News Article

Machinarium Finally, Officially Cancelled

Posted by James Newton

Guess why

Last September, XGen Studios announced Machinarium was coming to WiiWare, but since then we've heard not anything else about the game, leading many to assume it would never see the light of say. Sadly, those folks were right.

Developer Amanita Design's founder Jakub Dvorský finally sealed the game's coffin in an interview with Eurogamer, where he criticised the Wii's limitations:

We don't like Wii because the resolution is so low and there is a size limit on WiiWare of 40MB, which is so low for nowadays. It's crazy.

The criticisms aren't anything new to many WiiWare fans of course: at a time when PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade games run at 1GB or more, 40MB is a paltry amount by comparison.

The slight silver lining, however, is that Amanita is investigating Wii U as a potential platform for its next game. That's something, right?

[via eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (62)

RVN

#1

RVN said:

This are the kind of news that make me think that nintendo should focus a little % less on innovation.

SqueakyTheBone

#4

SqueakyTheBone said:

Ah, what a pity! But I have to ask, whats to stop them from moving the project onto another platform? Surely size limitations alone can't warrant for the complete cancellation of the game?

Or maybe it can. I dunno.

stipey

#5

stipey said:

Hm. I don't know how I feel about all these ports of indie games anyway. VVVVVV, for example, is one of my favourites, but I've bought it twice now. I just want to see the 3DS store being supported, so I feel like I'll buy it anyway, even if it's available elsewhere for much cheaper.

Machinarium's the same. It's great. Buy it for PC or Mac, for sure, but the Wii's (inevitably) inferior version? We're not missing out on anything.

Cipher

#7

Cipher said:

There won't be any size limitations for Wii U download software, so I do hope they consider the possibility of releasing the title for the next platform.

(I should say, since there aren't any size limitations for Nintendo 3DS download software, I assume there won't be any on Wii U either.)

TrueWiiMaster

#15

TrueWiiMaster said:

Eh, whatever. I've never heard of this game anyway.

What I don't get is why people think they need so much room to make a good game. Before the Gamecube, all Nintendo games were well under 40MB, and they were great. Even now there are dozens of awesome Wiiware titles that managed to fit into the limit. Personally, I find Wiiware to have MORE great games than the competition, but maybe that's just me.

Besides, the company had to know the size limit going in to this. What they obviously DIDN'T know was what they could and couldn't do with their own software.

Samholy

#16

Samholy said:

@RVN
true. and yet they seem to go into the gadget again with the WiiU. same goes with the 3DS.

the 3ds is saved by the backward compatibility and the huge library of DS games before it. since i didnt get much ds titles over the years, i still have good meat to bite on while waiting for 3ds games to come out.

motang

#17

motang said:

Well I tried the PC version and wasn't really impressed by it too much, so it won't matter to me.

Omega

#18

Omega said:

I agree with TrueWiiMaster. The problem is not the 40MB size limit but the inabilty of today's programmers to write small, efficient programs. A skill that has been subsequently been lost. For example: On the Nintendo 64 Super Mario 64 uses 8MB of memory, Banjo Kazooie uses 16MB of memory and even Zelda Ocarina of Time only uses 32MB of memory. But a simple game for WiiWare like Toki Tori uses around 35MB of memory. Now, isn't that strange?

LordJumpMad

#19

LordJumpMad said:

I have the game on stream.
Its charming but not worth getting it on Wiiware

Meatboy on the other hand would have made a great Wiiware game

ImDiggerDan

#20

ImDiggerDan said:

@Omega - Most modern games will have executable code which is under 1MB in size. It's not the code that is inefficient, it's the data. Sound effect, music, voice over, textures, 3d models, animations, fonts - they all take up space.

Yes, it's possible to make fantastic games using 40MB or less, but some games simply require more.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#22

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Aaarrrggghhh! Was looking fwd to seeing this. Still there's been some outstanding wiiware within the 40mb limit, so.....

James

#23

James said:

The fact that Wii's download service only supports games barely larger than the N64 days isn't a good thing in my eyes.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#24

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Yeah it was ok a couple of years ago as it forced devs to get imaginative and creative - but now we need to change. Won't happen in the Wii lifespan though

DarkEdi

#25

DarkEdi said:

Nintendo has another miss. They don´t update the Wii since... mmm... like a year ago (or more).

JoshuaJSlone

#27

JoshuaJSlone said:

Perhaps the resolution might come as a surprise if the announcement was September 2005, and perhaps the size limit would've been a surprise if the announcement was September 2007, but considering it was September 2010, why bother if those were such issues?

accc

#30

accc said:

...But wasn't the game already completed and only waiting for a release date? I even read impressions from people who played the Wii version at trade shows, and they said the port was pretty much flawless.

EdEN

#31

EdEN said:

BS. Already own Machinarium and its fun but them announcing a Wiiware version and not realizing the freaking size limit has been there from the start AND "cancelIing" the game because of it is plain stupid. They knew how big their game was, they knew about the 40 MB AAAAAND 480p max display. They're just being elitist a$*h0!es about it.

Omega

#32

Omega said:

ImDiggerDan wrote:

...it's the data. Sound effect, music, voice over, textures, 3d models, animations, fonts - they all take up space.

Oh, come on. Almost all N64 games have sound effects, 3D models, animations, textures, fonts.

Voice acting isn't necessary and you don't need high-resolution textures in a game that is otherwise minimalistic. This does not increase the fun factor of the game at all.

And let's face it: Why can't they make genious games like Banjo Kazooie for WiiWare? Is it really because they "only" have 40MB of memory. Or is it the price limit of 1500 points?

darklinkinfinite

#34

darklinkinfinite said:

While I certainly think WiiWare's file size limit should be raised, I'm really sick of developers announcing games LONG after the service's limitations being well known and then acting like it was some giant roadblock that snuck up on them.

It happened with Super Meat Boy. They knew the restrictions going in but figured they'd be given an exemption from the restrictions and they weren't. Developing a game under the assumption that you'll be exempted from the console requirements is just silly.

XGen

#35

XGen said:

XGen here — just wanted to apologize to everyone we've disappointed and to shed some light on this. We've had a version of Machinarium running on the Wii (using some custom Flash-based technology to help get it there) for over a year now. By making a lot of sacrifices on the amazing soundtrack, and fantastic graphics, we were finally able to squeeze the game into the necessary distribution footprint (from over 300 MB on other platforms).

Since then, we (and the brilliant guys at Amanita) had been doing a lot of work to try to improve the quality and experience on the Wii. But in the end we collectively made the tough decision that, even after all this, the quality just couldn't do the game justice when compared to other platforms.

So again I apologize that we couldn't make this happen, but we really encourage everyone to check out this fantastic game on another platform. Cheers everyone!

Mandoble

#38

Mandoble said:

It is shocking to see people defending the 40MB Nintendo limit and puting the blame on the game designers when the game was designed for systems without that download limit, simply incredible. I dont know why you guys have a Wii, better to keep with the NES forever. I suspect that Nintendo needed more than 40MB for Mario Galaxy ... ... their programmers should be a bunch of incompetents.

WolfRamHeart

#40

WolfRamHeart said:

As long as this game is still coming to the PSN I am okay with this. This really sucks for people that only have a Wii and were looking forward to this game. Hopefully things will change when the Wii U comes out.

FOREST_RANGER

#41

FOREST_RANGER said:

Well, I did find it mysterious as to how they would fit all those bitmaps (which the game is mostly made of), sound effects, music, fonts, and more into the 40 MB limit. Keep in mind that the game also makes you examine the surrounding environment, which seems a little silly in a mere 720x480 resolution. They could trim the size, but then they would need more work and time, meaning more money. And, let's face it, WiiWare isn't very popular compared to other online shops, so it's just too risky for them.

Kifa

#43

Kifa said:

Sure, keep on whining... First of all - Machinarium can be played on virtually any PC, underpowered laptops included, and it's cheap, so there is really no need for a more expensive Wii/PSN/XBLA edition...

