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MercurySteam CEO talks Metroid Dread success and allegations of ‘chaotic’ production

MercurySteam CEO Enric Álvarez has given an interview discussing the success of Metroid Dread, and the allegations that working with Nintendo was “chaotic.”

Speaking to Gamereactor (via Nintendo Everything) Álvarez spoke of working with the publisher on the Metroid franchise.

“We have an excellent understanding of each other. It’s fair to say that over time we became friends. And they are super talented people, super hard-working people. They have a work ethic that is unbeatable. And they are open to accepting new ideas and trying them.

“We were also very hungry for leaving our own mark on the franchise. And we never ceased to suggest and propose ideas. Many of them ended up in the final product. So, we are very proud of the collaboration between us and Nintendo. And, yeah, as I said, one of the best development experiences we could possibly dream of.”

In 2021 it was alleged that the development of the game was “chaotic,” however, in response to this, Álvarez has pointed to the game’s success as a rebuttal.

“I don’t think the development was chaotic. Chaotic development doesn’t end with one of the best games in the franchise. It doesn’t end with a game that has sold over three point-something million copies. It doesn’t end with a game that won TGA awards. That’s all I have to say about it.”

Metroid Dread is the franchise’s best-selling game. Although public sales data for the entire Metroid series is hard to come by – it is, after all, 35-years-old – no Metroid title has ever been reported to sell more than 3 million units. Retro Studios claimed in 2007 that Prime 1 had sold over 2 million units.

The Metroid series has historically struggled to sell well compared to Nintendo’s other first-party franchises, but Dread was supported by a strong marketing campaign including prominent TV advertisements.