Metro: Last Light Was Developed Under Soviet Russian Conditions
I love Soviet Russia jokes and I actually have no idea why but when you think about it, Soviet Russia during the Cold War was a pretty shitty place. Living conditions back then make student life look like something out of The Great Gatsby. Metro: Last Light may not be set during the Soviet era but it is set in Russia and it would seem the developers at 4A Games had no shortage of inspiration for the dingy rundown and desperate environments of the game given the studio’s working conditions.
Former THQ president Jason Rubin recently spoke to GamesIndustry about Metro: Last light which the now defunct publisher formerly owned the rights to. He describes the work environment at the Ukranian developers offices as despressing and hails the game as the triumph of an underdog with 4A having produced a good game with amazing attention to detail with far less resources than most Japanese or Western devs.
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“4A’s staff 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.”
Now, Rubin’s description of the situation at 4A is pretty sad but perhaps it is just an exxaggeration based on what he’s used to seeing – the sort of spacious and colourful studios of companies such as Ubisoft. A video has been released depicting a bit of the actual studio and while it does look a little dingy and tiny, it isn’t nearly has backroom or Soviet as Rubin seems to think. Then again perhaps the entirety of studio is not apparent from the video. Personally it looks more like a university computer lab or an internet cafe.
There are also rumours which suggest there were times when the studio had to go without electricity or water during development.
Be your own judge and watch the video. Skip to about 1:30 to see the studio and ignore the Ukranian or Russian being spoken, unless of course you understand it. Either I have much respect for 4A for being able to produce such a quality game in conditions that by all appearances most major developers would scoff at.