Episode 18 – Flat Egg

Shinesparkers Podcast
Shinesparkers Podcast
Episode 18 - Flat Egg
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Our eighteenth episode of the Shinesparkers Podcast is now available! In this episode our team discuss their thoughts on the newly released Metroid Dread, delving deep into the lore of the game, and the controversy surrounding MercurySteam and crediting. We also answer some messages from the mailbag! Darren takes on hosting duties this time around, with team member Roy. Our social media manager and Community Spotlight manager Glaedrax is also here, making his debut podcast appearance!

Please be aware that this episode will contain major spoilers from Metroid Dread. If you wish to avoid spoilers, please listen to this episode later.

01:09 – Main topic: Our thoughts on Metroid Dread
22:37 – Topic: MercurySteam crediting controversy
30:53 – Mailbag: Where do you want to see the traditional series of Metroid go next?
36:56 – Bloopers

New interview with Yoshio Sakamoto from Gamespot

Video games news website Gamespot had the opportunity to interview Metroid Dread Producer Yoshio Sakamoto. In this interview, Sakamoto speaks about how much of the final game reflects his concept from the early 2000’s, the reasoning behind the name of the game and its overall design, or how it felt making a sequel to Fusion almost twenty years later (which he agrees was way too long!).

Click here to check out the interview!

Feature: Shinesparkers Reviews Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread has been out for just over a week, and the team have been playing through Samus Aran’s latest adventure, Metroid Dread since it released. Now that we have had some time to formulate some views, several members of  the team have come together to give their thoughts on Metroid Dread. We didn’t score our review, but we hope that you will take the time to read our thoughts and understand how we felt about the game.

Click here to check out our group review of Metroid Dread

We spoke to MercurySteam on developer credit in Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread has been out for one whole week, and is already showing signs of being one of the most successful launches for a Metroid game in the series history. But in addition to the positive news surrounding the game’s release, there are reports of developer MercurySteam failing to list names in the credits of Metroid Dread, if they have not worked on 25% of the total development time, as per company policy. This was first reported on Spanish gaming website Vandal, who quoted some former developers who weren’t credited in the final game.

Developer, Roberto Mejías, who credits themselves as a former Senior 3D Artist at MercurySteam, quoted on his LinkedIN profile as follows:

“I would like to sincerely congratulate the Metroid Dread team for putting out such an outstanding game. I’m not surprised of the quality of the game though, since the amount of talent on that team was through the roof. I know this first hand because, despite not being included on the game’s credits, I was part of that team for for eight months.”

Another developer, Tania Peñaranda Hernández who credits themselves as a 3D Character Animator at MercurySteam is quoted to say the following on their LinkedIN profile:

“I am very happy and proud to finally be able to see my work on the project, a job that I did with great love and enthusiasm! I am also very proud of the whole team!
But it also saddens me to see that I am not reflected in the credits for this work that I did. It has been hard for me to see that they have considered that it should be like this when I keep seeing a lot of animations that I made in every gameplay.”

Another developer who doesn’t wish to be named, mentions in the original article by Vandal to say  they were working for more than 11 months on Dread, and do not appear in the credits.

Shinesparkers reached out to MercurySteam, and asked for clarification on the policy:

MercurySteam: “We accredit all those who stay with us a minimum time in a particular project, usually the vast majority of them-. We set the minimum at 25% of dev time. We also credit those who, even though they have not been in the project for too long, have had significant creative contributions.A game development is a complex, hard, exhausting endeavour. We understand any of us needs to contribute at a minimum to it to be accredited in the final product.”

Shinesparkers responded to clarify what they meant by “significant creative contributions” and why a minimum of 25% was chosen as the total development time for credit in the final product. MercurySteam responded:

MercurySteam: “A significant contribution might mean A LOT of things: from designing a playable character, writing dialogues, lore.. anything substantially important to the game. On the 25% this is something based on our experience. Of course it can be seen differently elsewhere.”

It should be noted that it is common across the video game industry for developers not to be credited for various reasons, likely outlined in their contracts in advance of any work undertaken. It is also likely that company policies are created for specific reasons that we are simply not entitled to know. That being said, we believe that, at the very least, anyone who has contributed to Metroid Dread, and whose work is present in the final game, should be given acknowledgement in the credits, as doing so could greatly enrich the individual’s career prospects, especially for one as notable as this game, which has had nothing but positivity so far.

While this may be common practice in the video game industry, we feel that that MercurySteam could be a catalyst for change, and relax their policy to make things right, updating the in-game credits for Metroid Dread to include the talented inviduals who worked on the game, and has their work present in the final product. We ask that they allow people to see who was responsible for creating this game, and allow these people the opportunity to show their connection to a massive hit that we have enjoyed so much.

