We spoke to MercurySteam on developer credit in Metroid Dread

October 15, 2021
October 15, 2021 Darren

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