“They’re special. They are unique. They care about games.”
Nintendo and Mercury Steam are about to release Metroid: Samus Returns, the long awaited return of Nintendo’s beloved fan favorite franchise on the 3DS later this week. The game has already received rave reviews, and it seems like Samus’ long awaited comeback was pulled off with aplomb by developers Mercury Steam.
But that last part is something that has puzzled many- after all, Mercury Steam’s work prior to Samus Returns has been divisive at best. How did they manage to pull this off? Would it be right to credit Nintendo’s guiding hand for this result?
Yes, as it turns out- in fact, Mercury Steam’s studio head, Enric Alvarez, himself admitted as much a recent interview with Gamesindustry.
“Nintendo is a one-of-a-kind publisher that make one-of-a-kind games”, Alvarez said. “They’re special. They are unique. They care about games. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that after two years, 80 or 90% of all the conversations we’ve had were about stuff that gamers care about. Only the remaining 10 or 20% were about business or usual publishing stuff. That ratio is unique to Nintendo. When you deal with them at a close distance, you understand why they are who they are. I’m not going to lie to you; they are extremely demanding. They require the very best constantly, all the time, and beyond. But it’s been a great experience.”
“We’ve worked in the past with other publishers, with Codemasters, with Konami, and they were very different experiences. We had a great experience with Konami, but Nintendo is another thing. There are many, many Nintendo fans who don’t like any other games except for their games. Now I fully understand why that is. It has been a pleasure, we have learnt a lot. Honestly, they have made us a better developer.”
Of course, Nintendo has an exacting standard for quality, and an immense passion for games- after all, that is why they are the best developers in the world, and have consistently retained that position for three decades now. It makes sense that they would demand nothing less than third party partners that they work with as well.
Metroid: Samus Returns launches on September 15 exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.