The Microsoft XNA toolset has been a way for independent developers to get their games on Xbox 360s for years. XNA Game Studio made it easy to create games on a PC and then have them be fully playable on 360 without the need of development kits. Through this set of tools, many great games were developed and launched digitally through the Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) market, as well as main Xbox Marketplace.
With a great deal of new Microsoft products shipping with Windows 8, and an upcoming system, it has been deemed that XNA is no longer going to be supported. XNA Game Studio 4 will be the last rendition of the toolset. Here is what the Microsoft rep had to say:
"XNA Game Studio remains a supported toolset for developing games for Xbox 360, Windows and Windows Phone. Many developers have found financial success creating Xbox LIVE Indie Games using XNA. However, there are no plans for future versions of the XNA product."
XNA games can still be developed and played on 360s. However, they are not immediately supported by the likes of Windows 8's Metro interface mode. Companies such as MonoGames have already stepped in to make XNA games playable on the newest OS. In regards to the future, this means will probably see no more games using XNA. After all, who would want to learn a now defunct technology?
It remains to be seen if the next Xbox system will be able to run XNA-developed games. If not, then that means many gamers shall be mad about lack of digital game compatibility. With that said, they are probably working to make sure XBLIG games still run on the system. We'll find out about that once information is revealed about the upcoming system. Some of the popular games created with XNA are as follows: Bastion, Fez, Magicka, and Terraria.