Machinarium is an utterly fantastic hand-drawn point-and-click 2D adventure on the PC and Mac. It would make a worthy addition to Xbox Live Arcade with some controller rejiggering. Unfortunately, according to several reports, Machinarium was denied a release on Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade.
That's not exactly the case. As Microsoft tells it, the company chose to not personally publish Machinarium, forcing Czech Republic developer Amanita Design to pursue a publishing agreement elsewhere to appear on XBLA. Amanita founder Jakub Dvorský told Joystiq he's not interested in that path because it would apparently result in throwing "most of the profit out of the window."
Dvorský further insinuated that Microsoft passed on Machinarium because the game existed on other platforms. I contacted Microsoft last week to clarify their side of the story, but didn't have a chance to publish their response because I was covering Capcom's Captivate event in Hawaii. Here it is:
"As you know, MGS [Microsoft Game Studios] has a strong history of partnering with the industry’s best talent to bring games to life that showcase the power of our platforms," said senior global group PR manager Ryan James in an e-mailed response, "and Xbox Live Arcade is home to a wide variety of titles from a broad swath of publishers, and these games may or may not be exclusive."
James would not address Dvorský's claims about exclusivity, however.
"Ultimately," he said, "we’d love to see Machinarium come to Arcade through one of our many publishing partners -- we just opted to not publish the game as a first party title from MGS."
Amanita has apparently pitched Machinarium to Sony as a release for PlayStation Network.
Wherever it ends up, however, it's worth seeking out. Machinarium is supremely excellent.