Just Add Water, the studio behind the classic Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath game, has revealed why the recent HD version of the game only appeared on the PS3 and not on the Xbox 360, saying that Microsoft has deliberately stalled its publishing deal.
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath delivered a great experience back in 2005 when it was released for the original Xbox and, since then, developer Just Add Water launched an HD version in 2010 on the PlayStation 3.
After this announcement, Microsoft quickly contacted the studio and offered to help publish the game on its Xbox 360.
According to Just Add Water head Stewart Gilray, his team went through the regular procedures and always kept Microsoft up to date with its progress.
Sadly, right after the game appeared on the PlayStation in late 2011, the company contacted the studio and revealed that the whole deal was off.
“Just before Christmas, they came back and said that they didn’t want it because it’d already been on a Microsoft platform. We said, ‘Hang on a minute. We didn’t come to you. You approached us.’ They said, ‘Yeah, but politics here says that we don’t want it on XBLA.’”
When asked by the studio for more clarification, Microsoft said that the deal was off because Oddworld HD was already out for the PS3 and it would’ve preferred a simultaneous release on both consoles.
“We said, ‘We’ve been talking to you for over 15 months, now,’” Gilray told VG247
. “‘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.’”
Microsoft then came up with other excuses, saying even that the game didn’t have a high enough Metacritic rating of 80% or better, despite the fact that the PS3 edition reached 82%.
As of right now, Gilray has revealed that his studio is in talks with two third-party publishers in order to eventually release Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD on the Xbox 360.
“We can’t wait forever,” Gilray added. “If we did, PS4 and 720 would be out. We have to, at some point, say, ‘We tried. End of.’ And that’s sooner rather than later now. But people can’t accuse us of not trying.”
Microsoft’s notorious publishing policy
caused many problems in the past and it’s unfortunate because it only ends up affecting Xbox 360 owners.