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.