In an interview with Eurogamer, Dave Cox and Enric Alvarez of Spanish studio Mercury Steam talked about their split with Konami.
In 2014, Dave Cox, who had worked at Konami for 17 years, left the company in pursuit of new ventures. “I don’t think Konami knew at that time what they wanted to do or where they wanted to go.” he said to Eurogamer. “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.”
The following year, the CEO of Konami told Nikkei that the company would be focusing more on mobile. This seems in line with Dave Cox’ experiences at the time of the split. “Konami decided… let’s just say it wanted to go in a different direction in terms of development.” he told Eurogamer. “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.”
However, this split does not mean Cox has bad memories of working with Konami. “Konami as a company was supportive of its development staff, its teams and its marketing people. I’ve got nothing bad to say about Konami, actually. I had a memorable 17 years working there.”
Cox and Alvarez also talked a bit about working with Hideo Kojima, who acted as a supervisor supporting both Lords of Shadow projects.
“He’s a guy who fully understands game development.” Alvarez said. “And he understood and shared our vision for Castlevania. He supported it. That’s it, period.”
Dave Cox: “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.”
Kojima’s involvement was limited to a supporting role, as he did not want to interfere with game development too much. Dave Cox: “Pretty much from day one he said – I’ll never forget it – we were sat in a boardroom in Japan, he said: “This is MercurySteam’s project. I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. I’m here to offer support. This is your vision. Get on with it. And if you need any help from me, just shout.”
Mercury Steam is currently working on a self published multiplayer game.