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Team Meat takes issue with XBLA, cancels plans for Super Meat Boy on Wii

Rumblings from Team Meat today have revealed the studio will not be moving forward with plans to release Super Meat Boy on the Wii, and that it is upset with Microsoft over the mega publisher's alleged failure to provide marketing support for Super Meat Boy on XBLA.

Speaking to the latter at the GDC conference in San Francisco, co-CEO Tommy Refenes claimed Microsoft had promised the indie studio an exclusive one-week release schedule and extensive promotional support for Super Meat Boy's XBLA launch last October, but instead lumped the game in with the release of Double Fine's Costume Quest and buried it amidst other promotions in the spotlight feed.

"We just kind of got pushed to the side, and that's basically how the Xbox Live launch went. The only reason the game sold well was because of how we promoted it. The help from Microsoft was there in a very limited capacity," recalled Refenes, adding, “It's not supposed to hurt your feelings because it's business, but it totally fucking hurt my feelings. Me and Ed just killed ourselves trying to get this game done and now we're just pushed to the side.”


Above: Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen

As Refenes remembers it, Microsoft had also agreed to feature Super Meat Boy as the top title in its spotlight feed, but when launch day came, Refenes found no mention of the title anywhere in the service. After a terse email to Microsoft, Super Meat Boy was finally added, albeit it in the number four spot.

He also noted Team Meat was later told they'd receive more support based on Super Meat Boy's success, but were again ignored even when their game started gaining traction.

"It was really confusing,” explained Edmund McMillen, Team Meat's second half. “ At that point I think we were so fucked up in our heads from development, it almost felt like 'are these people out to get us? What's happening here? Did we do something wrong? Are they trying to screw us because we did something wrong?'"

In his bid to avoid burning too many bridges, McMillen later added, "Everybody that we could talk to were great; the people who we couldn't talk to were the problem. So everyone who we worked with was wonderful. Everyone who was making decisions, not so much."

As for its Wii strategy, Team Meat has canceled plans to release Super Meat Boy for the WiiWare after the game was deemed too large to be included on the service. In its statement, the studio said, "Wii and WiiWare canceled, but we are now 3DS devs so who knows what may happen!”

Despite its XBLA woes and today's Wii cancellation, success on Steam and other platforms has led to over 400,000 Super Meat Boy sales across all platforms. There have been a few hiccups, sure, but it'd be a stretch to say that Team Meat has suffered.

[Source: Eurogamer]

Mar 1, 2011

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19 comments

  • Spybreak8 - March 3, 2011 2:02 a.m.

    Super Meat Boy on Wii is like an oxymoron. I don't think they have the hardcore to appreciate it, well enough of the hardcore.
  • CoryRX8 - March 2, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    I'm a little confused here myself. Super Meat Boy was plastered all over Xbox Live for about a week when it came out, and still had pretty prominent placement after that. SMB didn't come out at the same time as Costume Quest either... were they expecting to have #1 billing for the entire Game Feast promotion or something? If so, then they were being a little unrealistic; MS isn't going to give a developer an entire month to themselves.
  • MightyMorphinPoltergeist - March 2, 2011 12:52 a.m.

    I saw it quite a bit as well. I'm not sure what they expected, but from the way they complain its like they thought MSoft would replace the Xbox logo on the boot screen to their cube of meat. Also, considering its an overpriced flash game I think they did quite well.
  • Scoob - March 1, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    To echo others, I have seen that game all over the place. When Microsoft was done pushing it, I saw it all over Steam. Well, maybe not all over the place, but it did have a fair share of attention in spotlights and the arcade space. Xbox live is used for more than just games, so I'm not sure what ratio of attention they wanted. I suppose it's all regional, but the holiday specials and big name releases were being pushed, along with the impending release of Netflix in Canada on the 360. And I mean, you release a game during the holiday season, at the same time as a huge company as Activision is marketing one of the biggest selling franchises ever, I'm sorry, with the millions at stake, there is no way in hell you're going to be top priority. They just need to understand their place. And for the record, I have Super Meat Boy, and that game is amazing, and I've played the hell out of it. Talented game designers they are.
  • WTeen8 - March 1, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    I'm sad about the Wii cancellation..but there's always the Retail version for PC. And Team Meat on 3DS, Looks like the 3DS will be successful after launch.
  • shawksta - March 1, 2011 9:21 p.m.

    Same here, I saw Super Meat boy the star lots of times. 3DS devs? Awesome! Already the 3DS is gonna have a popular game on the 3DSware and its no telling what they'll do with the 3D Support ^_^!
  • SOLAMON77 - March 1, 2011 9:13 p.m.

    It's a shame about how they were treated on XBLA. Hopefully this doesn't put them off from publishing on the service again in the future (after all, SMB did sell there). I'm sure the issue was that they were a 2 man team and didn't really have anyone representing them on the business side of things. Oh, and I didn't buy this game because of their personal advertisements and I'm sure most people will say the same. I saw this game due to MS's Game Feast promo and tried the demo from there. Furthermore, I cause at least 4 other people to buy it based on my recomendation. So MS's ads did do something.
  • bobbybroccoli - March 1, 2011 8:46 p.m.

    I shall now weep for hours.
  • litrock - March 1, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    @veryweirdguy They were part of the Game Feast promotion. One of the agreements of games in that promotion was you got a week to yourself and top billing advertisement on the dashboard. Having Costume Quest come out the same day was kind of a dick move on Microsoft's part.
  • Mattgyver - March 1, 2011 8:29 p.m.

    Buried it with other promotions? The spotlight section wouldn't shut up about this game. Not to mention the other areas it appeared. Agreed with @killershadow117.
  • Nintygameplayerperson - March 1, 2011 8:14 p.m.

    At least it'll be on the go, and in 3D!
  • jackthemenace - March 1, 2011 8:12 p.m.

    @killershadow117- Gonne have to agree there, I never stopped seeing advertisements. I never knew it was, like, the number one spot or anything, i never really pay much attention to the arcade section, but even the Australian xbox dashboard (My account thinks it's still in Australia) had it all over. It doesn't seem to want to go away. That said, i did just try the demo, and it was exceedingly fun, but it's not really worth 1200 Microsoft points.
  • veryweirdguy - March 1, 2011 8:03 p.m.

    Really don't understand their thinking here. Do they expect Microsoft to promote every single game on their console? Love the game, but this interview comes across as a little arrogant.
  • infernox - March 1, 2011 8:02 p.m.

    i bought it on steam. if it does come out on the 3DS, ill buy a 3DS xD.
  • RedhawkAce - March 1, 2011 7:56 p.m.

    @ Killershadow117 Man couldn't agree more with you if anything all the advertising for the game was starting to make me hate it more than anything and they want to say it wasn't even advertised hahaha fools.
  • Longnuts - March 1, 2011 7:56 p.m.

    Look at that dude with a mohawk and a kick ass beard, and notice he's rocking a sweater vest. What a pimp.
  • SonicX_89 - March 1, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    @Killershadow117 I thought the same thing. Every time I turned on my Xbox, I saw mention of Super Meat Boy.
  • Killershadow117 - March 1, 2011 7:42 p.m.

    I have no clue what they are talking about, I saw super meat boy in the number one spot on the spotlight for at least a month in a half. These guys must want there game to be plastered all over the xbox or something because it seemed like everyone and there mom knew about this game where I am from.
  • Austin_SJ - March 1, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    It's an incredible game but I'm not skillful enough to finish it, although I have a friend who is working through the dark worlds. I can understand that costume quest would get put in the spotlight over Super Meat Boy, but perhaps with Super Meat Boy 2 they'd get more respect.

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