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Report: Machinarium Refused for XBLA

MachinariumUpdate: Jakub Dvorsky has confirmed that everything mentioned below is true and that he was quoted accurately.

OriginalXBLAFans is reporting that after six months of discussion Microsoft has refused Amanita Design’s award winning adventure game Machinarium for the XBLA due to the fact that they “don’t support games which aren’t Microsoft exclusives.” Meaning, available on other OS platforms than Windows as the game is available for both Mac and Linux.

The site claims founder and lead designer of the title Jakub Dvorsky informed them of the decision:

“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.”

Disappointing to hear to say the least. I haven’t heard of this policy before, and can’t come up with a case before this that can be applied. We’ve contacted both Amanita Design and Microsoft to confirm the facts and for any additional comment.


  • kl

    Just when I thought Apple is the only dick in the industry.

    • edd

      At least we still have google :/

  • Geoff Gibson

    When money is your ultimate goal… you’re a dick.

    • Will

      So if you applied for a job, and the company told you “We’ll hire you, but only if you give away half your salary to a third party for no reason,” that would make you a dick? Just for wanting the money you earned?

      You’re a dick.

      • cris

        PENIS! Just joining in…

  • j

    Doesn’t make sense. Geometry Wars is available on other platforms and is available on XBLA.

    • edd

      but it has a major publisher behind it, Microsoft Game Studios :P

      “ERROR – Infinite loop found, Call Assistant.”

    • Gregg Brown

      This article is confusing, but basically any game accepted without a publisher, is essentially published by Microsoft. Microsoft has a policy that it will not publish games for the Xbox Live Arcade released on non-Microsoft platforms. Geometry Wars does not break this rule because the Wii and DS versions are Geometry Wars: Galaxies, which are A) Published by Sierra and B) Not the same game as the XBLA versions.

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  • Ronan C

    “When money is your ultimate goal… you’re a dick.”

    When money isn’t your ultimate goal… you shouldn’t be in business.

    • Geoff Gibson

      Hmm that’s fuinny because I know plenty of profitable businesses where money is not the ultimate goal. It’s about building a brand, supporting a culture, or enjoying what you love most.

      • Khürt Williams

        “I know plenty of profitable businesses where money is not the ultimate goal.” – Geoff

        @Geoff, there is no such thing as a “profitable businesses where money is not the ultimate goal”.

      • Geoff Gibson

        @ Khurt

        Yes there is. Maybe not a multi-million/billion dollar profitable business, but ask your local comic book shop, book store, coffee house. Many of them are profitable and many of them weren’t started for the sole intention of making money. Just a genuine interest in what the love.

        A business makes money, but many times they aren’t started for the purpose, they are started due to a general interest in a particular subject, hobby, etc. Even computing giants like Apple, HP, and Microsoft started out as a hobby business where I’m sure money wasn’t their ultimate goal.

  • Joe

    Ah typical microsoft. I still wonder why those do business with them.

  • anon

    Geometry Wars is exclusive to Microsoft. Xbox, Xbox 360, Windows Vista, Windows XP

    • Nintendo TIm

      Incorrect. Geometry Wars is available on the iPad:

      • Chad Gusto

        “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.”

    • Fred

      Incorrect. Geometry wars is available on the Apple iPad.

      • Matt

        Activision is a licensed publisher. Amanita is a licensed developer who would be published by Microsoft. Microsoft want to remain exlusive publisher for games they publish.

        Other developers publish through 3rd party publishers to overcome this limitation. The only difference here is that Amanita aren’t willing to pay for that service.

        They could always apply for a publisher license themselves, but I dare say that it won’t be the most cost effective solution for them.

        TLDR; They are complaining about their publisher rather than using a different one.

    • Manolito

      For DS there is a Geometry Wars: Galaxies.

  • Fred


  • Dale

    What about the Game Room games? What about Peggle? What about the Sonic the Hedgehog?

    I think Matt nailed it, but it still seems questionable.

    • Tom F

      Game Room is exclusive to Microsoft platforms (Xbox and Windows). Peggle is not published by Microsoft. Sonic the Hedgehog is not published by Microsoft. Machinarium could hit XBLA if they find another publisher.

      I can see why Microsoft would have this policy. As the publisher, they are investing in the game in many ways: testing, funding, promotion, etc. Why would they want this money to benefit other platforms, like Mac, PS3, or Linux? This would be like Sony funding a game that was also released on the Xbox…they wouldn’t spend their money like that. Other publishers, like Valve, Square Enix, or EA, don’t have the invested interest in the platforms. Amanita Design could work with one of them to get this published.

      • Dale

        Thanks for clearing that up. Now that I understand it’s a publishing issue it makes a lot more sense.

  • Matt

    Also, N+

  • Tom F

    The title of the article is very misleading. Microsoft is not refusing the game from DISTRIBUTION on XBLA…they are refusing to be the PUBLISHER for the game. If Amanita Design finds another publisher, the game could be distributed on XBLA. Amanita Design could also distribute the game via Xblox Live Indie Games.

    The situation is quite different from the cases of Apple rejecting an app from the App Store. In that case Apple is preventing the distribution of the app.

    • Khürt Williams

      Apple only controls the distribution of the app in THEIR app store. They do not control the distribution of apps for any other platform. In the same way that Walmart get to choose what is sold in their stores but has no control over what is sold at Target.

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  • boohoo

    I don’t see anything wrong with Microsoft not wanting to publish a game already on rival platforms. Way to blow things out of proportion.

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  • James

    I don’t know what XBLA is?

    • Dale

      XBLA is short for Xbox Live Arcade

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  • GuiAmbros

    Great comments Matt, Tom! Thanks a lot for providing more light into this subject. Indeed, the post title is really misleading and blow things out of proportion..

  • Alan Wake was killed by MS on other platforms

    Alan Wake was going to be multi-platform (PC,PS3, etc) – then at the last moment it switched to XBox-only “because the playing experience would be best there”. Really? Bullshit. It’s because Microsoft paid them $ or somehow forced them to release for Xbox only.

    This post (like many others) may well be hiding facts to make the story more interested – which sucks, and is equally unethical. I call on the original poster and Jakub Dvorsky to clarify it was that Microsoft didn’t want to be the PUBLISHER, or (as the article indicates) that MS simply refuse the game on XBLA. I can understand them not wanting to be the publisher (which has lots of effort behind it) – but not refusing the game ever to be loaded onto XBLA. Which is it Erik? Please clarify.

  • Atul Kash

    Microsoft refused to be PUBLISHER of the game, nothing more. They didn’t ban Machinarium from their service or anything, they told a group of Indie coder to act like professionals.

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