A major stir has been generated around MercurySteam, the Spanish developer that recently launched Metroid Dread for Nintendo Switch. A work that has been carried out by a multitude of developers, how could it be otherwise, and that is exactly where the controversy has arisen.
From Vandal they echoed that various people who participated in the creation of Metroid Dread do not appear in the title credits. One of them is Roberto Mejías, who claimed on LinkedIn that “despite not appearing in the game’s credits, I was part of that team for about eight months.” Mejías pointed out to recognize “a lot of models and environments in which I worked (…) Why don’t I appear in the credits of the game? Is it some kind of error?”
More anonymous testimonies joined the developer’s statements, stating that “not crediting the work of the team that puts all the love in the project, and the effort, is a very ugly practice” after having worked with MercurySteam for about a year. Even Tania Peñaranda, an animator at Pendulo Studios and who has worked in Metroid Dread, has lamented it: “It saddens me to see that I am not in the credits for the work I did. It has been hard for me to see that they have considered that it should be this way when I have seen in each game a lot of animations that I did.”
The study’s response
MercurySteam herself has responded to give her version and explain what are your criteria when certifying in credits of the titles the participation of the developers. This is the full answer:
“Studio policy requires that anyone must work on the project at least 25% of the time, of the overall game development, to appear in the ending credits. Of course, exceptions are sometimes made when making exceptional contributions.”
MercurySteam’s position has been discussed by Mejías, stating that “they can always say that they consider someone’s contribution to be exceptional and do whatever they want. “On the other hand, one of the anonymous sources stated that”the 25% theme sounds like an invented thing to me since it suited them well for the above case … but hey, neither 25% nor 1%, if I participated you should put me [en los créditos]”.
A common situation in the industry
Throughout the history of video games there are multiple cases of no credit developers in video games. Among the most recent we can find a whole giant of the sector like Rockstar Games with Red Dead Redemption 2.
As Kotaku revealed, Arthur Morgan’s adventure does not reflect in its credits all those who participated in the play. Jennifer kolbe, a representative of the company, acknowledged this fact, arguing that it is “a constant policy because we have always felt that we want the team to reach the finish line. And a long time ago we decided that if you did not finish the game you would not be in the credits “.
Deathloop and Bethesda is not spared from the same problem, either. Former employees who helped create the time loops are not in the credits or have been grouped into a “special thank you” category. In the latter case, the role they played is not specified. They were contractors, testers, outsourced studios and former employees who were not part of the company at the time of launch. Deathloop the main affected.
Going back a few years in time, LA Noire was also involved. Gamesradar revealed that Team Bondi did not properly credit employees who were laid off due to staff cuts. There are several other examples, such as in Trails of Cold Steel, where the names of the people who located the game when it was released on PS4 were removed and XSEED, the developer, explained that had a similar stance to Rockstar.
The Crash Bandicoot N’Sane Trilogy made an initial release without the accreditation of the original Naughty Dog developers, something that was fixed in later versions. And in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild list supporting studies, but no developer is named and no information is provided on where in the game these studios worked on.
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) specifies that all employees working on a project for more than 30 days deserve to be credited regardless of whether they are present when the game is launched or not.