The Wii is no longer a “smart investment” and the story of Super Meat Boy

The reason I’m posting this, even though it is not directly related to the Wii 2, is because I feel it’s an important story that reflects how Nintendo would need to change their attitude to make the Wii 2 a “can’t-miss” system for third-party publishers and developers, one of the goals they are clearly aiming for with the 3DS, and reportedly with their next home console as well.

Super Meat Boy wallpaper

Remember Super Meat Boy? That stylish platformer notorious for its daringly high difficulty, and sharing its initials with the legendary Super Mario Bros.? Then you probably also remember the scandal that ensued when Nintendo refused to release the game on WiiWare, due to the platform’s ridiculous 50-megabyte size limit. Team Meat mentioned that they were going to try and aim for a retail release on the Wii, but nothing more came of it. What happened?

It turns out that every publisher Team Meat talked to denied them flat-out because they believed the Wii was too far along into its life cycle to risk putting any more significant cash into. As quoted from a recent interview:

We looked into getting SMB published on Wii retail, but sadly, there wasn’t one publisher we talked to that saw the Wii as a smart investment at this point in its life cycle. So we closed the book on the Wii.

It’s possible that all of the publishers Team Meat sent Super Meat Boy to didn’t see much of a future anymore for the little white box of wonders because it’s simply starting to get stale at this point. Moreover, the fact that Super Meat Boy was rejected from WiiWare for such a trivial reason to begin with, is further proof of Nintendo’s unfriendliness to third-parties and indie developers in particular. In stark contrast to their experience with Nintendo, they spoke out about the ease of getting their game onto the PC through Valve’s famous Steam platform:

Steam is amazing. I can’t stress that enough. The ability to quickly update within hours of a bug popping up made the entire PC launch much easier than it could have been if Steam had a different system in place to update code.

Also, Steam listens to its developers. They listened to us when it came to our suggestions for how we should push the sale, and in return we listened to them. Working with Steam never felt like a publisher / developer relationship. It felt like a mutual partnership to make the most money and put the best game out there.

We love Steam.

Make what you will of this. I think the story of Super Meat Boy is one Nintendo can learn a lot from. Who knows, we might even see Super Meat Boy come to the Wii 2 in the distant future.

Source: Gamasutra via GoNintendo

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  1. Did you also read their impressions on Xbox Live? They said it was horrible; Microsoft treated them with little respect, put 2 ads in front of their game (from home screen until you get to the game on the Xbox Store), and put it last in a list of 3 games released that week (someone has to, but it still hurt). Seeing as that’s supposed to be the best online gaming experience, seems like Nintendo won’t have to do much to beat them. I’m waiting to see what they do with the 3DS eShop before I start freaking out about the SWii (or Wii2).

    • Little respect was a vague categorizing of all the delaying and general problems Team Meat had to put up with. Just read the interview, I’m not posting it all here.