Just Add Water, the developer of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, ran into a brick wall last year when trying to get the game published onto Xbox Live Arcade. The problem for the developer was that the game was pushing over the 2-gigabyte file size limit enforced for all XBLA titles, and the task of bringing that file down was going to be quite difficult. However, many months on, it looks like that high hurdle may have been crossed.
Stewart Gilray, who works at the developer, spoke to MS Xbox World recently, confirming to the website that the team had managed to bring the file size for Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath down to just underneath the limit; the game now sits as a 1.95GB download. However, this accomplishment has come with some consequences, as many of the audio and visual aspects of the HD reboot have been degraded to be able to finally get the game over to the Xbox 360. Just Add Water used modern codecs to bring the audio’s file size down by nearly 200MB, and the quality of the CGI has been reduced slightly to cut even more off the hefty file size. Along with some tweaks to characters and environments, the game may finally be able to arrive on Xbox Live Arcade in the coming months.
The developer now has one last task to complete before the game is ready to be sent off to Microsoft for approval; finding a publisher. The retail version of the game was published by Microsoft Game Studios, but for the HD, downloadable reboot of the game years on, Just Add Water are looking to self-publish the title, which may be a smart choice in the long term if all goes well. Stewart Gilray told MS Xbox World:
“When we found out last year that MS had turned us down for release, we were all shocked, none more so than Lorne (Lanning) at Oddworld HQ. He immediately got on the phone to MS and opened up a dialogue, as such we are making tracks with this and are moving forward. But nothing is certain yet, but we’re confident.”
So, after seeing a release on PC and a PS3 release to follow soon, Oddworld: Stranger’s World may finally see the light of day on the Xbox Live Arcade in all its glory. Stay tuned for more news on the HD reboot.