It's finally happened: Microsoft has finally unveiled the new set of indie games set to launch within the next few weeks on the Xbox One.
If I were being nitpicky (and I'm not known to be that picky) I would say that Microsoft's original promise of getting the first batch of indie titles out by March is going to be off by maybe a week or two. Still, something is better than nothing, right?
GamesIndustry.biz spotted the recent update courtesy of the Xbox Newswire, where the Micro 'S' rolled out a list of some expected and some surprising entries all set to appear on the Xbox Live digital store within the next couple of weeks:
“1001 Spikes” by Nicalis
“Calibre 10 Racing Series” by Bongfish GmbH
“CastleStorm” by Zen Studios
“Chariot” by Frima
“Chuck’s Challenge 3D” by Niffler
“Contrast” by Compulsion Games
“Divekick Addition Edition +” by Iron Galaxy Studios
“Forced” by BetaDwarf ApS
“FRU” by Through Games
“Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition” by DrinkBox Studios
“Gunscape” by Blowfish Studios
“Habitat” by 4gency
“Hyper Light Drifter” by Heart Machine
“It Draws a Red Box” by Other Ocean
“Nutjitsu” by NinjaBee
“Pinball Arcade” by FarSight Studios
“Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut” by Toxic Games
“Riptide GP2” by Vector Unit
“Roundabout” by No Goblin
“Sixty Second Shooter Prime” by Happion Laboratories
“Spectra: 8bit Racing” by Gateway Interactive
“Strike Suit Zero” by Born Ready Games
“Super Time Force” by Capybara
“The Last Tinker” by Mimimi Productions
“Wulverblade” by Darkwind Media
Okay, I have to say, I am very shocked to see some of those games on there as the first batch of release titles for the Xbox One. Most shocking, of course, is Hyper Light Drifter, which is an extremely highly anticipated game set for release on PC and Wii U... and now Xbox One? Hmm. It at least looks like Microsoft is aiming for the big guns in the indie space.
Compulsion Games' Contrast is another entry I didn't think I would see on the list. Keep in mind that this was at one point a timed exclusive for the PS3 and PS4 in the console space and it completely breaks the parity clause Microsoft has setup. I'm assuming they worked out their “case by case” executive decision making to get a former PlayStation-based game on the Xbox One as a show of power, perhaps?
Games like Q.U.B.E. and Castlestorm are unsurprising entries, and will help flesh out the Xbox One's genre-diverse anorexia in a big way.
What did catch my attention a bit was Vector Unit's Riptide GP2. If I hadn't already bought the game on Steam, I might have considered picking up a digital copy for the Xbox One. The only thing that might sway my decision is if there's something new or more added to the multiplayer modes. But I'm happy with the Steam version for now.
Older titles like Gaucamelee and Strike Suit Zero will make for welcomed additions, further expanding the thin line-up of titles on the Xbox One's storefront. My biggest concern is where these games will actually be situated in the store? I mean, will you find the indies right next to the AAA titles or will be relegated to some soft sub-section in the far corner of the store or something?
I guess we'll find out soon enough.
[email protected] Games Director Chris Charla chimed in with his own comments, saying...
“Since we first announced the program in August, we’ve been working closely with developers to bring a diverse array of independent games to Xbox One,” ... “Our goal is to make the process as easy as possible so developers can focus on what matters most: creating the games you’re beginning to see today!”
Two of the games were singled out for adding additional Kinect integration into their gameplay, FRU and It Draws A Red Box. If Microsoft can convince more developers to take advantage of Kinect, they might... they just might be able to convince some of us to double-dip (if it's worth it).
We'll keep you posted on when these games actually make their debut on the Xbox One's digital storefront.