No XNA for Windows 8


By: Michael Dao

Long live XNA. Microsoft XNA is a framework, or a set of tools provided by Microsoft that aids in the development of games for both the PC, Xbox and Windows 7 Phones. Many aspiring video game developers cut their teeth on XNA, at first publishing games on Xbox Live Indie Games. A prime example of this is James Silva, of Ska Studios, where he entered The Dishwasher into the Dream Build Play contest, and won $10,000 and an Xbox Live Arcade contract.

The bad news is that Microsoft has been revealing a number of features of its next operating system, named Windows 8, and unfortunately, XNA will not have a place in Windows 8, according to John Lam, a member of the Technical Computing Group at Microsoft. This comes to us from Chris Williams, the author of Professional Windows Phone 7 Game Development from Wrox.

This brings several questions to bear as to the future of independent game development on both the Xbox 360 and and Windows platforms as well as the future of Xbox Live Indie Games. Andy Schatz, of Pocketwatch Games, stated, “XNA was the best framework I ever worked with, it’s one weakness was platform support.”

We have contacted Microsoft for comment and will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

Update: 9/15/2011 –  XNA CAN be used to build Windows 8 apps, they just won’t be able to write “Metro” apps, and will not be able to be sold in Microsoft’s application storefront.

Source: Twitter


  1. At first I was excited about the XNA concept. Believng that it will bring those 2 platforms together. Instead, every I watched as games after games made by indie developers became X Box games or exclusives. There’s very little sound in the PC side. With the modding world full of releases, I’m sure that some of them are interested in a PC retail release. Just look at Hawken and Overgrowth – no XNA to be seen.

    XNA seemed to hold those bright eyed indies in a choke hold to release their creations into the X Box only. Yes, I know there are PC releases but only months or even years after they were initially released. Even then, they felt like an afterthought since the developers is about to release the sequel….exclusively for the X Box.

    So, with XNA absent from the Win 8 features is not surprising. For better or worse, good riddance.

  2. From what I understand from other blogs and such, XNA wont be available for metro style apps, but will you still be able to develop normal games with XNA on W8, and more importantly will XNA games run on W8

  3. I wasted $300 on 3 years of Creator’s Club membership and a bunch more money on books, etc, waiting around for proper App Store support on Windows, because I liked XNA but wanted to target Windows and didn’t want to bother really delving into XNA until I knew a Windows marketplace supported it. Now that an app store is coming to Windows, they block XNA apps? I’m pissed.

  4. @Jon Davis

    Don’t give up just yet.
    We know that XNA might not survive, but we don’t knwo what they are replacing it with… Maybe all the XNA functionality will be built-in in .net, or WinRT might provide all the necessary functionality…

    But I’m sure your current knowledge on XNA will be very relevant to build games on Win8.

    But I am pissed for other reason, they should either kill the desktop or make two versions of windows… All the switching between the desktop and the start screen just pisses me off.

    Good riddance.

  5. I’ve been very disapointed in Micosofts aproach of sticking it too the indies. I spent 350 on a Zune. Now xna 4 dosnt support it and the Zune is gone. Does Micorsoft think that forcing us to buy licenses from them to develope xbox game will make it a success? I use xna with my pc. It works great but there are some drawbacks. Most of which are Microsofts lack of support for the pc. Don’t get me wrong xna makes it much easier for indies to write games then the old direct x. Support us Microsoft or we may just quit buying your products because you leave us hanging. Anyone want to buy a used ZUNE?

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