Home Headline News Lords of Shadow 2’s Under-Fire Director: “Castlevania isn’t my cup of tea”

Lords of Shadow 2’s Under-Fire Director: “Castlevania isn’t my cup of tea”

Horror stories have leaked concerning the poor leadership at Mercury Steam while developing Lords of Shadow 2, and the man under-fire for most of the claims, Eric Alvarez, has spoken to Eurogamer Spain about the game. Turns out he’s not too happy with the low scores, and also confesses Castlevania isn’t his “cup of tea”.

While it’s understandably heartbreaking to have your work panned and name dragged through the mud, the Mercury Steam director will have done himself no favours with the interview. The following Spanish-to-English translations are raw from Google Translate, but it doesn’t take a multi-linguist to see it contains more damning quotables than a satanic scripture.

After expressing his pride in the development cycle, he admits he isn’t particularly a fan of Castlevania. Surprising, given his lead role on Lords of Shadow 2. When asked whether he or the team were fans of Castlevania, he responded:

“No, I particularly, no. Obviously any game that claims to know must be tested saga, like many other things, and this was my case. I knew the saga had played, but to paraphrase an English expression was not my cup of tea. At that time he was engaged in PC games, Quake, strategy games … Another story, come on. The study had important people who themselves were absolute fans of the series and could take advantage of all this knowledge and all this sensitivity to pull ahead.”

Alvarez is clearly implying that while he wasn’t a fan or somebody with knowledge of Castlevania, other people on the team were. This is fine and not entirely uncommon practice, but after the anonymous dev claimed nobody dared even speak to Alvarez and management during development, we don’t get the impression he was open to round table discussions on respecting Castlevania’s heritage.

Without discussing hard numbers, Alvarez also reveals that development was the most expensive in Spanish gaming history, with a team of over 100 working on the game. He then goes on to discuss his disappointment with Lords of Shadow 2’s low review scores and the state of game reviews on the whole. He claims the games media arena is over saturated now, and if a publication like Edge gives an early, low review score it has an influence on many reviews that follow.

“This is another important issue. There are a few publications that set trends and from here there are other publications that follow and dare not deviate much. The first LOS, which has a 85 on Metacritic, also got bad marks major sites, yet the game was high. It is true that the Edge liked the first and this dislike. But I also find that this has happened is totally unfair. One must be blind or stupid to give it a 4/10 for a game of this quality. With a 4/10 people interpret it is a crappy game, badly done, it breaks, with mechanics that do not work with some awful graphics, and if I were an analyst would know this, which I do not think los2 a score of crappy game deserves.”

The interview ends with Enric Alvarez discussing the working relationship between Konami and Mercury Steam.

“Yes it is a normal relationship between two companies, a publisher and developer, who have been working for seven years and as I always say, when we signed with them are people who were people who were totally in sync with us and let us work. A game like LOS not be understood without taking into account that we had much freedom as possible, there appeared a style guide with 300 pages and a staff of Japanese designers. Mostly they were interested in our vision of Castlevania and this is something we always appreciate because it has allowed us to do things our way, from the smallest details to the most important concepts.”

That relation may be tested over the coming weeks if the Lords of Shadow 2 fall out continues.

If you’re a native Spanish speaker and anything has been mistranslated or skewed by Google, please let us know in the comments below.

  • Idiot

    So you drove it into the ground because it wasn’t your thing? Asshole.

  • Stupid above

    Konami did that all by themselves idio :)

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  • commentguy

    Publishing such a poorly Google translated interview is a bit unprofessional, you don’t get any sense of whether he’s being respectful or disrespectful from text, let alone, poorly translated text. Seems like the guy hasn’t ever been much into the series, which is fair enough, he wasn’t bashing it, just being honest that it’s not his thing.

    Furthermore, the anonymous dev post was clearly someone ****posting, a troll making things up. That the post says Kojima had less to do with the other games after LoS1 gives it away, as we all know Kojima actually had NOTHING to do with MoF or LoS2 and that truely the only real involvement he had in the production of LoS1 was making sure it was of a high enough quality to put the Kojima Productions logo on the box, because that logo helped to sell a hell of a lot of copies. The rest of the “dev” post had information we all already knew or is unproven and likely false, and the part about people being laid off, well, anyone who’s worked in this industry will know layoffs are very common after very big projects, this is a business where you can’t afford to keep an extra 30 staff you no longer need on the payroll, especially when you’re not knee-deep into your next project yet.

    As a gamer and Castlevania nut myself I enjoyed Mercurysteam’s take on the Belmonts and Dracula, regardless of all the crap being thrown around by unprofessional journalists and reviewers, I actually felt LoS2 was for the most part a lot better than the first, the stealth sections are so infrequent and incredibly easy that they’re forgivable as far as I’m concerned (protip, Kotaku reviewer: use Mist, dumbass). All I really want now is one last big boss fight to go out on, then I hope we get some more Metroidvania, it’s already been too long!

  • http://www.thirteen1.com Dan

    Hey, thanks for the comment. While posting raw translations can sometimes be misleading, unfortunately this doesn’t appear to be the case here. We aren’t trying to be inflammatory, just report on what we see, and what we’re seeing is growing evidence for this guy not being the best spirited chap to lead a team of devs. The news is being picked up all over the place, is being tracked at NeoGaf and is backed by reputable sources: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=776423&page=8

    If you have any sources that proves the original guy making the complaint is in fact a fake, we will of course update the site. As it stands, this news story is gaining more traction in Spain than it is in English speaking press, so there’s a degree of having to make common sense out of the translations. Vade Juegos is reputable in Spain, they have confirmed the developer is legit and are waiting to hear from Alvarez for his version of events: http://www.vadejuegos.com/noticias/desvelamos-los-problemas-de-desarrollo-de-castlevania-lords-of-shadow-2-20140228.html

    Also please note we didn’t deliver an opinion on the game itself, just those of the dev team.

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