Gameindustry.biz had the chance to speak with Enric Alvarez, head of the Spanish developer MercurySteam (popular for their Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow series) and they talked about a variety of subjects, including the studio’s experience when working closely with Nintendo for the upcoming Metroid: Samus Returns for the Nintendo 3DS, which is a remake of Metroid II: Samus Returns for the Gameboy.
“It is an incredible achievement for a Spanish studio”, Alvarez says. “Nintendo is a one-of-a-kind publisher that make one-of-a-kind games. 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.”
He also mentions that the Big N has been a pretty unique partner to work with: “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.”
After the lukewarm reception to MercurySteam’s previous Metroidvania attempt – Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow – Mirror Of Fate for the 3DS – the studio seems to have learned from their mistakes and Alvarez is very confident that Return Of Samus will deliver: “People are receiving the game with open arms. It is obvious that people wanted this kind of game. I am sure it is going to live up to expectations, because it is the perfect mix between the respect of Metroid’s legacy, with new elements. Young people and older hardcore fans will equally embrace this game.”
They also talk about development of their brand new, self published IP, Raiders Of The Broken Planet (for PC, PS4, XB1) and their view on the AAA game industry. Read the full interview here.