Double Fine’s debut mobile game Middle Manager of Justice was accidentally released on iOS platforms weeks before its official scheduled release. This leak of an unstable, unfinished buggy version of the game was promptly pulled from the App Store, but not before several fans managed to download it. Kee Chi, the game’s project lead, recently spoke to Gamasutra and openly taking the blame for the incident.
“Yeah, it was totally my fault. With the way you submit things on the App Store, you have to specify what the release date is, and a while back we had set the date to September, but at the time we didn’t know if that would be final or not.
“Once we submitted the game, we realised we had a lot of things we still needed to tweak and fix, but at the same time, we didn’t want to remove it from the [submission] process in case Apple catches other things we need to take care of, and we didn’t want to do a double submission.”
“It wasn’t what I wanted the world to see quite yet. At Double Fine, we pride ourselves on putting a solid product out there, so having something out there that was buggy and not quite ready yet was really frustrating.”
However, Chi doesn’t regret his responsibility behind the event at all, and is in fact pleased in how things turned out. After initial concerns on how the fiasco may affect his reputation, he and his Double Fine comrades reached out to the players who managed to snap up the game via message boards, asking for feedback and inviting them to act a playtesters.
“If people find bugs that we haven’t found internally, I’d love to know about them so I can fix them. If anything, I welcome these suggestions from people, because we’re still learning and we plan to work on this well after it goes live to make the game deeper, and luckily this means we’ll get an early start on that process.”
“I guess it kind of just turned into a beta test. I mean, if people find bugs that we haven’t found internally, I’d love to know about them so I can fix them,”
“If anything, I welcome these suggestions from people, because we’re still learning and we plan to work on this well after it goes live to make the game deeper, and luckily this means we’ll get an early start on that process,”
This seems to be an extremely happy accident, given Double Fine’s reputation for embracing fan feedback. Just last week Double Fine founder Tim Schafer discussed how he wished he could have released Brutal Legend with a free-to-play model so he could create a more active relationship with his fans and improve the game based on their input. The real version of Middle Manager of Justice will arrive within the next few weeks. Can’t wait to see the end result!
If the wait is still too long to bear, you can enjoy the latest trailer for the game in the meantime.