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.