Reports that the development of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 was deeply troubled have been confirmed by a member of the studio.
Following mixed reviews in the press, an anonymous individual claiming to be an employee of developer Mercury Steam came forward over the weekend and said Hideo Kojima had almost nothing to do with the game. "He came by, set a seal, visited the studio, signed some things and that was it. He had even less to do with Mirror of Fate and LoS2," said the individual.
“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 continued. “Nobody is surprised by the low reviews we’ve got.
“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. Despite his nice look to the press, often considered as some sort of creative ‘visionary’ in the looks [sic] 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.
“His distrust to his own workers is enormous. Most of the development team often found out features of the game through press news, rather than from the studio’s head – unbelievable. And there is no corporate culture here at all… this is just a handful of people working blindly and at the disposal of an alleged visionary.”
Responding to the accusations above, Álvarez tweeted:
However, a second developer has since come forward to confirm many of the claims above. Speaking with Spanish language gaming publication Vadejuegos, the developer said leadership issues caused difficulties at the studio.
"The problems we’ve been through are basically those in the original post,” said the developer. “There are plenty of talented developers [at Mercury Steam], though they’re not among the [studio] heads. There’s almost no actual lead in here. The only ones who really have something to say are those who have been here since the early days or those who struggle to please Enric [Álvarez, Mercury Steam CEO]."
“It isn’t easy to be a creative guy in there, because people’s ideas are never really free to exist,” the source continued. “In fact, they expect you to not give any ideas, they do not like people who do so, causing many big names to leave without a second thought.
“Our art director [José Luis Vaello] went to Tequila and now he is making RIME. He left due to the creative situation here. He was being completely held back and couldn’t force any changes, so he was just like: ‘okay, see ya, good luck with your amazing ideas’, and left the team…”
Mercury Steam has let go of 35 employees since wrapping on Lords of Shadow 2, claimed the source.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 will be released locally this week on PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360