SAN FRANCISCO, March 5– Providing the opportunity for game developers to create visions in a world where they make the rules, shape the characters and create the evolution of the story, Microsoft Corp. kicked off the Dream-Build-Play game development contest, offering a $10,000 (U.S.) grand prize and the opportunity for a winner’s game to be published on Xbox LIVE Arcade, the premier destination for digitally distributed, high-definition original and classic games. Enabled by its XNA developer tools, the Dream-Build-Play contest was announced at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2007 in San Francisco.

Delivering on its commitment to offer the best and most accessible hardware, software and services for game developers on the Microsoft gaming platforms, Microsoft and its partners also showcased a suite of new products that will help developers of every level turn their dreams into reality. From the hobbyist to professional developers in the largest studios, Microsoft’s investments in game development technologies are helping to spark a new creative era while ensuring the best games are being built for Microsoft platforms.

Dream-Build-Play XNA Contest Offers $10,000 Grand Prize

Dream-Build-Play is a global contest that offers aspiring game developers the opportunity to showcase their innovation and talent to the world. More than 20 winners will be selected to win fantastic prizes with a total value of more than $40,000 from Microsoft, Alienware, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Inc., Autodesk Inc. and Softimage Co.

The contest will culminate in the extraordinary grand prize that includes an opportunity for the winner to receive an Xbox LIVE Arcade publishing contract, providing a chance to showcase the winner’s game on Xbox LIVE Arcade. Dream-Build-Play is open to any user of XNA Game Studio Express, including the GarageGames Torque X platform. No purchase is necessary to compete. The contest ends July 2, 2007, and winners will be announced Aug. 13 at Microsoft Gamefest 2007 in Seattle. Additional contest details, including detailed eligibility and entry requirements, are available at

Great Games by Great Storytellers Using Great Tools

Also at GDC, Microsoft will spotlight the ways that some of the most innovative game creators in the industry are bringing their visions to life on Microsoft gaming platforms. On Tuesday, March 6, Microsoft Game Studios will present “The Evolution of RPG Development,” a panel discussion hosted by journalist Geoff Keighley that will feature Hironobu Sakaguchi of Mistwalker, Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios and Ray Muzyka of BioWare Corp., the creators of the most highly anticipated role-playing games of the next generation.

In addition, to celebrate the launch of the Dream-Build-Play global contest, Microsoft will showcase a new era of game creators through the XNA Game Studio Express Challenge. GDC attendees will have a chance to see some of the brightest beacons in game development from around the world gathering at the XNA lobby bar at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to create four games in four days using XNA Game Studio Express tools.

The power of the XNA tools is demonstrated with the announcement of “Schizoid” (Torpex Games LLC), an upcoming game that will be the first Xbox LIVE Arcade title built using XNA Game Studio Express. “Schizoid” is a co-op action game in which teamwork matters like never before, as gamers and their friend or AI ally protect each other from barrages of glowing enemies. The title is scheduled to launch on Xbox LIVE Arcade before the end of 2007.