Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2's Allegedly Troubled Development Exposed, Studio Director Blamed
Written Friday, February 28, 2014 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Having split critics, a member of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 developer MercurySteam has stepped forward to lift the lid on the game's troubled development, pointing the finger at Studio Director Enric Alvarez who according to the source is allegedly "mean", has "serious problems" and is at the centre of the studio's "archaic" structure.
The anonymous MercurySteam employee revealed that he experienced "hell" during the making of Lords of Shadow 2, explaining that Hideo Kojima had little to do with the first game and even less to do with the sequel and its spin-off, Mirror of Fate.
"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," he said. "Nobody is surprised by the low reviews we’ve got."
The MercurySteam dev goes on to attribute blame to Alvarez, claiming that the studio's QA department is "treated like cattle, with shameful wages and almost everyday bullying" and the game's art direction is "erratic and beheaded." It's alleged that this is down to the studio director's "distrust" of his workers.
"If there’s someone to blame here, that’s Enric Álvarez. He is the person who has led a broken development based on his personal criteria, completely overlooking programmers, designers and artists," the anonymous employee added. "Despite his nice look to the press, often considered as some sort of creative ‘visionary’ in the looks of David Cage and Molyneux, this guy has serious problems. He is a mean and naughty guy, and since the 'success Lords of Shadows 1' his ego has grown to the point of not even daring to say 'hello' when you meet him in the hallway.
"Absolutely every design idea has to be monitored, taken away and mutilated by Enric Álvarez. Several game designers have grown tired of this and have abandoned the studio."
Furthermore, the source revealed that 35 layoffs were made at MercurySteam once work on Lords of Shadow 2 had concluded, with more staff cuts possible. "Expectations for our future are quite bad... with a publisher like Konami really upset after the mediocre game we've made," the source stated.
"And finally, because not everything is bad in here, I wanted to say that the real team behind this company is an incredible bunch of people. If all those guys who are not allowed to be promoted due to our Jurassic studio leads had the chance to set the course of the company, our future would be so bright," the dev concluded.
"There’s just so much passion and talent here, more than I’ve ever seen anywhere else, but it’s completely held back. I really hope that those who read this understand what we’ve lived here. Someone has to say this so it is not lost in time after the game’s launch."
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is out now. You can check out our review here.