Controversy Builds Regarding MercurySteam’s Policy on Giving In-Game Credit to Staff

The company has issued a statement.

By Angela Marrujo Fornaca. Posted 10/18/2021 15:01 1 Comment     ShareThis

Most people would likely say that they’d like to be credited for the work they do, and in the world of video game development that usually means being named in the end-game credits. But according to some former MercurySteam employees, they’ve been conspicuously left out of Metroid Dread’s credits.

Roberto Mejías, who worked as a Senior 3D Artist at MercurySteam from March 2019 to October 2019, made a congratulatory post on LinkedIn to the Metroid Dread team. But he also noted that while he recognized some of his own work in the final game, he also noticed that his name wasn’t mentioned in the in-game credits and asked if the omission was due to some kind of mistake.

Vandal reached out to MercurySteam regarding the situation and a representative stated “the policy of the studio requires that anyone must work on the project [for] at least 25% of the total development of the game to appear in the final credits,” and that “sometimes exceptions are made when making exceptional contributions.” Anonymous sources also spoke with Vandal; one claimed that the practice is common within the industry, while another claimed he’d worked on the game for 11 months, didn’t receive in-game credit, and that “not accrediting the work of the team that puts all the love in the project, and the effort, is a very ugly practice.”

The latter anonymous source stated that Metroid Dread was in development for four years, which would explain why Mejías wasn’t credited. But the reveal of MercurySteam’s internal policy has sparked online conversations and debates over whether the practice of not crediting someone for their work is fair and ethical — especially when that work winds up in the final product.

Let us know in the comments: Do you agree with MercurySteam’s policy, do you feel team members should be credited regardless of the time they worked on the project, or do you feel it should be determined case by case?

Source: Vandal

One Response to “Controversy Builds Regarding MercurySteam’s Policy on Giving In-Game Credit to Staff”

  • 1549 points
    penduin says...

    According to the credit roll of Ubisoft games, half the planet is involved in some capacity with the production of each game. The list becomes sprawling, but I’d rather see error on that side than failing to give credit where it is due.

    I was surprised at how few people were listed in the Metroid Dread credits, and it’s disappointing to learn that more people did contribute to its creation than were named.

    As with anything, I doubt there is any one-size-fits-all policy to ensure true fairness in matters such as this, but that’s no excuse not to try and improve. Further, by tugging at this thread, we can also draw attention to related problems — high turnover in software and games development, company policies that siphon power and agency away from their own employees, cultural de-emphasis of artistic credit, especially pertaining to team work…

    This incident is not enough to suggest to me that MercurySteam is a toxic workplace or anything like that, but it’s another straw on the back of the “common industry practice” camel. I think we’d all like to see less of “it’s fine to treat individuals badly because it’s common to do so”.

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