Earlier today we reported that the indie sensation ‘Super Meat Boy’ was enjoying all kind of digital success via Steam and Xbox Live, but now word has come out that it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns getting their game on XBLA. GDC is happening this week and Super Meat Boy creators Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen hosted a panel during the event. They took that time to talk very candidly about the treatment they received from Microsoft while attempting to get Super Meat Boy to the masses.
They were originally promised to have their own week on Xbox Live when no other games were being published, as well as a certain amount of digital publicity for their game, which apparently didn’t happen as planned. Tommy was the first to speak about the incident.
“I was like ‘What’s the deal? Are you guys pulling out? Where’s our stuff? It finally went up half way through our launch day. It was the number four spot; it wasn’t number one. The ’spooktacular sale’, which was a whole bunch of other games that already came out – that was the number one slot.
An ad for a Mazda 3 was the number two slot – because you all go on Xbox to figure out what car you want, right?”
The duo weren’t done voicing their frustrations quite yet, either. Edmund seemed to be even more agitated by the circumstances.
“It was a f****** mindf***. It was really confusing. At that point I think we were so f***** 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?”
It’s certainly disheartening to see a relationship between a developer and publisher take such a harsh turn for the worst, but at least the game went on to have great success anyway. As always, there’s two sides to every story and I’ll be very interested to see if Microsoft chooses to defend themselves, or if they’ll simply keep quiet and hope this bad press goes away quickly.