Hideo Kojima Turned “Lords of Shadow” Into “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow”

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Speaking with Edge magazine, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series producer, Dave Cox, reveals that getting the Castlevania license from Konami was a bit of a bumpy ride for developer MercurySteam.


Cox says that Konami gave the Castlevania license to MercurySteam, only to take it away soon after, as the publisher’s upper management considered the proposed new direction for the series “too radical”. MercurySteam had created a prototype featuring Simon Belmont, and when they presented it to Konami in America, they were told to do something else.


Thus, the game was just going to be called Lords of Shadow—that is, until Metal Gear Solid series creator, Hideo Kojima, offered his support.


Cox went to Japan with a video of Lords of Shadow to present it to Konami once more. The meeting consisted of Konami’s senior managers, and Kojima happened to be in attendance as well. Upon seeing MercurySteam’s demo, Kojima allegedly stood up and said: “This is awesome, why isn’t this Castlevania?”


Cox recalls: “Everyone just looked sort of sheepish and then after that he said, ‘I want to help you guys’. And then it became Castlevania again.”


That’s how Castlevania: Lords of Shadow ended up being a collaborative project between MercurySteam and Kojima Productions. A sequel, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, is currently in development. MercurySteam are also developing a separate Nintendo 3DS game, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate.

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.