Indie games are becoming a real competitor in the gaming industry. Games like Minecraft–which has sold millions of copies, and Gone Home–the recipient of many Game of the Year awards–are taking the spotlight away from AAA titles. Microsoft is now trying to tap into that market with their [email protected] program. Monday, they announced the first two games coming to its indie program in March.
In November, Sony began capitalizing on the indie space and Sony may have a headstart with the way indie developers are flocking to them. Games like Outlast and Reshogun are gaining a lot of new (and well deserved) attention in the console space.
Microsoft doesn’t intend to let that discourage them. According to Phil Spencer on Twitter, the [email protected] indie program, starting in March, will feature Nutjitsu and Worms: Battleground. Here’s a quick peek:
Nutjitsu – “Defy the Kitsune samurai who have stolen your clan’s sacred acorns. Sneak through beautifully hand-painted landscapes, avoid capture by the guards, and snatch victory (and acorns) from your enemies. Steal back precious acorns across unique levels as you dodge an ever-increasing number of villainous foxes. The vigilant foxes can track your silent steps by scent. Keep ahead of them or vanish in a cloud of smoke. Grab as many mystical treasures as you can before disappearing into the night. Master the way of Nutjitsu!”
Nutjitsu is currently available on PC via developer NinjaBee’s website.
Worms: Battleground – Welp(!), that image is literally the only thing known about the game. We haven’t a clue whether it’s similar to other Worms in the series…or anything really. We do know it’s coming to both Xbox One and the PS4 some time in March, and is being developed by Team 17.
As a gamer, I’m glad Microsoft is finally opening its doors to indie developers sans no restrictions and crushing fees. It also sounds like March’s Xbox Live update for Titanfall will be a hefty one. If Microsoft can attract some good indie developers with the [email protected] program, their audience will grow and in turn make more money for everyone involved. Having affordable, innovative, quality games can only help the self-contained marketplace that is Xbox Live.