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Team Meat & Zen Studios Brawl Over Microsoft Indie Treatment

Jonathan Lester
Controversy, Microsoft, Team Meat, XBLA, Zen Studios

Team Meat & Zen Studios Brawl Over Microsoft Indie Treatment

Super Meat Boy Devs Attacked By Fellow Indies

Over the last few months, Team Meat has continually publicly attacked Microsoft's handling of the Super Meat Boy XBLA release, which they claim was under-exposed, poorly advertised and horribly supported. The Indie studio went as far as saying that Microsoft "f*cked" them as part of a "f*cking mindf*ck" (ouch), but in an interesting development, fellow independent outfit Zen Studios (the developers behind Zen Pinball) have spoken out to defend Microsoft's policies. On top of that, they've accused Team Meat of cynically milking the situation for extra PR rather than actually making a stand against a corporate juggernaut that's crushing the little guy.

As you'd expect, Team Meat haven't responded well - leading to a genuinely unpleasant and filthy war of words on Twitter, Gamasutra and social networks. We've got the full story below... and have a review of the recently-released Super Meat Boy Ultra Rare Edition in the pipeline.

As reported by D'Toid, Zen Studios made a statement in response to another recent Team Meat tirade on Gamasutra. This extraordinary forthright defence of Microsoft policies suggests that Team Meat have been manipulating the situation to their own ends.

We had (and continue to have) an excellent experience working with Microsoft. Pinball FX2 came out during the same Game Feast promotion, and we had similiar support and promotion available to us as did everyone in our launch class (Comic Jumper, Super Meat Boy, Pinball FX2, Hydrophobia). If fact, if you want to argue, Super Meat Boy got the MOST promo out of thd deal as they were the poster child for the whole campaign.

So why all the backlash? What are they not telling you? Is this a desperate attempt at marketing, PR...SALES? How come no one has mentioned that these guys have made millions - is it to protect their "we are indie and poor" image?

Team Meat responded with the following classy rebuttle:

so, what the [f*ck] is your problem? you obviously have no [f*cking] clue what we went through to talk [sh*t] like that publicly

After a horrendous drag-out brawl on twitter, the situation has now cooled down somewhat -  and Zen Studios has even offered to make a Super Meat Boy skin for Zen Pinball. However, it sheds new light on an extremely controversial situation: whether Microsoft actually treats their independent partners with the respect they deserve. The Xbox Live Indie Scene still doesn't receive anywhere near enough attention from the Redmond giant, and it will be interesting to see whether the recent XBLA crunches of 3-4 games releasing per week will negatively affect sales. We'll bring you more as we hear it - and we'd love to get your take on the situation!

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