Mercury Steam boss Enric Álvarez has attacked corners of the gaming press for giving his studio's latest release, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, low review scores.
In an interview with Eurogamer Spain, Álvarez followed a leading question regarding review scores. When asked if Edge's 4/10 review might have influenced reviews at other publications, Álvarez said, "This is another important issue. There are a few media outlets that set trends and then some other that follow them don’t dare to deviate too much. The first LoS, which has an 85 mark in Metacritic, also got bad scores on some major sites, yet the game ended having a very good one."
"It’s true that Edge liked the first game but they didn’t enjoy this one as much. I also think that what happened is terribly unfair. One must be blind or stupid to give a 4/10 mark to a game with this quality. With a 4/10 people think it’s a crappy game, badly done, one that’s broken with gameplay mechanics that don’t work and awful graphics. If I were a reviewer I’d know this, and I don’t think that LoS2 deserves the score of a crappy game."
Álvarez argued that some reviewers were unqualified to judge his game. "Any game is a complex work, and sometimes I think there’s a lack of professionalism in the game press, who should judge things for what they are and not what they want them to be.
"I agree that, in the end, it’s an opinion, and an opinion is totally respectable, but let’s not confuse an opinion and a review. The review is about the object and the opinion is about the subject. You can say 'I do really [like] rock but I hate opera', and this is an opinion, not a review. If I had to review “Don Giovanni” I wouldn’t even know how to start, and this honestly is something the gaming press lacks. A lot of people who review games do not live up to the game they’re reviewing.
"This is a problem because it influences people’s buying decisions, and they also influence the opportunities of the developers, because we live in a world that simplifies information and classifies developers according to their Metacritic scores. Do not misunderstand me, though: there are very good people writing about games, whatever their opinion is."
Eurogamer Spain's interview with Álvarez was conducted prior to reports that the development of Lords of Shadow 2 was marked by managerial incompetence.
Over the weekend, an anonymous individual claiming to be an employee of developer Mercury Steam came forward and said, "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 [style] 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."
A second anonymous developer came forward to corroborate many aspects of the first individual's account.
""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 responded to these accusations, saying in a Tweet, "Is sad see people giving credit to the lies and insults from an enraged ex-worker. What a world we live in.."
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 will be released locally this week on PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360