Before THQ went the way of the dinosaur and Deep Silver took over as publisher for Metro: Last Light, then THQ president Jason Rubin’s job included overseeing Last Light’s development.
In an article written for GamesIndustry.biz, Rubin details and champions the studio’s accomplishments in the face of some pretty crazy obstacles. Rubin specifically cites a very restrictive budget, a physically uncomfortable work environment, and time wasted trying to accommodate THQ’s demands for multiplayer and co-op to be shoehorned into Last Light (features ultimately cut from the game after being picked up by Deep Silver).
“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,” Rubin wrote.
According to Rubin, despite the small size of the 4A team, their resources were spread so thin that the team “sat on folding wedding chairs, literally elbow to elbow at card tables in what looks more like a packed grade school cafeteria than a development studio.”
Harsh Ukrainian weather—including freezing temperatures and routine power outages were also among the hurdles 4A overcame during development. “All developers have deadlines, but I know of few that had to bring in construction generators to be able to work the weekend before final submission because an extra day meant missing shelf dates by weeks,” Rubin wrote.
As far as Rubin’s concerned, the development team at 4A should be applauded and recognized for all that they accomplished with Metro: Last Light despite only having a fraction of what studios like Ubisoft Montreal or Irrational Games are given.
“If you care about the art of making games then you have to care about more than the final product,” wrote Rubin. “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.”
Metro: Last Light has been received quite favorably by most gaming press outlets, ours included (reviewed by EGM’s Ray Carsillo). The rest of Rubin’s article is up on GamesIndustry.biz for your reading pleasure.