When Namco pulled development duties for their Splatterhouse remake from independent studio BottleRocket, the publisher claimed it was due to "performance issues." BottleRocket has barked back at Namco's claims, however, and this dog is not happy.
Last month, Namco shifted development for Splatterhouse, a remake of the once-infamous beat-em-up, from independent studio BottleRocket Entertainment, a decision that the company recently claimed was due to a "performance issue." Namco COO Makoto Iwai explained that "the only reason why publishers pull the project out from the developer is when the developer isn't really meeting the requirements," which left us to presume that BottleRocket wasn't up to snuff.
Now the developer has responded to Namco's claims, and they sound spitting mad. "We too have to be careful of what we say since publishers have to worry about their 'image' and will sue small, independent studios who bark back at them too loudly," the studio wrote in a statement published on Gamasutra.
"Game development contracts are put in place to protect the publisher and their interests," they continued. "Within these contracts are a series of defined game development objectives and goals called milestones. If a developer is under performing they tend to fail these milestones and have varying degrees of accountability placed upon them."
As BottleRocket sees it, they were doing everything they'd signed up to do. There were no performance issues. Namco's the one who screwed up here. "Splatterhouse had been in development for over eighteen months and up to having the title taken away from us we had not missed any contractually defined milestones. So either there were no performance issues during that timeframe or Namco's management of the title was inept."
"Inept." Fighting words, to be sure. We haven't heard the last of this.