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Metro: Last Light creative director responds to Rubin’s account of 4A’s terrible working conditions

Thursday, 16th May 2013 15:08 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Metro: Last Light’s Andrew Prokhorov has responded to Jason Rubin’s account of the terrible working conditions the Ukrainian developer endured while working on the shooter.

According to 4A Games’ creative director, during the 10 years the developer worked with THQ, Rubin was “the only THQ President” who visited the team in Kiev.

“He did this on his second week in THQ,” said Prokhorov on GI International. “Keep in mind that he only had few months to somehow fix the situation. Alas, that didn’t work out.

“It is a fact that our work conditions are worse than those of other developers outside Ukraine. I don’t think anyone can doubt that – yes, it’s true that American and most of European developers operate in a country far more comfortable than Ukraine, and yes, the publishers pay them more.

“This is clear: the more “reasonable” the country the less the risks, and we don’t want to be all dramatic about that – after all, better conditions are earned, and we strive to do this as soon as possible.”

Yesterday, Rubin wrote on GI International that 4A Games faced unthinkable issues when developing the game; issues which developed countries aren’t faced with such as power going out for days at a time; centrally-administered heating shutting down in the winter and having to sit in folding banquet chairs at their desks.

“Accounting for the budget and adversity that the team faced, and considering the size and talent of the teams they are competing with, [Last Light] is a stunning achievement,” Rubin said.

After thanking Rubin for his article, Prokhorov said not to blame the firm’s new publisher, Deep Silver as it inherited a bit of a mess itself, and was faced with many a “hard task” to push through with only two months until Metro: Last Light was released.

“Jason, please don’t blame Deep Silver for not having our logo on the game site… just like us, they ended up in a harsh situation and had to do a lot of things in two months, which was definitely a very hard task,” he said. “I don’t blame them for letting the logo thing slip. They are trying hard. After all, it’s our game that matters and not our logo.”

As far as THQ “forcing” multiplayer on the developer was concerned, Prokhorov said that while the team wanted “to make multiplayer,” it was excluded from the start, “a lot of precious time wouldn’t be wasted and we’d make an even better single-player.”

“We deserve the ratings we get,” he concluded. “After all, the final consumer doesn’t care about our conditions. And this is RIGHT. We need no indulgence.”

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11 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    That is one humble dude.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Cobra951

    My hat is off to him. Now I feel like I have to buy this game, even if linear romps are not my favorite pastime.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Takeshi

    Man, kind of happy that THQ is gone now, and that A4 Games can get the proper treatment they deserve.

    “After all, the final consumer doesn’t care about our conditions.”
    Probably not in most cases. But I know I very much enjoy enjoying things if I know that it was made during “good times”.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Edo

    These guys are really something special.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Samoan Spider

    Fair play to them. I love the ‘striver’ attitude and that sits well with me. Quite humbling to see what they achieved despite the conditions they work in!

    #5 1 year ago
  6. roadkill

    Really, what can we say.. impressive!

    #6 1 year ago
  7. MidlifeAxe

    They’ve made some nice games. It’s a shame they have to deal with these type of conditions.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Ireland Michael

    The question is, will the conditions improve now that its been made light of? If they’re just going to continue to let them work in such horrible conditions then thats complete bullshit, and there is nothing to justify it continuing.

    I really don’t see the difference between this and using cheap Chinese labour. The cheapest option, not the most humane one.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. TheWulf

    This certainly isn’t my genre so I often skip over articles about games like these, just using a mental filter. But I spotted this one by chance and stopped to have a read. I’m glad I did.

    I’m not a fan of this genre still, so I won’t be picking this up as I believe that the last thing they’d want is pity/charity purchases (a developer this passionate would want something to sell on its own merits, to people who appreciate it). But I respect them, I have to say that, as not many developers have to put up with such conditions.

    So my hat’s off to them. They must really care about their projects to stick with them, as opposed to trying to find a better lot in life.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Malmer

    Can’t wait to play this game this weekend! Loved Metro 2033.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. naisanza

    That was really touching. I just beat my first play-through on Ranger mode. It was a fantastic game. Loved every bit of it. I would love to see a Metro-style Fallout game and with Ranger mode.

    I can’t find enough words to describe how much they achieved with the Ranger mode. Simply, it’s without a HUD, but the way they designed the weapons there are subtle hints, like the exposed clips, that let you see how many bullets you have left. The increased damage you do in Ranger mode makes the game feel realistic, and frightening at all times. The environment was very well done and it was a beautifully created game. The ambient sounds and the music worked really well in keeping me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire game.

    DICE was my favorite game developer, but has dropped off my list, because of EA. This game has, what I feel as, the true gamers’ interest in mind.

    Can’t wait for Metro 2033!!

    #11 1 year ago

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