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Hello Games: Porting Joe Danger to XBLA was "cathartic"

Feeling in team that original was "released because we'd run out of money"

Sean Murray, head of Joe Danger developer Hello Games says that the revisiting the game in order to bring it to XBLA was a cathartic process, meaning the team was able to iron out the kinks and make the game better.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz in an interview to be published next week, Murray said that stats and data collected from watching hundreds of thousands of PS3 players enjoy the game had helped the team to polish a game which they felt was released to PSN "because we'd run out of money."

"We loved the game, the original Joe Danger," Murray explained. "But we'd released it just because we kind of ran out of money, we didn't really feel like it was finished. I don't think most teams would feel this way, but we actually jumped at the chance to revisit it and fix everything that was wrong.

"It's been a really cathartic process, to go back. We've watched all these hundreds of thousands of PS3 players ply through now, we've gathered stats and things like that. It kind of eats you up, the problems that you know you left there, the things you know you left unfinished."

Previously, Murray had attracted attention for referring to XBLA as a "slaughterhouse" for smaller developers during a talk at Develop in Brighton last year.

His change of tack wasn't hugely motivated by profits, he says, but good business played its part.

"We jumped at the chance without even thinking about the economics of it, " Murray claims.

"XBLA is obviously a very large market, I think it makes business sense for us. I hope that players respond to it. I think we do what we've always done before, which is to make the best game we can and hope that everything else falls into place."

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Dan Pearson