In late 2008, the Adobe Flash game Meat Boy was released by game designer Edmund McMillen and went viral on Newgrounds, accumulating hundreds of thousands of views on Newgrounds. Companies, such as Nintendo and Microsoft, requested that McMillen recreate the title for their platforms. McMillen, who was collaborating with programmer Tommy Refenes on a title called Grey Matter, switched focus to the Meat Boy project and subsequently founded Team Meat, to develop Super Meat Boy.
Working as a remote team, McMillen and Refenes hired composer Danny Baranowsky and sound effects engineer Jordan Fehr to join in on the project. Though the game was initially scheduled for an early 2010 release, Super Meat Boy was significantly delayed by content creep, including a drastic increase in the number of levels.
In August 2010, Team Meat was contacted by Microsoft, with an offer to promote the game through the 2010 Fall GameFeast XBLA promotion, set for two months later. Pressed for time and money, McMillen and Refenes consented and began working approximately nineteen hours a day, seven days a week, until completion. Their struggle was captured by documentary filmmakers James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot in the Sundance documentary Indie Game: The Movie. Super Meat Boy was released on October 20, 2010, to critical and commercial success, with it breaking records and being lauded as one of the greatest independent titles of all time.
Two years following the release of Super Meat Boy, Team Meat announced their follow-up project, Mewgenics. Conceptualized by McMillen, the content creep factor of the game was realized not long after. In 2014, Mewgenics was shelved, so Team Meat could focus on a follow-up to Super Meat Boy, in the form of the then-mobile sequel, Super Meat Boy Forever.
Though McMillen worked with Refenes on the project for several years, their working relationship became strained by differences in trajectories. While Refenes wished to focus exclusively on the Meat Boy franchise, McMillen had become invested in The Binding of Isaac franchise - initially his side-projected that took on a life of its own - in addition to The End is Nigh and Mewgenics. In 2017, McMillen left Team Meat and Super Meat Boy Forever was rebooted as a full-fledged sequel, with new team members hired.