Why MercurySteam Loves Working With Nintendo

Metroid Samus Returns
(Image credit: Nintendo)

When it comes to making games for Nintendo's platforms, there are usually stories that span the spectrum, with some developers loving working with the Big 'N' while others have less than stellar stories to share when they were working with Nintendo's hardware. In the case of developers MercurySteam -- the developers of games like Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Raiders of the Broken Planet and Metroid: Samus Returns -- the team has nothing but love to share when it comes to working with Nintendo. The Spanish developers actually explained why there's so much love for Nintendo.

In an interview with DualShockers [via Nintendo Everything], co-founder of MercurySteam, Enric Álvarez, explained that quality is a top priority for Nintendo, and the company thoroughly appreciates spending time and effort on making quality products...

Especially with Nintendo, the biggest difference is all they care about is quality. All they care about is polish. All they care about is giving satisfaction to their players. The rest is secondary.

This is true. Nintendo used to have the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality, which indicated that if a game had the seal on it then Nintendo approved of the quality of that product. It was a staple production measure that helped save the gaming industry following the crash back during the early 1980s, where quality control was no longer being employed and a lot of poorly made games were making their way out onto the market. It was due to the crash that Atari first fell in under (one of many times) and it gave Nintendo an ample opportunity to sweep into the home console space and make waves.

Ever since the NES, Nintendo has been obsessed not only with making fun games but making quality games. This is one of the reasons the company has endured for as long as it has because few companies can produce titles with the level of polish and quality that you'll find on a Nintendo device.

Álvarez goes on to say that Nintendo's work ethic isn't found at other top publishers, especially Western publishers where Álvarez mentions time-constraints and deadlines determining how quickly a game gets finished and pushed out into the public, saying...

You can't find this working for a western publisher because there's always time constraints, there's always a lot of pressure. There's also pressure working in any environment, especially when we're talking about massive amounts of money -- they're always somewhat very worried about that money, which is normal and fair. But I think that the biggest difference we've found is in our direction. It's not saying there's no pressure involved in both sides, but the pressure from a publisher from a Japanese publisher comes from that aspect -- quality. And the pressure in our experience... the pressure coming from a western publisher comes from many other directions.

According to MercurySteam's co-founder, the team felt a lot less pressure from Nintendo to complete work on Metroid: Samus Returns for the Nintendo 3DS, which came out last year.

The problems that Álvarez mentions about Western publishers and the pressure to get games out by specific release date is definitely obvious in many games that release to hit quarterly standards but fail in the quality department, such as Mass Effect: Andromeda or Sonic Boom. Based on what Álvarez has said, it sounds like MercurySteam could definitely be up for working with Nintendo again in the future.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.