Edmund McMillen Interview, Part 4: The Living Room Conspiracy

By Dant Rambo |

We’ve reached part four of our five-part interview series with Team Meat’s Edmund McMillen, and today we’re going to discuss gaming in the living room. More specifically, where it’s failed in the past and where it may be heading in the months and years ahead. If your Kinect is the sensitive type, I’d recommend keeping it away from this post at all costs.

How do you feel about the Ouya?

Tommy has a better opinion on that than I do. I hate to burst everybody’s bubble, but the Ouya isn’t going to be what anyone thinks it’s going to be.  I’m sorry, I know everybody is super excited about it, but it’s just one of those things where like… they did this list of “tell us which games you want on this,” and I think Meat Boy was #6 and Binding of Isaac was #12.  So they contacted us and said “this is high on our list. We really want this. Can you guys port it?”, and Tommy was like “Meat Boy is not going to run on this. Meat Boy is not going to run on Android.”

In order for that to happen it would take a @#$%load of work and time, and I think, what… only 36,000 people are going to be owning them? That’s not going to make us any money. It’s not going be worth it. There’s really simple math there that proves that it’ll be very hard, at least you know early in its life cycle, to make any money off of the Ouya.

And it’s also not as easy as everybody thinks to just “oh, you want to make a game for the Ouya? Oh here, click the port button, and it ports to the Ouya.” You’re still having to redevelop something for an Android phone. If it was easy as Steam, where I could just take my Steam versions of Gish and SMB and whatever else and just say “here you go it’s a PC, so put it on there,” [that would be one thing].  But it’s not like that. You have to re-port the game. That costs money, that takes a @#$%load of time, and when you’re doing something like that you need to see if it’s worth it financially.  And the answer is no.


The Android-based Ouya, a bona fide Kickstarter darling

That’s not to say that when it’s out, if it ends up picking up steam…

If it ends up doing well, it could get a following and people could start developing stuff for it and everything else like that, but, I would say don’t get too excited. OnLive was actually really awesome, and that didn’t succeed. I feel like they had a @#$%load of funding and a lot of people knew about it, and that didn’t work, so how the hell is this system [Ouya] gonna work when it’s not even half the idea? If anything it will get people to learn that you can throw a lot of money at something, and it won’t make it good.

You know, Kinect… You should just look at that and see.

And I own one! Why did I do that?

You did it because they invested all their money in advertising and tried to convince you that this is the next thing people are going to care about when the reality was, it’s not. All the money they put into that system went into ads. They had goddamned Happy Meals at Burger King for Kinect for a game that never came out. I hope to @#$%ing god – and I worry with the Wii U – that by the next set of consoles we get over this dumb idea of being obsessed with peripherals being the thing that’s going to improve video games.

I have shelves of Rock Band instruments to prove that that’s not the case.

Rock Band‘s almost a different story, though. I mean, Rock Band was good. It was a game where you just used peripherals. It’s like if the Wii came out and it came with a Rock Band set, and then every game had to utilize the Rock Band set in some innovative way.

That would be amazing. Or like the Donkey Konga bongos.

They did do the… remember the platformer one?

Barrel Blast, I think? (Editor’s note: It was actually Jungle Beat)

That was actually fun! Nintendo does some ballsy things that are good.  Did you ever play Four Swords? It was a great game and nobody played it because you needed at least two Game Boy Advances, then you needed the Gamecube, then you needed the game. And the cords. But that’s why I think they did the Wii U. There was also that Pac-Man game that was free. Did you play that one?

newsWords cannot convey how greatly the Wii U would benefit from Four Swords


Yeah that game was amazing, too. Didn’t Miyamoto design that?

I think he might have, but yeah, super ballsy moves on Nintendo’s part. It seems like… I don’t know. With their marketing it doesn’t seem like they have any idea what they’re doing. But it seems like they better have Four Swords, Crystal Chronicles and the Pac-Man game on the Wii U at launch, because they have it, they’ve already prototyped it and proven that it works, so they might as well bring something that’s actually fun.

We have a Wii U kit.

Really? I played one a little bit at E3 but it was just little tech demos that didn’t sell me entirely on it. It’s very neat conceptually, but I almost feel like they deem ballsy as innovative. It’s cool, and cool stuff will come out, but hopefully not all of it is from Nintendo.

Well hopefully… more original IPs from Nintendo would be nice.

Read Edmund McMillen Interview, Part 1: The Basement Collection

Read Edmund McMillen Interview, Part 2: The Games Industry

Read Edmund McMillen Interview, Part 3: Kickstarter 

Read Edmund McMillen Interview, Part 5: Oh, the Horror!

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