Microsoft has confirmed that its XNA development software is to be used for teaching in five European universities, three of which are in the UK.Speaking at Microsoft's Leipzig Game Convention press conference, the game developer group general manager Chris Satchell explained that Hull, Nottingham and Bradford universities will be using the new XNA Game Studio Express software in its curriculums. Two German universities – Munich and Karlsruhe – have also signed up.
XNA Game Studio Express was unveiled by Satchell last week at Gamefest, Microsoft's conference for games developers working on Windows and Xbox. The software – a consumer-friendly version of its development framework XNA Professional – lets hobbyists create their own games, which can be run on PC and, by the end of the year via a $99 subscription service, be shared on a retail-bought Xbox.
It's no suprise that universities with keen computer science and games design interests are choosing the teach with the software. While the number of courses teaching game-specific disciplines are rising, they have come under some fire from the development sector for not producing students with contemporary skills or realistic ambitions.
A full report on what this iteration of XNA means for the development sector can be found in this month's issue of Develop, out on Thursday, August 24th.