Metroid Dread Developer Leaves Names Off Credits, Former Employees Say

Metroid Dread Developer Mercury Steam has come under fire from several former members of the company whose names were left off the credits, former employees say.

Talking with him Vandal outlet spanish, various former employees who contributed to AfraidDevelopment, which was primarily handled by the Madrid-based studio with nominal oversight from Nintendo EPD in Japan, said they were not recognized for their efforts despite working on the game for months. The outlet also confirmed a company policy on Mercury Steam that any employee must work on at least 25 percent of a project’s total development to be included in its credits.

“Studio policy requires that anyone must work on the project at least 25% of the time, of the overall game development, to appear in the end credits,” a studio representative said in an email to Vandal (via our translated script from google). “Of course, exceptions are sometimes made when making exceptional contributions.” The sources of the story put the total development time of the game between three and four years.

Credit to whom credit is due

Roberto Mejías, a 3D artist who worked on the game for eight months, questioned the developer in a public post on LinkedIn offering congratulations to Afraid team.

He said:

I’m not surprised by the quality of the game … the amount of talent on that team was through the roof. I know this first-hand because, despite not being included in the game credits, I was part of that team for eight months … While playing, I recognized quite a few assets and environments in which I worked … so my job is there. So I’d like to ask Mercury Steam: Why am I not appearing in the game credits? Is it some kind of mistake? I would really appreciate having any response to this.

In another email to Vandal, Mejías added that Mercury Steam “can always say that they consider the contribution of someone exceptional and do what they want.” His departure from the company in violation of his minimum 42-day notice stipulated by the policy, he also said, may also have had a factor on his behalf that does not appear in AfraidCredits (Spanish labor law requires workers to notify at least 15 days before terminating employment).

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Mejías was joined by several other anonymous former developers who contributed to the Vandal story.

“Not crediting the work of the team that puts all the love in the project, and the effort, is a very ugly practice,” said one who worked on the game for 11 months. “The 25% problem sounds invented to me and it suits them well for the previous case.”

Nintendo representatives did not immediately respond to questions as of press time.

This is not the first Mercury Steam rodeo with Metroid—The previously developed study Metroid: Samus Returns for Nintendo’s 3DS in 2017. After the release of that game, no developer came forward to say that their names had been omitted from the credits.

The study was also the subject of an alleged controversy after the 2014 launch. Castlevania continuation, Shadow Lords 2. Rumors spread that co-founder Enric Alvarez had been responsible for creating a negative studio culture, which he and former Konami producer Dave Cox refuted in a 2016 interview. with Eurogamer.

“Almost everyone in the study has been here from day one,” Cox told the outlet at the time. “I am working with the same people who worked in Lord of the shadows 1 other 2. If it was such a horrible environment, and if Enric was such an idiot, no one would work here. “

A long history (uncredited)

Of course, the history of names removed from game credits goes back decades. Atari infamously refused to give credit to the developers of their games, which Adventure creator Warren Robinett to create a secret room named after him in 1980.

Much more recently, various developers took to Twitter to express disappointment that her job at Arkane’s Deathloop It was reportedly not attributed in the credits for that game. Some workers, they claimed, had been omitted entirely, while others were relegated to a generic list of “special thanks” at the end of the crawl.

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Rockstar has also come under fire in recent years for leaving numerous names out of the end credits for Grand Theft Auto V. other Red Dead Redemption 2. In 2018, the company told Kotaku A policy that accreditation of workers was based on whether employees made it “to the finish line,” and developers who left before a game shipped were left out in the open. That statement was rolled back earlier this year, clarifying that current and future employees will receive credit for their work even if they leave Rockstar before the game ships.

Meanwhile, Japan has a whole unknown “support” industry known as “white label development” based on insistently anonymous studio work. Long-running teams like Hyde and Tose secretly contribute to powerful franchises like Final Fantasy, Yakuza other resident Evil, Among many others. (Those who perhaps most famously contributed to the development of Zelda‘s Breath of the wild, which appears only as a “special thank you” mention in their credits).

Other unacknowledged omissions still occur in Japanese development as well. In 2008, Capcom removed the entire staff roster of the now-defunct Clover Studios from the credits of OkamiNintendo Wii port. The game’s original director, Hideki Kamiya, did not approve of this decision.

“I feel dejected, and not just because my own name has been erased from my creation,” Kamiya said. on the blog for Platinum Games, then freshly formed from the ashes of Clover. “The fact that they cut all the staff is absolutely deplorable.”

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