Metro: Last Light is a great game. But when you hear the amazing back story, you'll be even more impressed with developer 4A Games.
Former THQ president Jason Rubin has detailed the stiff challenges the development team faced when creating the game that has already received widespread critical acclaim. In a recent GamesIndustry International article , Rubin said the Kiev, Ukraine studio was at a huge disadvantage from the start:
"Let's be honest: 4A was never playing on a level field. The budget of Last Light is less than some of its competitors spend on cut scenes, a mere 10 percent of the budget of its biggest competitors. Yet it is lauded for its story and atmosphere.
It is built on a completely original and proprietary second-generation engine that competes with sequels that have stopped numbering themselves, with more engineers on their tech than 4A has on the entire project. Yet its tech chops are never in question."
Even the working conditions were pretty nasty. The office was undersized and everyone had to sit elbow-to-elbow on folding chairs. He added that thus far, the Metascore for Last Light "blows away Medal of Honor: Warfighter " and as amazing as Bioshock Infinite was, Irrational Games got pretty much everything they needed. Whereas if you were working for 4A, things were just a touch more prohibitive. The building's heating would break quite often and if the team needed a new dev kit or high-end PC, someone had to fly to the US and sneak it back to Ukraine in a backpack, lest it be seized by "thieving customs officials."
Rubin did clarify that he's not trying to guilt gamers into buying Metro: Last Light due to the plight of the developers. It's more about the common desire we all have to cheer for the underdog:
"If you care about the art of making games then you have to care about more than the final product. The struggle and the journey becomes part of the story. Like sport, you cheer when the underdog comes from behind, and triumphs in the face of incredible odds."
So how's that for a feel-good story? Here's hoping 4A gets some money out of this, or at the very least, those who worked on it can move onward and upward. Come over to the US…we have pretty reliable heating.
Related Game(s): Metro: Last Light