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Developers who were originally involved in the making of Metroid Prime have criticised this month’s remaster for omitting them from its credits.
Zoid Kirsch, who was a senior gameplay engineer on Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2 on the GameCube, tweeted his disappointment that the original staff aren’t listed in the credits of Metroid Prime Remastered, which was released last week.
Rather than listing everyone who worked on the original game, Remastered’s credits simply include a single screen that says: “Based on the work of Metroid Prime original Nintendo GameCube and Wii Version development staff.”
Kirsch wrote: “While many studios did amazing work on the remaster, I’m let down Metroid Prime’s Remaster does not include the full original game credits.
“I worked with so many amazing people on the game and everyone’s name should be included in the remaster, not just a single card like this.”
He was then backed up by Jack Mathews, who was a technical lead engineer on Metroid Prime 1 and 2, and a principal engineer on Metroid Prime 3.
“This is a travesty, “Mathews wrote. “Not just for my credit (even though most of my code was probably replaced), but for people whose code and work are largely unchanged, like Mark HH, Steve McCrea, all of the uprezzed art and concepts, the game design. Shameful.”
The issue of properly crediting developers in video games is an ongoing one, with numerous companies criticised for not giving proper credits to creators.
With no real regulation beyond International Game Developers Association (IDGA) guidelines – which aren’t enforceable – game developers are effectively at the mercy of their employers as to how, where or if they’re credited.
IGDA guidelines advise that anybody who has worked on a game’s development for 30 days (or 5%) must be credited.
It’s not clear how this affects remasters, given that they’re often handled by new teams building on the work of previous teams who may not have been directly involved with the new version.
Katharine Neil, a veteran programmer who has worked on the Test Drive and Alone in the Dark series, told VGC in 2019 that the regulation of game credits is long overdue.
“Some gamers don’t realise how important this issue is for us professionally,” she told us. “Many seem to think it’s about bruised egos or something. No – like film and TV – it’s about getting hired for the next job and not looking like a liar on your CV.
“There are still no industry standards that developers can count on their employers adhering to. And I think the fact that many people still don’t even know that those IGDA crediting standards exist says something.
”And one thing I can say for sure is it’s something game developers do worry about – i.e. will I get punished in the credits by a vindictive boss, or will I be unfairly credited if I have to leave this project early.”