Will you be releasing your games on Mac/Xbox 360/[insert platform here]?
We are a platform agnostic developer, no longer building games for any specific system, and we’ll always looks to bring out projects on multiple platforms. We have to be realistic and consider how easy it would be to do that, how well the game would play on that system, and how many sales we’d see from it.
Unfortunately, Stranger’s Wrath HD exceeds the 2GB limit on XBLA titles, and we’re unable to publish via Games on Demand because we haven’t published two disc products (Stranger and Munch were originally published by other companies). We have not given up and are in ongoing communication with Microsoft.
Why do Mudokons have four fingers on each hand in Abe’s Oddysee but only three in Abe’s Exoddus?
Well, it’s a long story that needs to be told. So here it is… Japan has a strict discriminating policy against any simulated characters entering their country with four fingers. Historically, Japan has had a subclass of meat packing workers that were typically looked down upon in their society. In later days, the blatant displaying of a four fingered hand gesture, intentionally directed at another, came to mean that you were calling them a member of the meat packing sub class. Which, we understand, was not at all a compliment.
It appears that the four finger connection with the meat packing class was due to work related accidents, but was so frequent that it came to symbolically represent the sub class. It seems as though this is a part of the Japanese history that some groups within Japan would like to see forgotten. Therefore, it is at great risk that you publish four fingered characters in Japan, as you may very likely end up in legal battles with a vociferous pressure group. This group claims that this type of representation is equivalent to and as degrading as the yellow star forced to be worn on Jews by the Nazis during the Second World War. That is, it’s offensive and degrading unless they can extort enough money out of you. Then it’s all okay. Case in point: We were told that the Walt Disney Corporation is charged five million dollars a year by this group so that Mickey Mouse may live in Japan and retain his original four fingered design. Otherwise, old Mickey would need to see a surgeon and have something done about that insulting forth finger.
The moral of this story is… if you want to pay, then it’s okay. If you don’t want to pay, then it’s a horrible insult to our culture. In other parts of the world we have a word for these types of two-faced tactics. We call it extortion. If it is truly offensive and degrading, then don’t allow it at all. But to allow it for a price… is to belittle the case altogether. It suggests that the real truth behind these groups is that they are using the darker moments in their own cultures’ history as an excuse to coerce money out of content providers.
Well, being that this is Oddworld, we felt that this seemed like a perfect addition to the Abe story. We thought it was ironically perfect that he was being discriminated against for being who he was. As the message came from Japan, “They don’t like his kind here,” with the sincere suggestion, “Just chop off one of his fingers cause you don’t have the money to pay up…” caused us to feel that we indeed needed to allow Abe to go through the suffering that goes along with being a poor slob at the bottom of the Food chain. Yup, we chopped off his finger so that the Japanese wouldn’t get offended (or paid). He didn’t like it one bit, but due to the fact that their ain’t much he can do about it… we decided that he could donate his finger rather than us donating five million dollars. Such is life in Japan when you’re a four-fingered meat packing worker.
And that is how Abe lost his finger in Japan. He’s still pretty pissed off about it, but we convinced him that with the amount of games sold in Japan, he still might be able to get his message through to their culture someday. As a true believer in his cause, he felt that the sacrifice of a finger was but a small price to pay in hoping to shed some light on discriminations and injustices the world over.