Team Meat: No interest in new consoles
Past experience, cost, waning relevance, and easier alternatives have Super Meat Boy devs ready to sit out next-gen system wars
Nintendo and Sony have attempted to woo small developers with the Wii U and PlayStation 4, respectively, but their overtures are falling on deaf ears for some indies. Speaking with Eurogamer for an article published today, Team Meat's Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes said not to expect the upcoming Mew-genics to appear on consoles.
"The overhead cost of just developing for those consoles is insane," Refenes said. "It costs zero dollars to develop on Steam if you already have a computer. 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 localization... 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.'"
It's not just that making games for PCs or tablets is simply easier and cheaper. Refenes doesn't think there's enough new and different in the new consoles to justify their existence, especially when the existing console market seems to be overshadowed in relevance by the rapidly growing tablet market.
"An iPad comes out and does a year's worth of console sales in a weekend," Refenes said. "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."
As for what could change their minds, there were a few scenarios. One involved an intermediary coming in to port Team Meat games, handling all the bureaucracy and legal tanglings, or as McMillen put it, "some magical middleman who would just appear and do all of our business for us." Alternatively, McMillen said if Nintendo or Sony provided a minimum guarantee and free dev kit, and the ability to bring the games to other systems eventually, he would be "way more inclined" to make a game on their system. (Microsoft was scratched from the list of potential partners in light of Team Meat's experience releasing Super Meat Boy on Xbox Live Arcade.)
And if Nintendo was really serious about it, Refenes and McMillen agreed that Team Meat would work on the Wii U at the drop of a hat if Super Meat Boy wound up in the next Super Smash Bros. game.
"Nintendo are you listening," McMillen asked. "Smash Bros! We would ask for nothing in return. Just f***ing use the character. Put him in the game. It's free!"