The developers of Super Meat Boy have figured out how to release DLC for free on Xbox Live Arcade.
Downloadable content on Xbox Live Arcade usually comes with at least a meager cost, according to Microsoft rules. That won’t be the case for the DLC coming to Team Meat’s Super Meat Boy though, as the developers have figured out a loophole to provide it for free.
Super Meat Boy is a downloadable platformer coming to PC, Mac, WiiWare, and Xbox Live Arcade, but Team Meat entered into an “exclusive online content” deal with Microsoft to get the particular deal that allowed them to release it on XBLA. This content will be collections of new levels called “Teh Internets” that are provided totally for free through the Xbox 360’s Title Managed Storage system. While TMS is not normally used to give DLC to player gratis, Microsoft seems to be okay with what Team Meat calls the “loophole of awesome.” The studio says of the free XBLA DLC: “It is nice to have the power to totally say ‘fuck you’ to that system and go our own way.”
According to the developers, nobody has released any kind of DLC in this manner in the history of Xbox Live. Basically, players will get a pop-up saying that they unlocked “Teh Internets,” and they’ll be able to choose from newly released level packs. Each pack will contain around 20 levels, which may be locked to specific playable characters and their unique abilities. The Butcher Boy pack is up first and will launch with Super Meat Boy on October 20. By the end of the year, The Sewers of Dross featuring Gish is planned, as is Meat Boy, a chapter focusing on Super Meat Boy‘s flash prototype. In early 2011, Team Meat has Debug World in the works, which “uses the editor in different ways to make insane levels.”
Team Meat will continue to release new levels as long as they have new ideas. Though players can’t share levels to consoles through a planned PC level editor, the developers are also planning a “best-of user made” level pack for release on the Xbox 360. They also recently revealed that Reggie Fils-Aime was going to be included as a playable character, but Nintendo turned down the idea. Lame!