Metroid Dread is out on Nintendo Switch now and it brings one of the most incredible Metroidvania experiences to market. It’s not all positive for everyone, though. Recently, developer MercurySteam caught criticism from former developers for not appearing in the credits of Metroid Dread for their work on the game. MercurySteam responded that the omissions fell under a studio policy that required a certain amount of work on a game to appear.
The issue arose when various developers who worked on Metroid Dread voiced their concern that they didn’t appear in the credits, as reported by Spanish online publication Vandal. One such developer was 3D artist Roberto Mejias, who claimed on his LinkedIn to have contributed work to the game, but went without recognition in the credits.
“I would like to sincerely congratulate the Metroid Dread team for putting out such an outstanding game… Despite not being included on the game's credits, I was part of that team 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?”
Mejias wasn’t the only one to voice his concern. 3D cinematics animator Tania Peñaranda and several other anonymous developers shared similar sentiments that their work on Metroid Dread went uncredited.
To this, a representative of MercurySteam claimed that it was a company policy that caused the omissions. Apparently, MercurySteam has a policy where, if a developer has not been on board for 25 percent or more of a game’s development time, then they are not listed in the credits.
“The studio's policy requires that anyone must work on the project at least 25 percent of the total game development time to appear in the final credits." The MercurySteam spokesperson said. “Of course, sometimes exceptions are made when making exceptional contributions.”
As unfair as it might sound, it’s unfortunately not unusual for developers to not be credited if their work on a game isn’t substantial. Kotaku previously did a large piece on how it’s often commonplace for studios to punish or omit developers who don’t contribute “enough” to a game, presenting figures of around 1000 developers who worked on Red Dead Redemption and were omitted.
It’s a major disappointment to see a game as good as Metroid Dread marred by such a matter. Even if it is a studio policy or industry commonplace, it seems like one that demands change in the ever-evolving industry.