Double Fine’s recently announced, debut iOS title Middle Manager of Justice accidentally found its way onto the App store long before it was supposed to. Initially intended for publication in the coming weeks, last week saw the management game release to the App Store in an unfinished and buggy state.
“So I was on the train heading to work,” said Kee Chi, the game’s lead developer, “and I get a call from our tech director saying, ‘Hey, um, so it looks the game is live in every territory.’ And I just went, ‘What!?’”
Turns out that no matter how experienced a development team is, the moment they launch a game on new hardware with new submission systems, mistakes are going to happen. Chi admits that this early release was entirely his fault and that it came about thanks to his misinterpretation of how apps are submitted to the App Store.
Initially, Middle Manager of Justice was intended to be released in September. Chi and his team selected that month as a tentative release date on their App Store submission. All submissions on the App Store have to have a release date before Apple will accept them.
“Once we submitted the game, we realized we had a lot of things we still needed to tweak and fix,” Chi explained to website Gamasutra, “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.”
The result was the unfinished game hitting App Stores across the globe. The sliver-lining to this unfortunate turn of events is that Double Fine turned their error into an impromptu public beta. Shortly after they pulled the game from the App Store, the team at Double Fine hit forums and message boards across the Internet, requesting fan feedback on the title.
Turns out people found a lot of bugs that Chi feels Double Fine might have missed. They’ve also received a lot of feedback regarding the game’s free-to-play mechanics, which Double Fine is now looking at once again.
Middle Manager of Justice is officially heading to the App Store in the coming weeks, but there’s no solid release date as yet.