Alright, I think it's a simple question, but I got difficulties to find some answers around.

I already read that XNA wouldn't be in Visual Studio 2012. I recently learned to use XNA, but since I would like to work on games, I'd like to know if there's a way to develop games using C# on Visual Studio 2012, or if I should learn everything again using C++ and Direct3D?

C# is a language I like a lot, so if there's no way to do it in C# but something quite easy to use Java for game development, I'd also be interested.

Thanks a lot!

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ in my opinion this is the time to bet on OpenGL, not any Microsoft related technologies, Microsoft is falling slowly and now is just a small player in the market, the only one and real good point about Microsoft is the PC gaming, but the biggest part industry is undoubtedly for OpenGL and the outlook is no different. This are bad times for Microsoft, they are trashing many technologies and forcing people to learn new things for Windows 8, which is thing that right now has no real future and most importantly, no real market, and even if it will be successful it will take years to grow. \$\endgroup\$
    – user827992
    Sep 1, 2012 at 19:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Microsoft, a small player? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2012 at 21:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @lorancou in the mobile world doesn't even exist, in the console market the best selling console is the Wii and the PS3 is another that uses OpenGL; the PC market is just the only one real market left for Microsoft and event there there are Mac and Linux that are ready to take over in few years. Tell me why i should consider Microsoft a big player. \$\endgroup\$
    – user827992
    Sep 1, 2012 at 22:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sigh. NO console uses OpenGL. Not even the PS3. There is a proprietary non-standard GLES-1.1-derived API called PSGL, but nobody uses it. The one and only place that OpenGL is being a success in gaming at all is on iOS and Android, and even there higher level platform-specific APIs are pushed. Every other platform is either using a proprietary API or is barely relevant. If you care about portability, the solution is to abstract the low level API, not to place all your bets on GL. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2012 at 23:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ This isn't the place for discussing the viability of Microsoft in the game industry. If you'd like to discuss this further I invite you to start a chat room. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2, 2012 at 23:13

5 Answers 5


Visual Studio 2012 does not work out of the box with XNA 4.0 but there is a workaround but since this still requires VS2010 to be installed as well I would recommend to just use VS2010 since that still works as expected.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would I then be able to publish game that would work on Windows 8? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2012 at 18:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ They will work on Windows 8 but they won't be Metro apps. However you can use MonoGame (monogame.codeplex.com) to port your XNA game to Metro. \$\endgroup\$
    – Roy T.
    Sep 1, 2012 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, the official Monogame homepage is monogame.net. The codeplex page is outdated. \$\endgroup\$
    – jalgames
    Jul 8, 2014 at 21:36

I think many here are in the same boat, so to speak. XNA was great and I had a lot of fun, now I'm moving on as Microsoft is keeping too silent about it, and excluding it in the ways you already noticed.

There's a workaround to develop XNA projects with Visual Studio 2012 and they should still run on Windows 8 desktop, but there's no official support from Microsoft.

Look at other frameworks/wrappers for .NET/C# like SlimDX if you want to continue this route.

Microsoft seems to want to focus on native code now, it almost feels like a revival movement from within the company, with C++ and DirectX being the combo of choice, even on their Windows Phone 8 platform.

Me myself am completely refocusing on

  1. using existing game engine for serious game development projects, like UDK and Unity
  2. switching to HTML+Javascript for hobby game tinkering, with C# on the backend (currently using SignalR) and I'm having a blast, especially with ReSharper 7.0 and JSLint as a R# plugin ^^

Some additional rambling: I'm contemplating C++11 now and then as this seems the new old Microsoft way but I never really did like C++ to begin with, especially after being exposed to languages like Java an C#, so I feel a bit spoiled. Also, JavaScript turned out to be much less of an ugly language after reading through The Best Parts and getting seriously into web front-end work in my career again, I feel the powerful ways of expressing myself in JavaScript really makes me smile these days, and there are JavaScript+WebGL demo and intro compos at demoparties these days - doing very cool stuff.


Head over to the MONOGAME repo on Codeplex i have XNA running in the Win8 Store in both full game mode and embedded within a XAML Application

the discussion forums contain plenty of example on how to achieve this

sometime this month MONOGame 3.0 is being released that officially supports Windows8 (rather than using a development branch)


XNA and C# was a strong combo for neat PC games and XBOX games development. I would doubt that Microsoft could drop it just so. More resonable is the thought that the new upcoming MS console and Xbox 360 successor, is going to rely heavily upon current Direct X 11 interface and techniques, which current gpus implement already. It is very likely that a refurbished XNA is going to cover them in a future release. XBOX indie market has been a great place of innovation and development, why should Microsoft abandon that. Not really...

Regarding the news about the new XBOX devkits, i would argue that DX11 is the big player in future game development, since it is used by the XBOX successor. Thinking bout Direct X9, it is only the current XBOX 360 what keeps it alive after years somehow...


You might want to look up the ANX project. It aims to be source code compatible with XNA - ie beeing able to read and compile projects made with XNA Game Studio - and it can be used with Visual Studio 2012. More than that, it also supports DirectX 10 and 11 using SharpDX and also OpenGL. It is a work in progress but already now it seems quite useable. I've just started playing around with it, and it seems a very promising project.


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