Another April Fool’s has come and gone, and it is now safe to use the Internet for “tru facts”, as it were. As such, I present to you the first official post-April Fool’s story, a little tale about two-man indie developer Team Meat and their battles with Microsoft in bringing Super Meat Boy to Xbox LIVE Arcade.
In a recent issue of Game Developer Magazine (transcribed by Kotaku), one half of Team Meat, Edmund McMillen, waxes about the trials and tribulations faced by himself and his partner Tommy Refenes.
Aside from a few complaints that have really nothing to do with Microsoft (such as financial hardship brought on by emergency surgery), the duo experienced some difficulties getting the game ready for the Game Feast promotion on XBLA. They describe being in a forced crunch necessitated by the short release window brought on by the promotion which was clashing with their desire to add more features to the game. Fixing bugs at the same time as adding new things to the game meant that hours of hard work were rendered invalid by having more errors crop up on top of the ones they already fixed.
Furthermore, Team Meat said that Microsoft wasn’t even enthusiastic about the success of Super Meat Boy, projecting that it would only sell as much as another Game Feast title Hydrophobia, which they predicted would place second in sales. McMillen and Refenes also state that Super Meat Boy launched alongside Costume Quest without much help from the software giant.
At the end of their tenure with Microsoft, Team Meat said that they felt “very confused and taken advantage of”. While they did experience much more success in bringing the title to Steam, their time developing Super Meat Boy for Xbox LIVE Arcade sounds like it was quite the ordeal.
What do you guys think about Team Meat’s allegations? Seems to me like they have a huge bone to pick with Microsoft, who, at the time, was the only publisher willing to take on their game. While Valve eventually picked up the title, Xbox LIVE was essential in getting the game out in the wild. So who’s to blame here? Is Microsoft the big bad corporation taking advantage of small developers, or are Team Meat a couple of whiners?
Source – Kotaku