Super Meat Boy Developers Speak Out About Microsoft

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.

Source: Dealspwn


  1. It’s not different with Sony though, is it? Is it? I mean, it’s easier to get to new stuff on Live than it is on PSN, at least IMO.

    • I think without actually being the developer or publisher, it’s hard to know what to make of this. On one hand, it’s Microsoft. They’ve been accused of shady acts before.

      On the other, how many games are posted on XBLA per year? How many stories like this do you see?

      • They do pimp out the new release stuff on the XMB though, not that I can remember how this compares to the XBox live equivalent, my 360 hasn’t been powered up in at least a year.

    • I don’t know, I might be talking rubbish here (i cant check, Im at work) but I thought you went into the store. Then pressed down once then x, and that was the new stuff.

      I do think its wrong though that PS+ stuff is at the top. Or is that only for subscribers?

      • No that’s for non subscribers too but still its only down then X, hardly difficult?

      • Not hard no, just a bit strange.

    • Apart from the rather slow approval process(especially SCEE, remember Castle Crashers), I thought it was easier for publishers to get something on PSN. If I’m not mistaken (I might be) Live has a size limit, forbids modding, doesn’t allow DLC that’s also on DISC, …

      • I’ve always thought Castle Crashers was slow on SCEE due to broken networking as Super Street Fighter 2 HD took ages as well and had broken networking.

    • What do Sony have to do with anything here?

      • Nothing… but you gotta bash Sony whenever possible! ;)

        From what I read devs seem to prefer releasing on PSN than Live due to the relative ease, support they get and the more relaxed restrictions IMO. I put IMO on the end as it gives me free reign to post whatever I like without facts!

        Only reason SMB isn’t on PSN is Sony didn’t show interest in it (bad decision) and then deals with other platforms included that they explicitly couldn’t release on PSN (I’ll leave it up to you to decide who what with the Wii version getting cancelled). Seems they got a bit screwed by MS and Nintendo.

    • Well, so far no developer complained about such things with a PSN game. Quite the opposite. Maybe it’s because of Sony. Maybe because PSN don’t have car advertisements.

      • The car adverts are there, but mostly they are downloadable themes. (at least in the NA Store.)
        Right now we have a big add for gum which is kind of annoying, but the bright side is it sponsors a download for a baseball game demo. woo.

  2. And here i thought that it was a lot easier to get a game on XBL. I think MS will keep quiet on this one as imo i don’t think they can be bothered or just don’t care. I can see this turining into a lawsuit very easily.

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