The Callisto Protocol: Striking Distance Reportedly Left Several Developers Off Credits
An estimated 20 developers who worked on The Callisto Protocol were reportedly left out of the game’s credits by Striking Distance Studios.
According to GI.biz article, the individuals omitted from the end game credits included senior developers, directors, team leads, and a number of employees who worked on the project for over a year and contributed heavily to the game.
“I understand if a contractor does a small amount of work for a few months and is left off, but we’re talking full-time employees with over a year invested in the title, and had a hand in significant parts of the product,” said one unnamed developer. “That’s where the surprise has come from for a lot of us.”
The Callisto Protocol Review Screens
Sources also aired grievances related to the general level of inconsistency present in the crediting of The Callisto Protocol. A number of developers were labelled as having provided “additional” help, while others were clumped together into a “miscellaneous” category that came at the very end of the credits.
“There was definitely some amount of playing favourites with the people who got credited,” said another source. “My impression is that they pretty much picked people they liked or had some sort of relationship with, and those would get credit and the others wouldn’t.”
Furthermore, according to the sources, Striking Distance Studios had not communicated any policy explaining that developers would be omitted from The Callisto Protocol’s credits if they left before the project was complete.
In a Tweet prior to The Callisto Protocol’s December 2022 release, Glen Schofield revealed that the team had been crunching to get the game ready for launch by working long hours for “six to seven days a week”.
In a subsequent interview with Inverse, Schofield took responsibility for the intense development cycle. “We’re a small-ish team and we were so good about it through the entire development, but at the end I messed up and we worked more than we should have,” he said. “That one got away from us”.
The intense working conditions leading up to the release of the game made being left out of the credits particularly difficult for one of the unnamed sources.
“Game [development] can be intense, especially delivering a product of this magnitude, you don’t always strike the best work-life balance,” said the unnamed developer. “My issue is those of us who took part in that culture, who put in that time, and worked intensely to help craft this product, were punished with a credit omission for not going the extra mile… to stay until it shipped.”
The sources also commented that the studio’s approach to the crunch conditions were contradictory, with representatives stating in meetings that steps would be taken to address the workload, and then later praising those who worked long hours.
Despite the crunch conditions, a number of the sources reported enjoying their time working at the studio while giving their own view as to why developers were left out of the near 20-minute credit roll.
“I actually had a great time working there, and I felt I had a great relationship with everyone on the team, up to the C-staff and Glen,” another source is quoted as saying. “I don’t have anything bad to say about Glen… The only time there was some friction was on exit, and I think devs who left were punished with credit omissions.”
The Callisto Protocol
Another disgruntled source echoed this sentiment. “I think the Sledgehammer guys like loyalty, and they can be punitive if they detect a lack of it… [The credits omission] felt like an obvious F-U to those who were left out. Somebody wanted to send a message, and the message was, ‘Next time have a bit more loyalty to us.'”
In our review, IGN awarded The Callisto Protocol a 7/10, stating that it was “a satisfyingly gory spiritual successor to the Dead Space series, but it’s ultimately more of a striking modern mimic than a scary new mutation.
Anthony is a freelance contributor covering science and video gaming news for IGN. He has over eight years experience of covering breaking developments in multiple scientific fields and absolutely no time for your shenanigans. Follow him on Twitter @BeardConGamer