Microsoft’s ID@Xbox self-publishing program, which aims to create an easier path to releasing indie titles on the company’s Xbox One console, is expected to launch in the early months of 2014, and two of the first releases are now confirmed. Team 17’s Worms Battlegrounds and Ninjabee’s Nutjitsu are both close enough to launching that they’re playable, as Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer confirmed on Twitter (via OXM).
Spencer noted that the played both of the “first shipping games” for the indie program shortly before he left for last week’s DICE Summit in Las Vegas. Team 17 confirms to Eurogamer that its ID@Xbox release is Worms Battlegrounds, which will also be self-published on PlayStation 4. Meanwhile, Ninjabee’s Nutjitsu came to Windows Phone 8 devices in 2013. It’s a stealth-puzzle game played from a top-down perspective. It also stars a ninja squirrel, so there’s that. Ninjabee is also known for Xbox Live Arcade release A Kingdom for Keflings, so its not exactly a newcomer to Microsoft’s gaming consoles.
There’s no word on when these games will be coming to Xbox One, though program director Chris Charla noted in December 2013 that ID@Xbox ought to launch in the first three months of the new year. Spencer’s tweet isn’t exactly a formal announcement for these games, but the boss of Microsoft Studios is probably in a good position to know the facts on these things.
You can check out a trailer for Nutjitsu below to get a sense of what kind of game it is.