Czech game studio Amanita Design, creators of the critically acclaimed PC point-and-click adventure Machinarium, recently announced that they are making plans to bring the game to different platforms. Asking founder and leader designer Jakub Dvorksy about their intent to port the quirky little adventure game to Xbox Live Arcade, Dvorsky informed us about Microsoft's recent refusal of the game:
"Microsoft just refused Machinarium for XBLA after a half year of talking with them. They like the game and know it would be very successful on their platform, but they don’t want to support games which aren’t Microsoft exclusives. Machinarium isn’t, since we’ve also released versions for Mac and Linux. We have another option to approach some big publisher to bring the game to XBLA, which is quite absurd to do and lose maybe a large part of revenue because of that.”
Back in 2009, Machinarium took the prize of 'Best Visual Arts' during the Independent Game Festival. As far as we know Dvorsky and his team are still working on finding the right publisher to circumvent their earlier issues with Microsoft and end up on XBLA. Fingers crossed!
Update: After discovering that this story apparently created quite a buzz among many game websites, we just want to assure everyone that this story is indeed true in the following context: when asked about their plans to port Machinarium to different platforms Dvorsky confirmed having 'talked' with Microsoft. He did not specify if this involved being accepted for XBLA or being published by Microsoft on XBLA, but did put an emphasis on losing revenue through a conventional publishing deal. As our critical peers at DIYGamer have already confirmed, this is a legitimate outtake from an interview we had with Jakub Dvorsky during the Casual Connect conference in Hamburg two months ago.
Update #2: Joystiq has received an official response from Amanita Design that states the Czech studio has now submitted Machinarium to Sony's PlayStation Network instead. As VideoGameBlog stated regarding this issue, "The key is that neither game has been refused space on the platform — Microsoft has simply decided not to publish the games itself. Microsoft requires all XBLA titles be attached with a publishing partner, meaning neither Amanita Design and Golgoth Studio can self-publish the games on the XBLA platform. Sony and Nintendo do not have the same policy for the PlayStation Network and WiiWare, respectively."