Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima secured the Castlevanianame for 2010 action adventure Lords Of Shadow, developer MercurySteam has revealed.
In an interview, producer Dave Cox tells us that Konami gave theCastlevania licence to MercurySteam, only to take it away after the publisher's Japanese higher-ups deemed the proposed new direction for the beloved series to be "too radical".
"[MercurySteam] did a prototype demo, the Simon Belmont thing," he says. "We went to America to pitch it. We were originally told we could do Castlevania, and then when we pitched it, we were told we had to do something else instead.
"So it launched at Gamescom as just Lords Of Shadow. We developed it under the codename of Light And Shadow." Until, that is, Kojima stepped in.
"I went to Japan later that year with a video of the game, and the senior managers and people of Konami were there, and Kojima-san was at that meeting," Cox recalls. "I showed the game, and he just basically stood up at that point and said, 'This is awesome, why isn't this Castlevania?'
"Everyone just looked sort of sheepish and then after that he said, 'I want to help you guys'. And then it became Castlevania again."
The resulting game was developed in collaboration with Kojima Productions, and successfully updated the franchise for modern tastes. Our Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow review praised its "moments of genuine craftsmanship… [this] is ultimately a greater success than anyone could have reasonably expected".
While sales figures haven't been disclosed, Konami was evidently pleased with the game's performance. A sequel, Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2, was announced on the eve of E3 in June. A 3DS spin-off, subtitled Mirror Of Fate, is also on the way.
The above are extracts from a profile of Spanish studio MercurySteam, the full version of which features in our new issue.E244 is out today in print and on Apple Newsstand.
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