Just Add Water CEO Stewart Gilray is frustrated that Microsoft never approved Stranger’s Wrath HD for 360, saying the reasons given were “bemusing”, but he doesn’t hold any grudges, and new game New ‘N Tasty will be coming to the console.
Having originally released on Xbox, it was strange to see the HD upgrade of Stranger’s Wrath not appear on Xbox 360. That wasn’t what Just Add Water CEO Stewart Gilray intended, though, and they tried hard to get the Oddworld game onto Microsoft’s console, but were rebuffed at every attempt.
When Just Add Water first applied to get Stranger’s Wrath HD on 360, they thought there would be no problems, and were simply told to fill out the paperwork and wait. After 9 weeks of waiting, they got their reply from Microsoft, but the answer was no, with the reason being ‘it’s been on the console before’.
A few months later, Microsoft suggested that Just Add Water try getting the game on Games on Demand, but again, they were given multiple reasons for why that wouldn’t be possible.
“There were a few things in that we didn’t adhere to: minimum price was $20,” said Gilray, in an interview with BeefJack. “Things like that which kind of were surprising – they knew we were only charging $15 on PS3, why charge Xbox fans more? And other things like HD graphics, yeah we’re doing that – and gamerscore, yeah, we’re doing that. We already know the things like that, the things they were throwing up in our way were ridiculous.”
After that rebuttal, Just Add Water tried again six months later, but were given three new reasons, all of which Gilray believed could be worked around. “’1. We want simultaneous release with PS3.’ Well, we’ve been talking to them for 15 months: you had a perfect chance to get us on your platform, ’2. Get a minimum Metacritic score of 80.’ Xbox was 88 and PS3 was 83 [At that point.], ’3. Sell 1 million units at retail.’ Which I’ve since found out isn’t the case for Games on Demand anymore.
“So there’s nothing that they’ve thrown up towards us that they usually would to stop people getting on their platform. they just don’t want us on their platform as far as I can tell.”
Gilray isn’t holding a grudge, though, as if Just Add Water were to no longer develop for Xbox 360, it would hurt fans of the Oddworld franchise, not Microsoft.
“First and foremost, Oddworld is a platform agnostic publisher, in that we’ll publish on everything and anything if we can do,” said Gilray. “It costs us more to do that, more time and production costs, but at the end of the day it’s our fans that matter to us.
“As it happens, New ‘N Tasty [the Abe's Odyssee remake] has been approved for 360. We have to go through a company to do that, but they approved us very quickly indeed on that. Which is why I’m frustrated that they didn’t put Stranger on there, we’ve even tried putting Stranger on there via this third party publisher, and they still turned around and said no. It really is bemusing, I would say.”