We have a lot of respect for everyone at MercurySteam, and the work that went into Metroid Dread. The Shinesparkers team have had a blast playing through the game, and we believe they have delivered a solid Metroid experience. But they now have an opportunity to impress us once again, and show the industry how crediting should be done. We have asked MercurySteam if they have any further comments they wish to make, and will ensure these are updated on this page if they are able to provide them.

We want to thank MercurySteam for their response, and look forward to any further comments they may have on the matter.

Source: Vandal, MercurySteam

Metroid Dread sells 86,798 physical copies in its opening week in Japan

There are early signs of a remarkable opening week for Metroid Dread, as it manages to rank 1st place in the Japanese all format chart, a region where Metroid typically struggles. According to Japanese Video Game magazine Famitsu, an estimated 86,798 physical copies of Metroid Dread for Nintendo Switch were sold, more than Far Cry 6 on Playstation 4 and 5 combined, which launched a day earlier than Dread.

Earlier this week, Games Industry reported that Metroid Dread was the highest-grossing Metroid game to date in the United Kingdom ever, after announcing (and later correcting) that it was the fastest-selling Metroid title in the country’s history, beaten by Metroid Prime by less than 1,000 units. It ranked third in the opening week, specifically for physical sales.

We also reported that Metroid Dread had topped the digital charts in the United Kingdom, and that Metroid titles on the Nintendo eShop for Wii U and 3DS had continued to remain strong, presumably as a result of the hype for Metroid Dread.

As Nintendo don’t share their digital sales data, we can assume that the total sales figures for Metroid Dread far exceed these amounts, and we look forward to some acknowledgement from Nintendo on what these are in the future.

We will continue to update our readers with sales figures as we get them!

Source: Famitsu, Games Industry

Shinesparkers Giveaway: Metroid Dread Special Edition

It’s been almost nineteen years since her last outing, but Samus’s fifth adventure in the traditional saga is finally here! Metroid Dread released on the 8th October 2021, continuing the story as we left it from Metroid Fusion, serving as a conclusion to the story arc, which began over thirty-five years ago.

To celebrate, Shinesparkers are giving away THREE special edition copies of Metroid Dread to our audience within the United Kingdom and Ireland. In order to be in with a chance of receiving one, all you have to do is tell us about your favourite Metroid title from the series 35-year history, and why it means so much to you!

To enter, please follow respond to this tweet, with your message, including the #Shinesparkers hashtag. You will also need to be following us on Twitter. You have until 21/10/2021 to enter, so there’s no time to waste!

Terms and Conditions

  • Entry is open to residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland, excluding staff and the immediate families of Shinesparkers, its agents or anyone professionally connected with the promotion. Entrants must be 13 years or over.
  • This competition will run from 07/10/2021 – 21/10/2021
  • By entering the promotion, entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions
  • Message must be included within one tweet, and must include the #Shinesparkers hashtag
  • Entrants MUST respond using an unlocked account that is viewable by the public (including at the time of posting)
  • Three winners will be picked at random from eligible entries and will each receive a Special Edition copy of Metroid Dread for Nintendo Switch
  • Winners will be contacted within 48 hours after the competition closes via Twitter Direct Message
  • Winners must reply with the requested details within 48 hours of notification, otherwise they risk forfeiting their prize to a runner up
  • Shinesparkers reserves the right to verify all entries and the winner, including, but not limited to, age and eligibility to enter, and to refuse to award the prize, or withdraw prize entitlement, where there are reasonable grounds to believe there has been a breach of these terms and conditions or any instructions forming part of this promotions entry requirements
  • No cash equivalent will be offered, and our decisions are final
  • No purchase necessary

Metroid Dread Report Vol.10 released

The tenth Metroid Dread Report has now been released! In this concluding volume, the report shares concept art, the concept for the E.M.M.I robots, Samus’s design and movement, and the sound of Metroid Dread. This tenth chapter will be the final Metroid Dread Report, a series that we have enjoyed reading and covering in the lead up to Metroid Dread, which will launch on Nintendo Switch tomorrow!

Click here to read the Volume 10 of the Metroid Dread Report

All previous reports can be found here:

Metroid Dread Report Volume 9
Metroid Dread Report Volume 8
Metroid Dread Report Volume 7
Metroid Dread Report Volume 6
Metroid Dread Report Volume 5
Metroid Dread Report Volume 4
Metroid Dread Report Volume 3
Metroid Dread Report Volume 2
Metroid Dread Report Volume 1

Metroid Dread: A message to Mercury Steam and Nintendo

I don’t usually make posts like this for Shinesparkers, but on the eve of Metroid Dread’s release, I felt it was important to share how significant this game’s release is for me personally.

