More people will get a chance to play Axiom Verge as the “Metroidvania”-styled game is being ported to both the Xbox One and Wii U later this year.
Tom Happ, the game’s sole developer, made the announcement on Monday. Release dates for both of the new platforms weren’t announced. There will be playable demos of both versions at PAX East in Boston next month.
Happ developed Axiom Verge over a five-year period starting in early 2010, creating all of its gameplay design, art style, music and story by himself on nights and weekends in his spare time. The game features retro-styled visuals and gameplay in the “Metroidvania” vein, based on platforming, exploration, unlocking new weapons and collecting power-ups. The game first released for the PlayStation 4 in March 2015.
The PS4 version of Axiom Verge was developed using MonoGame, the open source version of Microsoft’s XNA programming software that only worked on Sony’s home console at the time of the game’s launch.
The Xbox One version of Axiom Verge is now possible with the console’s new support for MonoGame. Axiom Verge will be one of the first games launching on Xbox One developed using MonoGame, which the console previously didn’t allow. Microsoft announced on Monday that it would be focused on opening its platforms in support of developers creating and porting their titles with MonoGame in a new policy initiative within ID@Xbox.
Sickhead Games is handling the game’s release for Xbox One. The Dallas, Texas-based company is experienced in helping independent creators port their games and specifically working with the MonoGame development tool. Games the studio ported include TowerFall Ascension and Octodad: Dadliest Catch on the Vita. Sickhead also ported Apotheon and Skulls of the Shogun to the PS4, which were created using MonoGame just like Axiom Verge.
The Wii U version is being done by BlitWorks, a studio in Spain that’s also focused on developing ports across various systems. BlitWorks has ported indie games like Bastion, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Fez and Spelunky to Sony’s consoles. The company is also working on the upcoming Wii U versions of Super Meat Boy and The Next Penelope. The Wii U still doesn’t support MonoGame, so Axiom Verge is presumably based on different coding being done by BlitWorks.
A PlayStation Vita version of Axiom Verge has also been sent to Sony for certification last week. The Vita version was also done by Sickhead Games. A release date hasn’t been announced but the game’s launch depends on how long the certification process takes, according to Happ. This version was originally supposed to launch around the same time as the PlayStation 4 in March 2015. The Vita version was indefinitely delayed as Happ faced difficulty porting the game because of its MonoGame background. Happ waited many months for the right tools and assistance from Sony while personal family issues also took time away from the game’s development.
The PS4 version is Cross-Buy with the Vita. Axiom Verge owners on PS4 will automatically get the Vita version when it releases.
Axiom Verge is also available for the PC on Steam, which released in May 2015. The game retails for $19.99.
Watch gameplay on PS4: