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.
Mar 1, 2011
Got a news tip? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Super Meat Boy review
The hardest game you'll ever love
Super Meat Boy retro reference guide
Hey ancient fanboys, get a taste of this old, meaty goodness