Questioning our own sanity, we contacted our old chum Ron Carmel at 2D Boy and found out what was going on. Here’s what he told us:
Our European publisher, RTL Playtainment, is planning to release both the Wii and PC versions as retail titles. We're going to add some extra content to the European version that won't be available in North America or Japan.
The good news is that at least Wii gamers in Europe are not going to miss out on World of Goo, heck you'll even get additional content - despite paying more for it. Why was this curious decision made for Europe? It may just be simple economics; maybe Europeans haven’t taken to downloading games en masse yet or are more attached to games cases and artwork. Who knows?
Look at it this way, at least you won’t have the conflict of deleting other WiiWare games to make way for this on your Wii’s internal memory!
Update: more information from Ron Carmel:
Extra content: We're not sure how much extra content there will be, we're still figuring that out with RTL. It won't be available as additional pay-to-play content on WiiWare, it's meant just for Europe.
Price: It's not going to be a budget title, but I don't know if it will be "full price" either. This up to RTL and their distribution network to figure out. They're going to be presenting the game at the Leipzig GC... that might be a good place to ask them about pricing.
WiiWare vs. Retail: RTL is experienced in bringing retail games to market. They've also dealt fairly and honestly with us and that means a lot to us after experiences we've had with other publishers. In general, Kyle and I favor digital distribution because when you go retail there are a lot of people making money off the game and there's a much smaller piece left for the developer. Retail does have one significant advantage over digital though: publishers are use to paying an advance for a game. After having worked on this game for over a year, burning through savings and getting into debt we were simply nearing the end of our runway and it started being pretty important for us to get some money coming in. RTL was there to help us. We're trying to compensate for the price difference by making some exclusive content for the European version, but we know that some people will still be annoyed that the game will cost more in Europe. We're sad about that, because we just want people to play the game and have fun. We'd be giving it away for free if we didn't need to eat and pay rent
As ever, post your thoughts below.