Microsoft Confirms End Of XNA/DirectX Development

We all know that Microsoft is no longer actively developing XNA game development framework. Support for XNA in Windows Phone 7 platform was the last significant announcement and XNA support was removed in Windows Phone 8 platform. In an email sent to XNA/DirectX MVPs few days back, Microsoft has officially confirmed the end of further development of these technologies.

Here is the email,

Our goal is to provide you the best experience during your award year and when engaging with our product groups. The purpose of the communication is to share information regarding the retirement of XNA/DirectX as a Technical Expertise.

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.

Because we continue to value the high level of technical contributions you continue to make to your technical community, we want to work with you to try to find a more alternate expertise area. You may remain in this award expertise until your award end date or request to change your expertise to the most appropriate alternative providing current contributions match to the desired expertise criteria. Please let me know what other products or technologies you feel your contributions align to and I will review those contributions for consideration in that new expertise area prior to the XNA/DirectX retirement date.

Please note: If an expertise change is made prior to your award end date, review for renewal of the MVP Award will be based on contributions in your new expertise.

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this change.


However, Microsoft sent out an confusing statement to the press following the above mail that DirectX is under active development.

Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for all of our platforms, including Windows, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone. DirectX is evolving and will continue to evolve. We have absolutely no intention of stopping innovation with DirectX.

Microsoft is soon going to reveal plans about its Xbox vNext with commercial release slated for end of this year. I guess they will also reveal the new game programming model that will succeed XNA/DirectX by that time. What do you think?

Source: Ventspace 

  • JRV

    Per Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet, reports of DirectX’s death are greatly exaggerated. The MVP notification was sent in error, and the second statement was a retraction. In brief, XNA is on death row, DirectX is not.

  • arcana112

    What is the there to be confused: XNA with DirectX is dead. DirectX itself isn’t….

    • ama neden


  • Alex F.

    DirectX cannot be retired as Microsoft does not have any replacement. XNA on the other hand was practically dead for over 2 years.

  • Eric Snyder

    this article is misleading. XNA is retired, NOT DirectX

  • David

    As others said XNA is dead but DirectX not.

    And there is simple explanation about this.

    Microsoft Windows 8 for Desktop and tablets (and next version of Windows), Windows Phone 8 (and next versions after that), Next generation of Xbox which are coming soon, and if it rumors are true XBOX Surface and XBOX Entertainment Box (Cable TV or DVR) they all will share same kernel and core.

    Which means DirectX 11, 12, and etc. will be there to support all of these devices as one great ecosystem.

    Microsoft is in a process of making a very powerful and great ecosystem and slowly they are putting pieces together. The reason they want to support XNA till 2014 is mostly because they still see some market for XBOX 360 games in near future and they now not everybody just switch to new XBOX in day 1. But by 2015 most people has new versions of Xbox and there is no need to have XNA support any more.
    So better to focus and put all power behind one platform and make it even more successful.
    To have a good and powerful ecosystem you need one great standards to make everything compatible and to work nicely together. And that’s why no more XNA and only great DirectX to rule them all.
    And yes this is one misleading article!

  • Tirinti

    XNA development is much easier because it is modern .Net. Direct 3D require development in outdated c++. What they are planning for WP9? Maybe assembler?

    • Arag0n

      The point is lately, game developers are using 3th party engines as unity, and that requires low level programming for the game engine. There is no reason for game developers to use XNA to target Microsoft only platforms, instead of Unity and target them all.

    • Alex F.

      C++ is not outdated in any way. Yes, it is harder – but that’s a different issue.

    • Martyn Metalous

      Plus Mono has appeared for Win8 which is more or less XNA. I am assuming MS will give support to this open source engine and XNA will continue as Mono in the future.

  • NegLewis

    X N/A