THQ's former president Jason Rubin offers high praise to Metro Last Light developer 4A Games, describing the challenging conditions that the company was in as it developed the latest game – Metro: Last Light – in the popular post-apocalyptic first-person shooter series. Rubin also took a few jabs at the game's new publisher for its PR push related to the game, but a representative from Deep Silver decided to punch back at Rubin's allegations.
Speaking to GII, Rubin said that 4A games worked through deplorable and cramped working conditions, extreme logistical problems, budgetary problems and downtime as they waited for equipment to be smuggled into the country in order to complete Metro: Last Light.
Rubin described the game's budget as "less than some of its competitors spend on cut scenes, a mere 10 percent of the budget of its biggest competitors." He described their working conditions as "elbow to elbow" and the challenges they faced when they needed additional development kits – which could only be found in the United States.
"When 4A needed another dev kit, or high-end PC, or whatever," Rubin wrote, "Someone from 4A had to fly to the States and sneak it back to the Ukraine in a backpack lest it be 'seized' at the border by thieving customs officials. After visiting the team I wanted to buy them Aeron office chairs, considered a fundamental human right in the west. There were no outlets in the Ukraine, and our only option was to pack a truck in Poland and try to find an 'expediter' to help bribe its way down to Kiev."
Rubin goes on to say that 4A's efforts should be commended when all of these challenges faced during the development of the game are taken into account.
He also takes a jab at Deep Silver, who signed on to publish the game after THQ went bankrupt. He describes the company as "a new, last minute publisher [Deep Silver] that doesn't see the upside in doing your team's publicity."
Deep Silver PR rep Aubrey Norris did not appreciate Rubin's comments and took to Twitter to call him out. What ensued was a very public and sometimes heated argument about the marketing for 4A's game. You can read that exchange here.
Ultimately Rubin's point about the exceptional skills of 4A Games can be realized simply by reading the reviews for their latest endeavor. Metro: Last Light is receiving plenty of positive feedback from fans and critics alike…