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Microsoft shared some details about its upcoming plans for its ID@Xbox indie-gaming program and its Game Pass subscription service. In a video released this morning, the ID@Xbox team revealed a number of new games that are coming to Xbox One and Game Pass at the same time.

These games include Killer Queen Black, Outer Wilds, and Blazing Chrome. Each will come to the $10-per-month Game Pass membership on the same day as their global release. Xbox fans will automatically get all of these promising indie games as long as they maintain an active Game Pass subscription.

Microsoft also announced that it is bringing a handful of games to PAX East in Boston this weekend. So if you want to try out Void Bastards or Supermarket Shriek while on the East Coast, you can make that happen.

Game Pass as an indie destination

Xbox Game Pass is already one of the best ways for fans to play first-party Xbox Game Studio releases. For $10 a month, you get access to games like Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves on the day they hit retail and digital platforms. But Microsoft wants to offer up way more content than it can make on its own, and to do that it is leveraging its ID@Xbox relationships.


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That’s where games like Killer Queen Black, Outer Wilds, and Blazing Chrome come in.

Killer Queen Black is a team-based multiplayer action platformer that first appeared in arcades from developer Liquid Bit. It has teams of anthropomorphic bees carrying out tasks to get one of three win conditions: military, economic, or snail. Yes, it has a snail victory, and no — I don’t know what that ensnails entails.

Outer Wilds is a planetary exploration adventure that relies on systems to create a unique experience for each player. Those systems are so massive that they even include the movement of celestial bodies, which all exist as 3D objects in the game.

Blazing Chrome is a run-n-gun shooter about killing some stinkin’ robots. It is from developer JoyMasher, which promises hardcore arcade action.

While indie games typically don’t have the power to move hardware on their own, they can still add a significant amount of value to something like Game Pass. If someone begins paying $10 per month for Halo, they may end up sticking around because it’s an affordable way to try out so many upcoming smaller games.

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