Eurogamer interviewed Dave Cox and Enric Alvarez from Mercurysteam regarding their work on the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series. During the interview, the publication touched on why the small Spanish studio ended up leaving Konami, and the reasons seem to align with what happened regarding Hideo Kojima as well. After rebooting one of Konami’s most prized franchises, Castlevania, the studio was suddenly charged with developing more titles in the Lords of Shadow world. After Castlevania: Mirror of Fate and Lords of Shadow 2, the developer said no more of the Lords of Shadow series, but that’s not why they ended up leaving Konami.
Dave Cox, the Executive Producer on the Lords of Shadow series, explained that the two companies had different visions for game development.
Konami decided… let’s just say it wanted to go in a different direction in terms of development. It’s one of the reasons why the studio I was heading up closed down. They wanted to move more into mobile. They wanted to do more development in Japan. At that time it was simpler to make a clean break, for me personally and for the studio.
I don’t think Konami knew at that time what they wanted to do or where they wanted to go. They still obviously had Metal Gear in development. They still had PES in development. But there wasn’t a vision at the top of the company about where they wanted to go or what they wanted to do.
It was painful for me from a personal point of view, because it was clear there wasn’t a role there for me any more. So I decided after talking to the senior management there that it would be better if I moved on, which was very difficult for me after being there for 17 years and achieving so much. I started off as a lowly assistant product manager, and ended up producing a successful Castlevania series. So that was very difficult.
Since then, the studio has gone solo, and they are in the process of self-publishing Raiders of the Broken Planet, a MMO action game with a tentative release window of 2016.
Cox and Alvarez both praised Kojima, thanking him for his support during the development process of Lords of Shadow.
I’ve got to tell you, Kojima-san wasn’t overbearing. He gave us free reign. He was super supportive. Lords of Shadow 1 wouldn’t have got made without Kojima standing up and backing the team. It just simply wouldn’t have been done. Japan would not have allowed a western development team to handle a franchise like Castlevania. It was only because we had Kojima on board that we were able to do that. He is the reason why we got that opportunity.
Alvarez added in his gratefulness to Kojima as well.
Honestly, I don’t have a single complaint about Mr. Kojima. He’s a guy who fully understands game development. And he understood and shared our vision for Castlevania. He supported it. That’s it, period.