Team Meat hasn’t had the best of luck developing for consoles in the past, and the indie darlings behind Super Meat Boy and the upcoming Mew-Genics, don’t seem super confident in next-gen systems either.
Speaking with Eurogamer Tommy Refenes said part of the team’s problem with developing on consoles is the overhead, and expensive endeavor for indies, especially when developing a game for a new, unproven system.
“It costs zero dollars to develop on Steam if you already have a computer,” he said. “When you look at PlayStation and Xbox and Nintendo you have to buy thousand dollar dev kits and pay for certification and pay for testing and pay for localisation – you have to do all these things and at the end of the day it’s like, ‘I could have developed for other platforms and it would’ve been easier.’”
“You have to take into consideration that when you’re independent, you don’t want to take the risk of jumping on a platform that you have no idea how it’s going to do until it’s already established,” added Edmund McMillen. “When you look at WiiWare, when it bloomed when World of Goo came out it was like, ‘Holy shit! This is a great platform to develop for,’ and then it was like a gold rush and everybody was jumping on WiiWare.
“What they should have done was wait a little longer to see if it would continue. Because then it just dropped and nobody cared.
“Imagine if we got put in another situation like with Xbox where we were nailed down to this contract of semi-exclusivity and we had to jump through all these hoops and kill ourselves and then pay shit-loads of money to get on a platform that’s not established yet and then it comes out and doesn’t do well – imagine that. That’s fucking horrible.”
Refenes doesn’t think next-gen consoles such as PS4 and Xbox-whatever-it’s -going-to-be-called will produce games that are miles above what is already available.
“I don’t feel there’s a need to have anything more than what’s out right now,” he said. “An iPad comes out and does a year’s worth of console sales in a weekend. The people in the market to play games are more apt to grab an iPad or a tablet or a fancy phone because it’s more convenient.
“I don’t feel confident there’s going to be a PlayStation 5. I don’t feel confident there’s going to be another console after the Wii U. There probably will be, but it’s totally diminishing returns. It’s sad. I like the consoles, and I prefer playing something in my living room. But I’m also not in that range of consumer that actually sort of dictates trends at this point.”
“If Nintendo or Sony or Microsoft – well, we’ll cut off Microsoft at this point – but if Nintendo or Sony came to us and said, ‘we have a minimum guarantee of X, Y, Z, we really want you to develop a game for our next system that’s coming out in year whatever, if you have something to work on we want to work with you, here’s a free kit to develop for us and here’s a minimum guarantee or advance,’ then we’d be way more inclined to develop for them, but it wouldn’t be an exclusive deal,” added McMillen.
“That’s an important thing for us.”
PS4 is slated for a holiday release and industry rumors peg the next-Xbox for the same time frame.