Microsoft will no longer be publishing Oddworld: Stranger's WrathHD, though developer Just Add Water still intends to bring the game to Xbox 360.
Just Add Water boss Stewart Gilray moved to clarify comments made earlier today that suggested the game had been cancelled entirely.
“What I said was that we’d given up on Microsoft, not that we’d given up on 360,” he said. “What I meant was that we’d given up on Microsoft doing anything with it.”
Gilray explained that Microsoft approached the developer two weeks after the game was announced for PS3, asking if it wanted to do a 360 version. JAW said yes and showed Microsoft comparison shots of the first game (originally released on Xbox) and updated HD assets.
At that point, Gilray assumed everything was satisfactory and the project moved forward, until Microsoft reneged on its involvement.
“Just before Christmas, they came back and said that they didn’t want it because it’d already been on a Microsoft platform," Gilray explains. "We said, ‘Hang on a minute. We didn’t come to you. You approached us.’ They said, ‘Yeah, but politics here says [sic] that we don’t want it on XBLA.’”
Lorne Lanning, boss of the Oddworld series creator Oddworld Inhabitants, then spoke to Microsoft and was told that an alternative deal could be tabled, potentially bringing the game to Games On Demand as opposed to XBLA, but Microsoft again changed its mind when the $15 PSN price tag conflicted with GOD's $20 minimum pricing.
Microsoft subsequently added more objections to the game's appearance on Xbox Live, including the fact that the original had only sold 500,000 (GOD games must have sold one million units) and that it needed a MetaCritic rating of 80 per cent or higher. This latter point is moot, though, given the game currently stands at 88 per cent.
“We said, ‘We’ve been talking to you for over 15 months, now,’” a frustrated Gilray added. “‘We haven’t stalled. You’ve been stalling us. If you’d had come to us six months ago and said fine, we would have held back the PS3 version until the 360 version was ready.’”
JAW is now in negotiations with two other publishers and is considering adding additional content to the release.
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