Metroid Dread has come out into the wild and seems to be a huge hit — it’s an absolute cracker, for starters, and it just took its first week on the Japanese charts. Unfortunately, though, there is a problem with the procedures that have surfaced since the game’s release last Friday.
A number of employees who worked at Metroid Dread studio MercurySteam during the game’s development, but have since left the company, have claimed that they are not included in the game’s credits despite finding their work in the final product. As Vandal discovered, 3D artist Roberto Megias raised the issue on LinkedIn, skeptical of the development studio’s decision to leave them:
“I would like to sincerely congratulate the Metroid Dread team for putting out this great game. I am not surprised by the quality of the game though, given that the talent count on this team was high. I know this is straightforward because, despite not being included in the game credits, I was Part of this team for eight months.
While playing the game I got to know quite a few assets and environments I worked on…so my work is there. Next, I’d like to ask MercurySteam: Why am I not showing up in game credits? Is it some kind of error? “
Speaking to Vandal, another employee who wished to remain anonymous told a similar story, saying that they worked on the game at MercurySteam for eleven months but were not included in the credits. They described it as “a very ugly practice”.
The game industry has had this problem for a long time, with no official guidance on how studios should engage their employees. In most cases, the employer has the final say, sometimes removing temporary team members or those who moved out of the company before the game was launched altogether.
In Vandal’s report, a MercurySteam representative told the outlets, “The studio’s policy requires that anyone work on the project. [for] At least 25% of all game development appears in the final credits,” and adds that “exceptions are sometimes made when exceptional contributions are made.” Metroid Dread was believed to have been in development for four years, which explains why anyone who did not He has been in the game for an entire year.
Of course, the question remains Why? Why should putting eleven months of hard work into a project instead of twelve mean you don’t receive credit for your efforts, which could spoil future job prospects?