks