News Article

Team Meat's Name Originated From a "Random" Nintendo Press Release

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"It'd be an honour to be featured on a Nintendo console but"...

It's almost forgotten history now, but there was a time when Super Meat Boy was coming to the WiiWare service — we even interviewed Team Meat when half of us was called WiiWare World, with the Nintendo system a priority for the small development studio at that point in February 2009. A lot changed and it was continually delayed, however, before being officially cancelled in December 2010.

There were likely multiple reasons for that fate — the WiiWare limitations won't have helped — yet it does bring an interesting tale. In an interview with games™ magazine, Team Meat's Edmund McMillen explained how a Nintendo press release gave the indie developer its name.

We didn't name ourselves. We were just given the name by Nintendo in a random press release and we were just like, 'Yeah, okay'. Somebody asked what the names were that we thought of before and we realised that we never talked about it! We never discussed anything, we just became Team Meat. I think it's fine — it works. I mean, it's kind of an honour, right?

It's clear that the duo has a degree of sentimentality and admiration for Nintendo; Mario is mentioned in the same interview, while Tommy Refenes explains why he loves The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past elsewhere in the magazine. Yet the duo seem to have fallen out of love with consoles in general, and while speaking kindly of Nintendo doesn't seem keen to undergo the challenges of releasing content on the Wii U or 3DS.

McMillen: We're at a weird point overall. I've never cared so little about an iteration of consoles before in my life, and I was such a huge videogame and console fanboy. I went to the launch of pretty much every big console that there's been for ages and worked at GameStop for a really long time but after the Wii, it all just kinda fell apart. It's come down to the fact that it's not the consoles — it's just the games. There's really not that much interesting happening out there. We'd like to work with Nintendo. We've tried to make it happen multiple times and they've done a great job in aiding that.

But in the end, things just got messed up and we couldn't do stuff. It'd be an honour to be featured on a Nintendo console but at this point, their current console is not necessarily one to take a risk and develop for. 3DS is cool though, right?

Refenes: But still, why kill yourself for that when you could just put it on Steam or the App Store and not have to worry about anything? Why do that?

McMillen: It's come down to that. The console wars are... I don't know... what's an analogy for something that's barely a war? It's like a bunch of old people that have been at odds in a nursing home and they just don't talk to each other any more.

Refenes: They're just waiting for the first one to die. (laughs)

It's certainly intriguing that Nintendo inadvertently came up with the name for one of the best known download developers in the industry, yet what do you think of the duo's comments about the current state of affairs with consoles? It's clear they admire and like Nintendo, but is it understandable that they'd rather focus on PC and smart device platforms, or do you disagree with their comments? Let us know in the comments below.

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User Comments (51)



andjahiam said:

Of course u want to develope on the safe bets and consoles are dead... pc and tablet phones ate the future consoles without a doubt.



DarkCoolEdge said:

I would buy it for 3DS too.

I still prefer consoles. Easier to use and, at least on Nintendo's front, they still offer something different.
This doesn't mean I don't like PC, how could I? Steam, GOG, humblebundle...



Jazzer94 said:

Wasn't The Binding of Isaac going to be on 3ds as well before it got cancelled, shame as they are both great albeit disturbing at the same time.



TreonsRealm said:

I can understand their stance on consoles (especially their issues with the 360 and WiiWare limitations) but why not throw Super Meat Boy on the Wii U? It's by far the most indie friendly of the Big 3 and I'm sure Nintendo would be happy to nullify the initial cost to get them on board. I have it on Steam but would happily support it on Wii U and they could probably get Nintendo to allow some kind of crossover content. Of the 3 indies featured on Indie Game: The Movie, they seemed the least pretentious and I think their games would be a nice fit for the Wii U. As for the 3DS, while it is popular, I know their is a bit more of a barrier to getting indie games on it (such as the case with Binding of Isaac) so I can understand them not want to go through the headache.



CaPPa said:

I'd never bother buying anything by Team Meat, not after the way they ditched the Wii. The fact that they prefer the app store shows that they're just looking for an easy $ nowadays.

Don't worry though Team Meat, keep your self important games on mobiles, there are plenty of good indie devs on Wii U/3DS who actually do deserve my money.



sinalefa said:

Well, for me no console release=no purchase.

"3DS is cool though, right?" But not cool enough to develop for, right?



xxAcesHighxx said:

I'd love the opportunity to buy both Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on my Wii U — and I'd gladly pay handsomely to do so too!

Nevermind, I guess



TheRealThanos said:

Besides the obvious gripes that most of us do seem to have, we should also consider that right now every single company that puts games on the Wii U is exposing itself to a serious sales risk and especially for indie developers that just do not have the capital to take those kind of risks it is quite understandable why they would pass on that for now. As for the butt hurt going on for Super Meat Boy not being on the Wii: the 40MB limit was ridiculous and Nintendo's stance on indies truly sucked at that time so that too is very understandable.
Besides all this I LOVE their console wars analogy. It shows the ridiculousness of it to a tee and it represent exactly what I think about these so called wars. They are stupid and the blind fanboyism should stop.
But it probably never will seeing as you see the same stupidity in sports and other aspects of life and the dumbest thing is that (in the case of consoles) only the companies benefit from you defending them so fervently, because if you do, you will probably also keep buying their products. And then there's the media: the always present representative of the perpetuation of misnomers and long debunked facts.
They just like to fan the flames, because it is a breeding ground for speculative articles and opinionated writing, so they will probably be damned before letting go of a prospect as "exciting" as the console wars...



Emblem said:

Devs like these annoy me, "we cant make bucket loads of cash so we won't port to consoles."

The 90's and 00's saw a lot of pc devs bringing titles to consoles for various reasons that ultimatley paved the way to where we are now.

Games are not just a business product.



Kirk said:

THIS article perfectly sums up the problem with Nintendo's consoles right now...

EVEN developers that actually want to put their games on Nintendo's systems often end up not doing so, even going so far as to cancel projects that were once in development for it and often quite far along, and sometimes precisely because of these annoying limitations that Nintendo is building into it's modern consoles that simply makes bringing their games to Nintendo's systems often more hassle than it's worth.

FANS can argue all they want that the Wii U doesn't have any "limitations" compared to the competition or whatever but excluding the low sales for now, which is one of it's MANY issues, I can promise you it does have actual hardware, features and services based limitations and these limitations are just ONE MORE of the many reasons why so many games are not coming to the system.



Adam said:

I like their analogy.

I would hardly call anything they make "easy money." They aren't making Candy Crushes. They are just targeting what they consider the most suitable platforms for their content. You have to realize they are two people. It's not a big studio floating on a boatload of cash. People like to idealize those who take risks, but some people are not in a position to take risks, at least to such a great degree.

I don't think anyone here would be making bold statements about what other people should do with their money if they just made a game that they worked on obsessively for a couple years without a side-job. (Random number, I forget how long they worked on Super Meat Boy and have no idea what they're working on now.)



unrandomsam said:

@Emblem They annoy me but the fact is they have made one of the few indie games that really is top class. (They suck at porting as well as the Mac and Linux versions of Super Meatboy show or did when they were released).



unrandomsam said:

@Kirk The issues they had are not what the situation is like now. It might have paid off for them but it would have been a 20k or 40k risk. (Retro City Rampage was one guy and he says it cost him 20k to put it on Wiiware). Plus all the other versions are ported from the original XNA 360 release. That wouldn't have worked.



Kirk said:

@unrandomsam Well the Wii U hasn't got the exact same issues and limitations that the Wii had but it's got a bunch of it's own issues and limitations, that weren't/aren't really necessary for the most part (many of them could actually still be addressed/fixed somewhat), that are now causing it's own problems.

Basically; There are many reasons why third party developers are walking away from the Wii U in droves, cancelling games that were once in development for it or just choosing not to support it with multi-plat games in the first place, and it's 100% not just because of the console's sales numbers because right now it's still the leading console of this generation in terms of total sales.



WingedSnagret said:

Eh, ever since they pulled the "We'll put our game on a Nintendo console if our character is in Smash Bros." stunt I've lost quite of bit of respect for them.



unrandomsam said:

At least they are not doing Kickstarters all the time. (The second Cloudberry Kingdom was released the devs immediately did another Kickstarter (Dunno whether it succeeded or not)).
If Nintendo made every console a (Limited) devkit like MS did then more interesting stuff would come up.



sdcazares1980 said:

I agree with their sentiments on the console wars, but consoles are not something you can just throw down a few hundred dollars for, expect a few games in return, and then buy another console to fit your "gaming needs". I know that some of the fanboys' justifications can go a bit too far, but nevertheless, the vast majority of gamers can only afford one console so, rightly or wrongly, they will justify their purchases in the end. Is this site any different?

As far as their relationship with Nintendo goes, I agree with @Kirk that Nintendo mostly brought the problems on itself. However, I'm not sure I agree with you on the hardware stance because when the Wii U was first introduced, Nintendo introduced games that were already out or would be out on the Xbox 360 and the PS3. That was a red flag right there. Until Nintendo releases games that are also going out for the PS4/Xbox One that are not ports, I don't see how the argument of "but they actually have the hardware" would help.



ulven said:

It's a shame I'll most likely never play any of their games unless some unforeseen incident were to occur



Genesaur said:

"There are no good games for consoles, any more." Continue to not put their good games on consoles...



WesCash said:

I love Team Meat and can understand why they don't want to risk putting games on the WiiU or even the 3DS. Nobody to blame there but Nintendo. The PC is a far better place for indie games. Even the Xbox and PS digital stores are pretty safe choices.



artofmana said:

That crack about the console wars was insightful. It does feel to the observer like a few companies out there are currently vultures circling around their next potential meal.



Jayvir said:

Team Meat kinda has an big of an ego and they think they are hot s*** now. I have both Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac, but honestly, they aren't even the top games in the genre they are in. They are pretty good, but hardly enough to get all high and might about.



Macarony64 said:

Too bad Microsoft killed this developers love for having fun while developing but also super meat boy already has a worthy clone on wii u has that rabbit game that name I can't remember.



Macarony64 said:

@Kirk the only limitation the wii u has is the sales everything else is superior to the other consoles except maybe the it may be a little underpowered(which no one that has actually programed for the console has never said or confirmed). Wiki is the most developing friendly console ever made and even the ps4 and xbone can't beat it in that regard.



Knux said:

What a waste. At least Microsoft should have bought them and then they would own the Super Meat Boy IP.



unrandomsam said:

@Jayvir I think Super Meatboy is pretty high up - most of the others don't have the controls right. They always had an ego but I am not that bothered. Binding of Issac is not that good. Neither is Gish (Doesn't even support controllers maybe if it did then it would be better). What indie games do you think are better ? (The only ones I think are about as good are not in the same genre - Bastion / Spelunky / Rogue Legacy / La Mulana). Actually I think Super Hexagon is better than any of them but on its own.



TruenoGT said:

The question of why would they develop outside of iOS/Android/Steam is answered by context and controls. Neither iOS or Android have standardized non-touch controls for a diverse enough gaming library (IMO), nor can they be played effectively on a TV with friends. Steam has controls sorted, but portability is not an option and the TV experience still is meh. Dedicated consoles and handhelds fills those needs nicely... however if Apple and/or Google made (better) standardized non-touch controls and made a better play for the living room and/or Steam OS takes off and a portable Steam OS portable comes to be... the days may be numbered for dedicated gaming platforms.



DerpSandwich said:

Anyone who talks bad about these guys doesn't know anything about them and is just butthurt that they "ditched" Nintendo. It was a business decision, people. Nintendo is doing better now, but they didn't have an easy platform for indie games last generation. These guys are small developers reacting to what's in front of them; they're not spiteful, money-grubbing Nintendo haters. It costs money to port a game to a system, and several times more to develop for it. If you can look at the install base and know that you probably won't sell enough units to make your money back, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DO IT, especially when you're paying literally every cost out of your own pocket. (That's what INDIE DEV means! Go figure!)




MeWario said:

I'm still hurting from the cancellation of Super Meat Boy on Wii. I would love it if it came out on Wii-U!



Kirk said:


How can you possibly come to that conclusion?

Far less powerful (slower CPU and GPU, one quarter the amount of RAM), tiny amount of internal storage space, no play as you download, no remote download, no cross game chat, no live streaming, rubbish battery life on controller and no set of industry standard analog triggers, no capability for standard multi-media playback (CD/DVD/mp3/mp4/avi/Blu-Ray), no Cloud support, harder to program for than Xbox One and PS4 (because of the outdated architecture), region locked...

The Wii U is absolutely NOT superior to the other consoles in every way except power. It is in fact inferior to them in almost every way and if you take the abysmal third party support into account too then no wonder no one other than hardcore Nintendo FANS gives a flying love about it.

If it weren't for Nintendo's first party exclusive games (and arguably the controller and Miiverse), basically it's only real saving grace, I don't think ANYONE would give a crap about the Wii U in slightest, even the hardcore Nintendo FANS.



Macarony64 said:

@Kirk thanks for the confirmation that you know absolutely cero about the topic of hardware and console manufacturing. The only obsolete architecture is the x86 which is older than time himself, and the multimedia outcry are just used by people the have system without content to play. "Wii u has no games" claims the trolls but the only bad aspect they can bring about the wii u is that I can't watch media on it,smh?



Macarony64 said:

@Kirk also do you realty think that third party's are abandoning the wiiu is because of power? You most be more naive and easily fooled than I though.
P.S see how I counter your argument with out insulting and calling names? Is called knowledge of the topic.



unrandomsam said:

@Kirk The architecture of PPC is less outdated than x86. They could have gone for something better though. (IBM's top end mainframe is Power which is pretty similar). IBM's Watson is Power based as well. AMD's cpu core is not even the best one they have. (And Intel's is significantly better). x86 has better compilers but major drawbacks.



Kirk said:

@unrandomsam Seriously, when you start arguing that the Wii U is not less powerful than the other consoles in pretty much every measurable spec, which is absolutely a hassle for third party developers when it comes to multi-plat next-gen games (and causes far more issues than just that in the long term ultimately), then it's clear you are delusional and too much of a loyal FAN to even have a proper discussion with.

