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Contra, please? MercurySteam teams up with former Konami producer

Spanish developer MercurySteam has been remarkably quiet over the past few years. The developer responsible for the excellent Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and its less excellent sequels has not announced any future projects since it concluded the series in early 2014. However, we now know that one familiar face, former Konami producer Dave Cox, will be returning to assist the developer.

“When I was approached by MercurySteam to get involved in their new project, I jumped at the chance,” says Cox in the announcement. “It’s been my great fortune and pleasure to work with this talented studio over many years.”

In addition to his work producing the Lords of Shadow series, Cox is also credited as a writer on both Lords of Shadow and Lords of Shadow 2. He briefly worked at developer fish in a bottle, but his LinkedIn indicates that he left the company to work with MercurySteam full-time.

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But just what is MercurySteam working on? There are some hints that it could be a new Contra game. Cox expressed interest in tackling the run-and-gun series back in 2012, even going so far as to say that MercurySteam had “an original idea” in mind. The developer’s website has, for some time, been a cryptic landing page depicting travelers in a rusty spaceship, and a countdown timer currently stands at about 27 days. We’ll presumably find out more when it hits zero.

Since the release of Lords of Shadow 2 back in 2014, MercurySteam has mostly made headlines for in-house turmoil. An anonymous former developer blamed director Enric Alvarez for the game’s quality, saying his development philosophy was “completely overlooking programmers, designers, and artists.” Alvarez told me back in February of 2014 that these were “lies and insults from an enraged ex-worker.”

What are you hoping MercurySteam tackles next? With Konami’s recent move away from traditional AAA development, perhaps we shouldn’t hold out for a Contra reboot, but then again “spiritual successors” are certainly all the rage these days!