Ed McMillen: Ubuntu Store Sold Super Meat Boy For A Year Without Permission, Has Yet To Pay Team Meat

Ed McMillen: Ubuntu Store Sold Super Meat Boy For A Year Without Permission, Has Yet To Pay Team Meat

The latest Humble Bundle includes the Linux version of The Binding Of Isaac, the Legend of Zelda-inspired roguelike. The problem is, if you try to download it using Ubuntu’s Software Centre, you’ll be told Team Meat “declined” to have the game sold via the store. Except Team Meat didn’t decline, the game was submitted and rejected, the reason being it “wasn’t a good fit”.

When you go to download the Humble Bundle 7 via the Ubuntu Software Centre, you’ll find Binding of Isaac and Dungeon Defenders are unavailable. A message at the bottom of the page states the following:

We’re sorry that Binding of Issac and Dungeon Defenders are not available. Dungeon Defenders is over our current size limit and the authors of Binding of Issac [sic] declined to make their game available and we respect their wishes.

Ed McMillen however claims this is Canonical — the company behind Ubuntu — trying to “save face” — it actually rejected the game from the Software Centre.

What we also didn’t know until now is that Canonical sold Super Meat Boy for an entire year without paying Team Meat its share of the profits. At least, this is what McMillen alleges. The developer got in touch with the company to try and sort the issue out — as well as get money owed to it — but as of writing it’s still waiting to get paid, according to Tommy Refenes, the other half of Team Meat.

And here’s McMillen’s full statement, describing the entire situation:

they are just trying to save face. they rejected isaac a while ago because its content “wasnt a good fit for the Ubuntu store” then changed their tune once they found out how popular it was and that it was a part of the HIB.

but since they are going out of their way to try and avoid the fact that they rejected isaac, ill also make public the 2nd reason why isaac isnt in their store.

Last year Ubuntu added Super Meat Boy to their store without our written permission and sold it for a full year without paying us. we didnt find this out till a few months ago and had to contact them directly about it in order to get our payment…. i dont trust or respect their actions and wont be working with them ever again.

i was trying to be cool about it but if they want to publicly state that i declined their offer to sell Isaac in their store without context to why.. then ill go public with my VERY valid reasons.

feel free to re-post this message or link this to any one who might be misinformed, im not a fan of being made to look like an asshole when my reasons are quite valid.

I’ve reached out to Canonical for comment, but have yet to hear anything. I’ll update this story when (or if) it gets in contact.

EdmundM [Formspring]


  • I’d wait for Canonical’s reply first, since the distribution of SMB on the Software Centre was part of a deal between Humble and Canonical. Now taking in account that he know about it and just didn’t do anything is not that much better, since he probably could have sorted this out back then by just contacting them.

  • Wait, the new game was rejected, or it was withheld in protest at not being paid for the first? I see both angles in the quotes above.

  • All I have to say is this guy is pro at pressing the shift key whenever he types an “I” or starts a new sentence. Yes it annoys me greatly… If I could decline payment to someone with criminal behaviour like that I would.

  • Hi All,

    I work at Canonical as the Ubuntu Community Manager.

    I am not aware of the details of what happened here, but I suspect there is some kind of mix up going on. I have asked the team who handles content in the Ubuntu Software Center to respond to this, but the delays may cause a delay.


  • Wow, that is a shock to me. I like Canonical and I didn’t expect anything like that from them :'(
    However, I was trying to publish my app to the Software Center for quite a while now and I had no response yet. I think their Software Center app publishing is simply not working well, which is a shame. Let’s see what they has to say about this … and maybe hope it will make Canonical do something about it.

  • Hi Folks,

    Here is a response from David Pitkin who runs the Ubuntu Software Center at Canonical and works with developers:

    “I just looked into it and the check to Tommy and Edmund from Canonical is in process for the 77 copies of Super Meat Boy. We have been working together since November to get it resolved, no piracy here just some miscommunication”.

    • The number of copies they’ve sold via the Ubuntu store should be just between Team Meat and Canonical? Unless this number is already public?

    • Neither of these things are in any way relevant. You don’t sell something you don’t have the rights to sell, simple as that.

      • That is unless you believe you have the right to sell it and only find out months later that you don’t, something which in plain English is called an honest mistake or a misunderstanding.

  • Waitasec, so it doesn’t warrant legal compensation that they are owed, but it warrants limiting access to Ubuntu users.

    That makes zero sense whatsoever.

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