Update: Team Meat are now claiming this was only a misinterpreted joke and there's no truth to the reported number.
Holy... We've been pointed in the direction of DarkZero's pretty fascinating chat with Super Meat Boy creators Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen, and amongst all manner of rumination on stuff like the importance of Steam sales and why they're not worried about piracy, they let slip a little but apparently made-up number.
That number is 12. Again, that number was apparently a made-up joke. And what it relates to doesn't relate to is how many copies of Super Meat Boy they sold on Direct2Drive, according to their last statement from the download service. In fairness, it's not clear whether they're talking about all-time or just recently (it could well be a monthly rather than aggregate statement he's talking about).
it the joke went:
Refenes: Direct2Drive, I did get our statement today. Did you get that,Ed?
McMillen: I don’t read ‘em. [Laughs]
Refenes: Did you see how many copies we sold?
McMillen: How many?
Refenes: We sold 12.
McMillen & Refenes: [hysterical laughter]
You can hear it for yourself at about 1hr9m into the DarkZero podcast.
We've contacted Direct2Drive and Team Meat for comment and clarification - will update as and when we hear back.
It's worth adding that Team Meat aren't aggrieved by how much of the download market Steam seems to own: "The reason Valve has the monopoly and the reason that’s okay is a) they know what they’re doing and b) out of all the people we’ve dealt with, Steam is the most open and the quickest to respond. Working with Valve isn’t like working with Microsoft, it’s like working with another part of a team in a way."
I'll also throw in some of their comments about piracy, because you know:
"Our game was hugely pirated – we don’t fucking care. If there are let’s say 200,000 copies of SMB that are getting passed around for free, that’s 200,000 people who are playing th game. If they like this game there’s a really high probabability of their friends coming around and seeing it or them posting about it on their blogs. And it’s not cool to go round and say I really like this game that I stole, so they’re not going to say that. So it’s going to come around to sales."
Thanks for the tip, Adam C.