There's good news today as Microsoft just dropped a big list of names on the gaming community. Sadly, it wasn't a huge list of upcoming game releases, but it was news almost as good nonetheless. Yes, with winter seeming to never depart, and cold gripping much of North America, Microsoft dropped a big steamy ball of sunshine right into our midst by offering up a list of names in the ID@Xbox developers' pool, and the list is pretty big in its own right.
We've heard about the ID@Xbox program previously, the means by which independent developers could get in on the Xbox One
action, and those who got access to the program would not only receive two Xbox One development kits, but also a special Xbox One-only Unity Pro license and the ability to self-publish games, a development that would likely have been welcomed by Undead Labs back when “State of Decay” was more in a state of limbo than anything else.
But the early going was welcome enough, and some pretty big names in the indie field joined up like Double Fine, Crytek and Vlambeer of “Ridiculous Fishing.” Sounds great...but then the new list came out. A list packing in over 60 separate names, and some of them are even quite recognizable. We've got Vector Unit
, the guys who put together “Hydro Thunder,” which was one of my favorite arcade games that later became one of my favorite home racing games. How about The Behemoth
, the guys who made “Castle Crashers”? And if that doesn't catch your interest, well, maybe “Limbo”'s Playdead team will get a spark going.
There are scads more names where this lot came from, and suddenly, I'm feeling very optimistic vis-a-vis the Xbox One's fate. If these developers can get to turning out the games, and in rapid fashion, any of the fence-sitters out there who were holding out for better games may well have just lost one of the last props against pulling the trigger. Naturally, it's going to take some time before games start rolling out of these developers, but this is certainly good news all the same, especially for those Xbox fans who thought that Sony was absolutely killing it in terms of indie game appearances.
This may be a big move for Microsoft, but it all depends on how fast all these names can get the games rolling and in play. The sooner the better, certainly, but with an eye on quality nonetheless. More good quality games in play should help perk up Microsoft's numbers, and given the current state of the console war, Microsoft could use some reinforcements. And soon.