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XNA Is Dead, DirectX Is Still Evolving

By NAG3LT04-02-2013

Microsoft XNA is a set of development tools for making games for Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox.  It was a platform for making smaller games and most of games written using it were indies for Windows and Xbox 360. This week, an e-mail was sent to top XNA/DirectX MVPs (community members providing support for other developers) that they aren't needed anymore as XNA/DirectX is no longer evolving. Based on Promit Roy's blog, the contents of e-mail:

"The XNA/DirectX expertise was created to recognize community leaders who focused on XNA Game Studio and/or DirectX development. Presently the XNA Game Studio is not in active development and DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology. Given the status within each technology, further value and engagement cannot be offered to the MVP community. As a result, effective April 1, 2014 XNA/DirectX will be fully retired from the MVP Award Program."

While XNA's demise has already been coming for a long time (its absence from Windows 8 was a big hint), the DirectX part of the message gave a lot of confusion. There was a lot of speculation about the exact meaning of ending DirectX support, but Microsoft was quick to calm everybody down the following day with another e-mail

""The message said "DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology." That is definitely not true in any way, shape or form. Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for our key platforms, including Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows. DirectX is evolving and will continue to evolve. For instance, right now we're investing in some very cool graphics code authorizing [sic] technology in Visual Studio. We have absolutely no intention of stopping innovation with DirectX, and you can quote me on that."

So it looks like, DirectX isn't going to disappear anywhere soon, but Microsoft's strange statements bring a lot of confusion for developers. While it isn't something most gamers should be directly concerned about, such uncertainty among developers may slow down the release of indie games on Windows.


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