Thinking sales is the ONLY reason third parties are not supporting Wii is the realm of fantasy.



WesCash said:

@Kirk and @DerpSandwich basically summed up all of the thoughts I have on this issue. I don't understand why so many Nintendo "fans" feel the need to defend Nintendo at every opportunity and shift blame elsewhere. You aren't helping Nintendo by trying to excuse all of their mistakes.



JustinH said:

"We've tried to make it happen multiple times ... But in the end, things just got messed up and we couldn't do stuff."

This is sorta my whole story with actually buying and playing their games. They look neat but they keep not showing up on Nintendo hardware, and then I just wind up not buying them.



audiobrainiac said:

Don't really agree with them lumping Nintendo in with the others but I don't blame them for wanting to be careful about taking risks. But i'd TOTALLY buy they're game if it was on Wii U. Just sayin'.



HappyHappyist said:

@Emblem what you have said made no sense. at all.
put yourself in their shoes. why would you put a game on a console for people to play for free? there are two people working at Team Meat, so they need the money to be able to make games.

"Games are not just a business product."
actually, put yourself in the shoes of EVERY game developer ever. to devs, games ARE business products, because they need to SELL their game so that they can make money. porting a game to an unpopular system will NOT let them break even and make a profit.

seriously, i'm seeing little to no actual reason or logic in these comments, mostly just loyal butthurt Nintendo fanboys. if ANY of you were in their shoes, then you would not make the investment either, and you know you wouldn't too. so thanks, @Kirk and @DerpSandwich for being people that actually have common sense.



Emblem said:

By their own admission they like the 3DS, and it has a high install base which is on the increase yet they don't want to port or make a new game on it. Why? Because according to them there are more lemmings on steam and the app store (which i agree). Fair enough, cater to those crowds, make your profit but why not also release those games on other platforms that will also be profitable and bring you more fans and thus more respect and profit? Its their choice so i don't care either way but don't defend their reasoning when its the same reasoning some AAA devs have been giving for years and getting flak for.

As a mainly PC gamer i grow increasingly tired of all these indie devs constant smack talk and arrogance in the last few years. Read RPS etc for long enough and you will have a different view of alot of these indie devs. People have this black and white idea in their head that indies devs are the peoples champs and the opposition are evil corporations just after money by any means, the reality is alot more grey.

FYI My household has 2 gaming pcs,a PS4, a Wii U, a 360, a 3ds and a bunch of tablets and phones so i'm not sure we can be called Nintendo fanboys/girls .



Marioman64 said:

@CaPPa um... they didn't ditch the wii, the wii ditched them. The wiiware file size limit is/was VERY small and they're game simply didn't fit. They tried to cut some features out so it would fit, there was a whole article about it, but it was not going to fit no matter what they did. Also, it's a fantastic game, and if you like platforming games at all you NEED to get this because it is fantastic
still hoping for a Wii U port, 32 gigs should be plenty (as opposed to 20 mb on wiiware)



MamaLuigi said:

For a small studio Team Meat are kind of narcissistic. Even if they've got too much time on their hands they're still trying to get more people to play their games, and that includes those who really don't appreciate the kinds of things they are talking about.



HappyHappyist said:

i do recall that Team Meat at one point tried to bring the Binding of Isaac to 3DS eShop, but Nintendo wouldn't let it happen because they didn't want to get mixed up in the "religious aspects" of the game.
and i agree with the standpoint you mentioned on indies where its much more grey than it seems. its absolutely stupid to argue that the picture is black and white, mainly because of the size of the indie crowd.

oh, and everything below the ellipses wasn't directed specifically at you, that was just what i felt on the overall attitude of the comment section.

(and FYI, we only have a WiiU in our household. not because we're fanboys, far from it actually, but we're not the richest family, and the WiiU was the best option we could afford, and i'm too young for a job,so there's nothing i can do about it. i still keep myself informed on everything going on.)



unrandomsam said:

@Kirk I never said it was more powerful I said it was more modern. (ie ppc assembler is usable and the architecture is simple) . The compilers are not as good but the option exists to use low level code. The new consoles will inherit the problems the PC has that haven't been solved.



dumedum said:

Worthless team meat suck. Once in facebook I wrote that they suck because of ditching Nintendo, and I got a like from the Gaijin guys. Worlds of difference at the end of the day.



LordGeovanni said:

Wow. I have heard about these guys, but I never really considered their games because I don't play PC games. My PC is too busy doing other things to play games. I usually have it working on other things while I play my games...

So, NO I will not be buying their stuff. iOS and PC games are not for me. Maybe if they were on the 3DS...

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