Secondly - 40MB is not much, but keep in mind that Wii released a few years ago already and it was never intended to be downloadable content powerhouse. Besides - there is a ton of WiiWare releases that manage to impress despite the limitation. MotoHeroz, Fast, Lost Winds... I think it's not about the limitations themselves, but about developers being lazy and not willing to optimize their games anymore.

But yeah, keep on whining about those 40 megabytes... Mahinarium is a 2D flash-based game, taking up 350 megabytes of drive space (just checked). Geez, where are those times when we could stick an entire 3D shooter with one expansion inside that space? :|

FOREST_RANGER

#45

FOREST_RANGER said:

<Sigh>, it would have been cool to see Machinarium on the Wii. Luckily, I have it on PC, so it doesn't bother me. Well, good luck to them if they try a WiiU port.

As for the old games like N64 taking up little space, we must remember that those assets took much less space than today. Textures were very small,color palettes were limited, 3d models were more simple, and most music were synthesized. Machinarium uses a lot of bitmaps and layered high resolution backgrounds, there are multiple soundtracks that are audio files (not midi), and there are lots of noise that are also audio files.

OverlordMao

#46

OverlordMao said:

I'll just buy it on Steam if I wanted to, but I don't really. It's not a spectacular game by any means. Still, I'm glad they decided that it was better to with-hold the game for quality standards.

But if Retro City Rampage doesn't come out for the same reasons...rage will occur >:[

Slapshot

#48

Slapshot said:

@XGEN You're game is indeed amazing and I hate to see that it can't make the transition to WiiWare for you guys!

I think I've got over 8gb of downloads queued up right now on my PS3!

Henmii

#49

Henmii said:

"Machinarium Finally"

Yes!!!

"Officially Cancelled"

NOOOOOOO!!!

Ah man, what a pity!! Bring it to Wii u, pleasssse!!!

gamecubefan

#50

gamecubefan said:

lol at pretentious no-name developers trying to bash nintendo publicly for their 15 minutes

TTGlider

#53

TTGlider said:

The 40 MB limit is indeed completely, utterly, archaic. Nintendo is checked-out on so many fronts related to online sales and play.

EdEN

#54

EdEN said:

@XGEn: The bad reaction to the news is also because of the way the guy from Amanita is basically saying "Wii Suckzx!1!1!!1" in that quote.

Demonic_St33V

#55

Demonic_St33V said:

Whether or not 40MB is a barrier to a game development team all depends on how hard they're willing to work. In April of 2004 .fr-08 released the beta version of kkrieger, a rather stereotypical FPS for the PC. Everything about it was simple standard FPS fare, lite on plot - heavy on gun play. Graphics wise, it was comparable to big budget AAA FPS games available at the time.

So what made kkrieger special? Fully installed it only required 96k of disk space. Yeah, less than a frichen meg.

.fr-08 was a different sort of developer though. The kkrieger beta release was, as far as I know, the only game they ever released. .fr-08 wasn't founded to develop video games, they were more about proving a point: lazy development = wasted resources.

vherub

#56

vherub said:

This was such a great game, it's a shame the wii audience won't experience it but at least steam and the psn are large platforms. The wii u cannot have an arbitrary cap for downloadable content, there were so many mistakes nintendo made that they need to avoid going forward.

JimLad

#57

JimLad said:

The limit is 40mb because they don't wan't to highlight the fact that the Wii only has 512mb onboard memory.

mayhem13

#58

mayhem13 said:

I agree with anyone who says, why would they announce it and then cancel it and rip on the Wii. Anyone with a half working brain already knows that Wii games have big file limits and that the resolution is standard definition. This guy is acting in 2011 like he didn't know that when everyone knew that for years. And his company makes games. There is more to it but really it is a who cares sort of deal. Most PC's can run it I'm sure...its only a point and click. It plays probably better on a PC with a keyboard for the same reason too.

MeloMan

#59

MeloMan said:

So when's the official announcement of River City Ransom 2, Super Dodge Ball 2, and Retro City Rampage cancellations for WiiWare coming?

TikiTong

#61

TikiTong said:

I never even heard about this game. When i see the screenshot, it looks awesome er..... LOOKED awesome.

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