Looks like MercurySteam, developer of the newly released — and incredibly disappointing — Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 has a few disgruntled former employees. Several devs have been taking to threads on NeoGAF to air their grievances, which mostly revolve around the studio’s poor management, and specifically with studio director Enric Alvarez.
Alvarez recently called out Edge magazine for their score of the game (a 4 out of 10), saying “One must be blind or stupid to give it a 4/10″. I’d say that lends a fair amount of credibility to these claims right there.
In a report by VadeJuegos, the anonymous posts on NeoGAF were validated by current MercurySteam devs.
As for the posts, they don’t paint a very pretty picture of the studio.
“The vast majority of this team is aware that the game we’ve done is a real piece of shit that has nothing to do with the first one’s quality and production values,” wrote one dev. “Nobody is surprised by the low reviews we’ve got.”
The developer goes so far as to say they even anticipated the low reviews.
These issues were worsened by extremely poor management, which resulted in very little communication with the team. Apparently, some of the people who were working on the game didn’t find out about new features until they were covered by the press.
“There weren’t any meetings. We found out things lots of times by the press.” the dev explained.
The complaints go on, shedding light on their reaction to the stealth segments — an awful idea that came very close to ruining the game for me on a few occasions — and “Frankenstein” quality, thanks to the weird decision to set the game in two very different worlds (i.e. the fantasy world and present day).
MercurySteam clearly has a talented team, so it’s unfortunate to hear about drama like this. The first Lords of Shadow is a fantastic game that’s still very much worth playing, and while I can’t say the same for its sequel, hopefully something was gleaned from all of this that can be used to improve the internal culture at this studio.