We are moving forward once again with our support for the Spanish video game industry. With this new interview, we want to give greater visibility to a Spanish study that has a very important background. At this point, there are those who still do not identify the name of MercurySteam with their own developments. However, if we speak directly of the titles they have to their credit, they emerge names as emblematic as Return of Metroid Samus, Castlevania Lords of Shadow, O Clive Barkers Jericho among others. Iconic sagas and games that we have all come to appreciate at some point.
We are talking about an ambitious study, which after more than 15 years at the foot of the canyon, he continues to explore various genres, without getting bogged down in a precise formula. They also did not limit their potential to one platform or another, as they also hit all the sticks in that regard; PC, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, there is nothing that can resist them. In part, they remind us of our colleagues at Tequila Works, a study you also have an interview with on our website.
The position the studio enjoys today is no accident, and this was reaffirmed by one of its main managers, Enric Alvarez. From Area Xbox, we thank you once again for your willingness to answer our questions, as well as the rest of the studies that have opened their doors to us on previous occasions. We leave your declarations to you, and we expect there is another unexpected bomb
From Rebel Act to MercurySteam
For those who do not know your trajectory, we are talking about a studio born from the extinct Rebel Act studios, can you tell us how the studio has evolved since its inception?
Of course, this could be summed up as since we decided to create MercurySteam, we have not stopped growing. You might think that after 18 yearsWe have settled down, or ‘gentrified’, but nothing is further from the truth. We still have the same attitude and the same motivationIt’s only now that everything is bigger, more cumbersome and more complex.
Speaking of your first video game, what did the launch of Blade: The Edge of Darkness mean to you?
He assumed everything. In the first place, for most of us it was the baptism of fire. An incomparable experience, precisely because it was the first. Development It was a bit bumpy, but it ended up winning with a team of twenty-few people. Second, the game’s few sales didn’t help the Rebel Act move forward and soon after, the studio closed. This crisis was the occasion that gave birth to MercurySteamWell, we founded the recently licensed Rebel Act studio.
During your studio career, we’ve seen you move from one genre to another without too much difficulty. You could say that this is part of the essence of the study. Already with Raiders of the Boken Planet (Spacelords) we saw a very interesting approach, are you going to continue to explore new ways to play in the future or do you want to go back to a more classic experience?
I think that the essence of study is inexhaustible ambition, will and curiosity, it leads us again and again to explore the unknown and get into trouble too. I don’t think we’re going to change at this point.
Working with Konami
Perhaps one of your most memorable releases was Castlevania Lord of the Shadows, what did it mean for you to work on such a legendary franchise and how did you get the project?
At first we thought it was a joke or that we had misunderstood it. At that time, I barely spoke English and it was possible that, on the phone, I did not understand Konami’s proposal
It was not at all easy, partly because Codemasters, after The Jericho of Clive Barker, I wanted us to develop Jericho 2 and put serious obstacles in our signing with Konami. But we were clear on this and we jumped in the pool with no guarantees to sign the project. It could easily happen that we lost Jericho 2 and that afterwards, Konami decided not to go ahead with Castlevania. Fortunately, that did not happen and the rest is history as they say.
Continuing with Castlevania, in addition to the support of Konami himself, MercurySteam had the collaboration of Hideo Kojima and his team, what was it like working with one of the most media and recognized creatives in the industry?
The truth is that very good. Kojima san decisively supported the project at Konami and I can say that without this support the development would probably have gone wrong. Personally, he and his whole team have been a delight. They never trespassed on creation, respecting us 100%.
MercurySteam and Nintendo, an ideal marriage
One of your latest releases was the exceptional return of Metroid Samus for Nintendo 3DS in 2017. The Big N is a special company, very demanding when it comes to choosing external studios for its games. How did you work with Nintendo? Can we expect a similar project in the future?
Nintendo is undoubtedly and long, the best partner we’ve ever had
The radical change of Riders of the Broken Planet
In 2017 I saw the light Raiders of the Shattered Planet, currently Spacelords. The video game offered an asymmetrical style of play in its multiplayer, and in turn, various campaigns with which to enjoy its characters. Finally, the title became Free to Play, what caused this 180 ° turn?
Easy: We couldn’t make the business model work. Something had to be done and we did it. It was and is a great game, whose initial business model was not. Therefore, we are changing it.
See its good technical part, and the interesting roadmap proposed by the study for Spacelords How has your switch to Free to Play been received in the future?
Unequal. On Steam, not very good, because it’s a hostile ecosystem it does not forgive mistakes. We have big problems with Raiders. We correct them with Spacelords, but we never got a second chance on the platform. On Xbox and especially Playstation much better, light years away. The quality of the game is the same on all platforms, because Spacelords is crossplay on all including PS5 and Xbox series X and S recently.
The future of MercurySteam
When it comes to cross-platform titles, such as Castlevania Lords of Shadow O SpacelordsWill we see another version related to these titles or will new IPs arrive?
You never know, but knowing the DNA of the study, I would bet on new things.
With the next generation approaching, what do you think of the new consoles and the possibilities they offer? Will we see the MercurySteam titles in the next generation?
Without a doubt. We are already there at full speed.
At Area Xbox, we know it’s complicated, but we love to jump in the pool with this last question for all studios. Looking ahead, could you give us any clues as to where the studio will go? A game you’re currently working on?
No comments. You will have to wait to see it.