The Callisto Protocol: Striking Distance Reportedly Left Several Developers Off Credits
About 20 developers who worked on The Callisto Protocol were reportedly left out of the game’s credits by Striking Distance Studios.
According to the GI.biz article, the individuals removed from the game’s end credits included senior developers, directors, team leaders, 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 let go, but we’re talking full-time employees with over a year invested in the title and have a hand in significant parts of the product, “said an unnamed developer. “That’s where the surprise came from for a lot of us.”
Callisto Protocol review screens
Sources also aired complaints about the overall level of inconsistency present in Callisto Protocol credit. A number of developers were labeled as having provided “additional” assistance, while others were lumped into a “miscellaneous” category that came at the end of the credits.
“There was definitely a certain amount of playing favorites with people who were rated,” another source said. “My impression is that they picked a lot of people that they liked or had some kind of relationship with, and they would get credit and the others wouldn’t.”
Additionally, according to sources, Striking Distance Studios had not communicated any policy explaining that developers would be stripped of The Callisto Protocol credits if they left before the project was completed.
In a tweet ahead of The Callisto Protocol’s December 2022 release, Glen Schofield revealed that the team had been trying to get the game ready for launch by working long hours for “six to seven days a week”.
In a later interview with Inverse, Schofield took responsibility for the intense development cycle. “We’re a small team and we were very good at it throughout the build-up, but in the end I messed up and we worked harder than we should have,” he said. “He left us.”
The intense working conditions leading up to the game’s release made it difficult to leave out credits for one of the unidentified sources.
“Game [development] can be intense, especially delivering a product of this magnitude, it doesn’t always achieve the best work-life balance,” said the unnamed developer. “My point is that those of us who participated in that culture, who dedicated it time and worked intensively to help create this product, we were penalized with a credit release for not spending more… to stay until it shipped.”
Sources also commented that the studio’s approach to the crisis conditions was contradictory, with representatives stating in meetings that steps would be taken to address the workload and then praising those working long hours.
Despite the harsh conditions, a number of sources reported that they were enjoying their time working at the studio, while giving their take on why the developers were left out of the nearly 20-minute credits roll.
“I actually had a great time working there and felt I had a great relationship with everyone on the team, down to the C staff and Glen,” another source was quoted as saying. “I have nothing bad to say about Glen… The only time there was some friction was on the way out and I think the deviants who left were punished with credit releases.”
The Callisto Protocol
Another disgruntled source echoed this sentiment. “I think the Sledgehammer guys like loyalty, and they can be punished if they find it lacking… [The credits omission] felt like an obvious FU for those left out. Someone wanted to send a message, and the message was, “Next time, be a little more loyal to us.”
In our review, IGN gave Callisto Protocol a 7/10, stating that it was “a satisfying spiritual successor to the Dead Space series, but ultimately it’s more of a great modern imitation than a scary new mutation.
Anthony is a freelance contributor covering science and video game news for IGN. He has over eight years of experience covering groundbreaking developments in multiple scientific fields and has absolutely no time for your shenanigans. Follow him on Twitter @BeardConGamer