Lords of Shadow 1 wasn’t even that grand of a success.

A letter from one of the devs was written in the wake of LOS2’s crap reviews.

Well, I would like to shed some light over the development of this game… Working with Mercury Steam and I would like to tell this anonymously- is about an everyday frustration. Here’s to every guy that has experienced hell during the development of this game, but especially to those who have led this to the mess that Lords of Shadows 2 is:

– Kojima had little to nothing to do with the development of the first game, he came by, set a seal, visited the studio, signed some things and that was it. He had even less to do with Mirror of Fate and LoS2.

The vast majority of this team is aware that the game we’ve done is a real piece of s*** that has nothing to do with the first one’s quality and production values… Nobody is surprised by the low reviews we’ve got.

– If there’s someone to blame here, that’s Enric Álvarez. He is the person who has led a broken development based on his personal criteria, completely overlooking programmers, designers and artists. Despite his nice look to the press, often considered as some sort of creative “visionary” in the looks of David Cage and Molyneux, this guy has serious problems. He is a mean and naughty guy (WTF!?), and since the “success Lords of Shadows 1” his ego has grown to the point of not even daring to say ‘hello’ when you meet him in the hallway.

His distrust to his own workers is enormous. Most of the development team often found out features of the game through press news, rather than from the studio’s head – unbelievable. And there is no corporate culture here at all… this is just a handful of people working blindly and at the disposal of an alleged visionary.

– Many of the studio founders are people with zero abilities for running a studio. Often here newbie developers know more than their own bosses. This structure only leads to a slow, messy and absurd development process, with the end result of Lords of Shadows 2 being a perfect example of what happens due to that.

– Absolutely every design idea has to be monitored, taken away and mutilated by Enric Álvarez. Several game designers have grown tired of this and have abandoned the studio.

– The art direction for this project has been erratic and beheaded. After Enric dismissed every idea and core decission from our main art director for the previous projects, he decided to just leave. It was a battle of egos unleashed by Enric (something that he has carried over with since his times in Rebel Act). Our now former art director is still working in Madrid, now with the Tequila guys making RIME.

– Many others have just turned to other studios offers, sick of the situation here. Almost every month we see fellow devs packing up and getting out of here looking for a new job abroad that’s sad. It’s amazing how the biggest AAA game developer in Spain is not even willing to make its workers a counteroffer. This company does not think highly of its talented workers and their good work. There has never been any kind of salary bonus or anything that remotely resembles it. Not even a single “Good job team!” acknowledgement.

– The production management for this project has been terrible, way often the heads of each department dismissed every production deadline and imposed their own criteria. As a result, the development was delayed for six months, and that investment only came out of MercurySteam’s pockets. The QA department is treated like cattle, with shameful wages and almost everyday bullying.

– After completing Lords of Shadows 2 MercurySteam has fired 35 workers, and it’s embarrasing that no website or journalist is talking about that. More firings are expected to come in the following days.

VG Cats - I can't believe it's not Updated_1367606609993

What grown ass man you know uses “Mean and Naughty” to describe their bosses?

I’ve not seen this news anywhere else yet so authenticity is still up in the air. But really, this reads like the devs intentionally sabotaged the project just to bring Enric Alvarez to his knees. I know the Spaniards are dicks but hey, tis another example of the mess people have to go through just to make a decent product.

The game did seem to have a sporadic change in direction. At one point, you think it takes place in the future, then it’s in the past, then you see young Dracula in the future with modern cities this side of NYC. And something about stealth missions were added from what I’ve heard (eww). If that was all Alvarez’s bullshittin, then perhaps I made the right decision to delay a purchase.

I’m not familiar with the production of the game as it’s usually something I could care less about, but of all the names to leave out, no mention of David Cox? He’s more public than Alvarez. Not to mention the go to guy for interviews where he creates hype trains that the nerds swallow like oatmeal from their grandmas.

But they only want to apologize for the media crucifixion? Are the bonuses from good metacritic scores the only thing they care about!? I’d imagine a game like LOS2 making good on reviews based on the fact that it’s the same kind of industry crap the journalist outlets crave.

Oh well, maybe the nerds will love it for typical Lord of the Rings styled “art direction”, since that’s all that makes a good game these days.

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