I became a Metroid fan in 2004, which was a great time to get involved with the series due to the wealth of Metroid titles released around that time. I had the pleasure of playing so many games from the series, including Metroid Fusion. At the time, Fusion was the latest title in the Metroid story, and back then I presumed that we would receive a continuation of that story in the near future.

In February 2006, I picked up a copy of the Official Nintendo Magazine, and turned to the release schedule to see that Metroid Dread would release in the future (as a TBD note). Online, people were saying this would be a continuation of the Metroid story after Fusion, and my excitement grew. I was so eager to discover what happened next, and so I waited…

…and waited.

 

Unfortunately, that wait continued for many years until I had given up hope on ever seeing a new traditional-style of Metroid game again. I felt that perhaps Nintendo didn’t know what to do with the series, and thought that the Metroid Prime series was a larger focus than the original, given how popular and profitable it had become by comparison.

But in 2017, an independent games developer based in Madrid, Spain, gave me hope. MercurySteam did what I believed to be impossible, and brought the traditional “2D” Metroid games back to life with Metroid: Samus Returns. By this point, a whole thirteen years had passed since Zero Mission, the last game to approach Metroid in this style, had been released. Suddenly, the possibility of Metroid Dread was alive again.

Then in 2021, almost nineteen years after Fusion first released, Nintendo announced that Metroid Dread, confirmed to be Metroid 5, was announced. After so many years of lost hope, accepting that we may never see a continuation of the story, we learned that Dread will be the final game in this Metroid story-arc that first began over thirty-five years ago.

I wrote this news post to attempt to express just how significant this release is to a fan such as myself. There was no game I could have wanted more than Metroid Dread, there never could be. This is the dream release, and it means so much to me. So from the bottom of my heart, I really want to thank the team at MercurySteam for delivering such a historic title, and closing out a story that I have loved for half of my life.

I also want to share a message to series producer Yoshio Sakamoto. While I know he may never see this, I want to thank him for never giving up on continuing the story of Samus and the Metroids. Your work, and the work of your teams throughout the years have brought me so much joy and enthusiasm, and while I am sad that the story is coming to an end, I am intrigued and excited by the future with you at the helm.

My copy of Metroid Dread will arrive tomorrow, and I cannot believe that after all these years, I will finally be experiencing that story, that sequel to Fusion I have wanted for so long. I hope that fans of the series, and people who will play a Metroid game for the very first time, will enjoy what the game has to offer.

 

Darren
Creative Director of Shinesparkers

Shinesparkers Metroid Dread Video: Get involved!

Four years ago, we put together a special video to commemorate the release of Metroid: Samus Returns on Nintendo 3DS. Members of the community shared photographs of their newly acquired game and merchandise. The response was overwhelming, and for the release of Metroid Dread, we would love to try this again!

We are asking Metroid fans to contribute to a new video Shinesparkers are producing, and to capture the moment they received their new game and products in an effort to preserve it for the future, so people can look back and see what happened on the day Metroid Dread released. We would love to include as many entries as we possibly can from all parts of the world! It’s also our aim to share the video with Nintendo and MercurySteam in an effort to show the fan support!

Examples of what you can share could include the following:

Photographs of your new game, special edition, amiibo, and other promotional items purchased on the day of release, even your digital products.

Video footage (No more than 30 seconds) of the moment you collect your video game, or an unboxing)

Video footage (No more than 30 seconds) sharing a personal message of how much the release of Dread and the Metroid means to you.

Fans should email Shinesparkers before October 15th 2021 and provide one or more of the following, along with their Twitter username so they can be credited in the video:

  • Photograph of their Metroid Dread related products (Special, standard editions, any merchandise, all within one image) as an attachment
  • A link to some clear video footage (Uploaded to Google Drive, one file, no more than 30 seconds long) with no effects added.
  • A short message in text of around around 20-30 words with a message to include within our video.

Please note: All of this will be compiled into a single video and uploaded to our YouTube channel at a later date, and shared via social media using the #SamusIsBack hashtag. We may not be able to include everyone if we become inundated with entries, but we will try to include as many as possible! We reserve the right to make changes and edits to content shared to fit within our scope of the video.

Here’s an example of a previous video we put together to mark the release of Metroid: Samus Returns!