Team Meat’s Edmund McMillen has written in Game Developer Magazine that the studio felt “taken advantage of” by Microsoft during development of Super Meat Boy, because the firm put pressure on the team to finish the game in time for the XBL Game Feast promotion.
According to the article, transcribed by Kotaku, McMillen describes the crunch time imposed by Microsoft as a difficult task.
“We were basically developing features during bug checking, which meant every single time I turned on the computer and checked the bug database, the work I did the night before was pretty much rendered irrelevant,” he said. “I would work and fix 100 bugs in a night and get it down to 50, then wake up the next morning and have 200 bugs to fix.”
The crunch came about during the last four months of Super Meat Boy’s development so that it could be part of the Game Feast promotion. However, once the game was finished, MS told the team the price of the game was too steep and it didn’t look as good as other games listed in the promotion.
The game was launched alongside of Costume Quest and according to Team Meat, its games did not garner strong support from Microsoft, which led the studio to feel “very confused and taken advantage of.”
“We were told our price was too high, our visuals too rough and simply not as eye catching and flashy as the other Game Feast games Comic Jumper and Hydrophobia,” McMillen wrote. “Our hearts sank when we were informed that we were projected to sell as much if not less than Hydrophobia, which would be the second-highest grossing game of the Feast in their minds.
“The biggest mistake we made during SMB’s development was killing ourselves to get into a promotion we would gain basically nothing from.”
In the end though, McMillen states it wasn’t all bad, as the studio’s experience with Steam and the game’s composer was an pleasant endeavor.