It doesn't matter if your game is written using C# and the XNA Framework or it is written in native code. The process for publishing a game on Xbox LIVE Arcade is the same. You must submit a proposal and be accepted into the Xbox LIVE Arcade developer program.
Is it possible?
Probably not. Its probably best for you to stick to XBLIG.
If you are in the XNA forums as a beginner looking for a team, or looking for help with your game, or even wondering how the process works the chance is so close to zero you may as well give up now. The chance of a no name group getting there is a bit like me (The Zman) winning the London Marathon (technically possible if 20,000 people give up before the end).
Your best chance is to win one of the Dream-Build-Play competitions with a game that the XBLA group thinks can make *them* money. Note the emphasis. It doesn't matter how great you think your game is, nor how proud your parents are, now how cool your friends think you are. XBLA is a business and if Microsoft don't think they can make $$$ from your game then you are finished before you start. Even then do you have the time/money/drive to complete the game. After winning DBP 2007, The Dishwasher took almost 18 months of extra work before it appered on Xbox LIVE Arcade.
XBLA has a managed portfolio - that means they release a couple of games per week. Lets call it 150 a year tops. That means they can choose the best. Is your game really as good as these http://majornelson.com/archive/2010/01/10/the-top-20-live-games-of-2009.aspx?
How do I get started exploring the Xbox LIVE Arcade program?
To get started learning about the Xbox LIVE Arcade development and submission process, review the following official introductory topics:
How does the Xbox LIVE Arcade submission process work?
The following links contain more detailed information about how the Xbox LIVE Arcade submission process works, how to formulate a game pitch, etc:
Where can I learn more about developing Xbox LIVE Arcade games?
The following links contain more detailed information about Xbox LIVE Arcade development:
Bear in mind that games are not launched very frequently on Xbox LIVE Arcade and there is a lot of competition. Make sure you have a solid idea and preferably a good demo or a fully working game before you think about this. Also note that there may well be a financial commitment to you for access to Xbox 360 development kits, developer support and the certification process.
Can I use XNA Game Studio to create an Xbox LIVE Arcade game?
Yes. Schizoid, The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, Blazing Birds, Rocket Riot, Yo-Ho Kablammo, Lucidity, Chime, The Path of Go (uses F# for the AI!), Zeit 2, Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, The Adventures of Shuggy, Fusion: Genesis, Fez and Dust: An Elysian Tail were created with XNA Game Studio, and other games created with XNA Game Studio are coming to Xbox LIVE Arcade soon.
Creating your game using XNA Game Studio gives you a couple of big advantages:
- You know your game will run on the Xbox 360, it can easily be packaged as a .ccgame file within XNA Game Studio to submit to the Xbox LIVE Arcade team, and there will be minimal code changes required to get your game working as an Xbox LIVE Arcade title if your submission is accepted.
- You can submit your game as an Xbox LIVE Indie Game if your game is not picked up by the Xbox LIVE Arcade submission process.
Where can I learn more about the Xbox LIVE Indie Games program?
The following links contain more information about the Xbox LIVE Indie Games program:
What are the differences between an Xbox LIVE Indie Game and an Xbox LIVE Arcade game?
The Xbox LIVE Indie Games program is an open program, and anyone who creates a game and joins the Creators Club can submit their game to the publishing system. The Xbox LIVE Arcade program is a managed portfolio with a limited number of publishing slots, and games must undergo a certification process prior to publishing.
When using XNA Game Studio to create your game, nearly all functionality is identical if you are creating a indie game or an Xbox LIVE Arcade game. If your XNA Game Studio game is approved as an Xbox LIVE Arcade title, you will get access to the XNA Game Studio XDK Extensions. The XDK Extensions is an add-on to XNA Game Studio that allows you to add the following additional functionality to your Xbox LIVE Arcade game:
- User-defined rich presence strings
- Downloadable content (available starting with the XNA Game Studio 3.1 XDK Extensions)
- Title updates
There is more information about using the XNA Game Studio XDK Extensions in this Gamefest talk.