accusations of toxic climate and punitive acts

New fuss in the videogame field: after MercurySteam has not included all the staff in the credits of Metroid Dread, now some former employees of the Spanish company are lashing out at the management, accusing them not of favoritism, but also of vengeful attitudes towards those who are not considered up to the task.

To bring out the delicate situation is a report from the Anait portal, which gives a voice to the former members of the firm, highlighting how MercurySteam supports and promotes punitive acts against some workers, firing them, degrading them or reassigning them to another role. Conversely, executive-favorite employees receive hefty bonuses and top positions. Going further into the details of how the company manages staff, it seems that employees whose performance is considered insufficient by the bosses are isolated from the rest of their colleagues or moved to other unannounced projects with a reduction in pay.

Furthermore, while in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, team members were forced to work remotely, when health conditions allowed them to return to the office, the total lack of distance and the absence of protective glass has endangered the health of many people forced to work closely together. “They don’t trust the workers and it shows,” comments a former MercurySteam developer, adding that within the studio “you don’t feel valued, and in general the atmosphere is heavy and very tense.”

Although the report makes no mention of the crunch phenomenon, there would still have been disorganization in the development of Metroid Dread (in that regard, our Metroid Dread review will give you all the details on the game). It seems that some parts of the new Nintendo title have been cut in the production phase due to an overabundance of content, causing the removal of cutscenes and some bosses. This would then have led to the firing of various animators and quality control members, despite one of MercurySteam’s co-founders, Eric Alvarez, assuring them that they had nothing to fear.

The Spanish software house has not yet replied to what was stated in the Anait report.