Released last week for the Nintendo Switch, Metroid Dread has wowed critics and players alike. It currently sits at 89 on Metacritic, with some already calling it the best 2D Metroid in the series. Now, some of the developers want to know why they’re not mentioned in the critics.
Nintendo developed the latest Metroid game in collaboration with Madrid-based studio MercurySteam, and previous developers there have taken issue with being left out of its section of the game’s credits, according to a new report by the Spanish-language gaming site, Vandal.
“I would like to sincerely congratulate the Metroid Dread team for putting out such an outstanding game,” wrote former MercurySteam 3D artist Roberto Mejías on LinkedIn on October 12. “I’m not surprised of the quality of the game though, since the amount of talent on that team was through the roof. I know this first hand because, despite not being included on the game’s credits, I was part of that team for eight months.”
According to his LinkedIn profile, Mejías worked at the studio in 2019, two years prior to the game’s release.
Still, he writes that “while playing the game, I’ve recognized quite a few assets and environments I worked on…so my work is there.”
Another former MercurySteam developer also shared her frustrations of being left out of the game’s credits.
“I am also very proud of the whole team!” wrote former 3D character animator, Tania Peñaranda Hernández, on LinkedIn. “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.“
Vandal cites a third anonymous source who says they were also left out of the credits, despite working on the game for 11 months, based on a translation of the article by Kotaku. Mejías also told the site in an email that MercurySteam financially penalizes employees who give less than 42 days notice before leaving. A representative for MercurySteam told Vandal that it normally doesn’t credit developers who haven’t worked on a project for at least a quarter of its production time, though it does occasionally make exceptions.
MercurySteam and Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Video game companies have long been stingy and capricious with developer credits, deploying them as a form of punishment or reward depending on the circumstances. The issue came up last month with Deathloop and again last week with the release of Far Cry 6. In some cases, the right credit can be the most valuable part of working on a certain project. Many developers forgo larger salaries for the chance to add a new Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed to their resumes.
With the success of Metroid Dread, which is already setting new sales records for the series, a credit would be similarly valuable, in addition to just being the right thing to do. It’s unclear if the game will be patched to update the credits or if the contributions of some former MercurySteam developers will continue to be erased.