Metroid Dread is out now, and with critical plaudits and solid sales in various regions, it’s certainly been doing well for Nintendo. There is one aspect of the game that’s come across as a bit of a disappointment though- and it’s got nothing to do with how it plays. Developers not being properly credit (or credited at all) for their work on games has been a rampant issue in the industry for quite some time, and Metroid Dread is another game that has that problem.
As detailed in a report published by Vandal, several developers who were involved with the game’s production at MercurySteam haven’t been credited for their work, with their names not appearing in the game’s credit. Over on LinkedIn, some who worked on Dread have brought up this issue publicly, including 3D artist Roberto Mejías, who worked on the game for eight months, and Tania Peñaranda Hernández, who was a 3D character animator at MercurySteam from November 2019 to May 2020.
“I’m not surprised of the quality of the game though, since the amount of talent on that team was through the roof,” Mejías wrote. “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.
“While playing the game, I’ve recognized quite a few assets and environments I worked on… so my work is there.
“Then, I would like to ask MercurySteam: Why do I not appear on the game’s credits? Is it some kind of mistake?”
Meanwhile, Hernández in her post: “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.”
MercurySteam has provided a statement to Vandal regarding the same, saying that as per company policy, only developers who worked on the project for at least 25% of its entire development cycle are mentioned in the credits. There are some exceptions though. “Exceptions are sometimes made when making exceptional contributions,” MercurySteam says, which, honestly, just seems like arbitrariness piled on top of an already arbitrary rule.
Other developers have also reached out to MercurySteam under the condition of anonymity and say that their work has also gone uncredited in the game, including one developer who worked on the project for 11 months. Several have criticized MercurySteam’s rule and called it one invented to suit their purposes. Meanwhile, Mejías has told Vandal that he suspects him not being credited for his work on Metroid Dread is due to a dispute he had with MercurySteam related to his notice period upon his departure from the studio.
Crediting developers for their work might seem like a no-brainer, but sadly, credits remain problematic in games, and cases like this one only show how much work still needs to be done to root out the issue. Here’s hoping Nintendo decides to step in and do what’s right.
Metroid Dread is available on Nintendo Switch. Read our review of the game through here.