Castlevania: Lords of Shadow wasn’t always known by that name. It started its public life as plain old Lords of Shadow. The reason for this? Fear. Konami bosses were scared that audiences would respond poorly to a Castlevania game that strayed so far from the established formula.
In an interview with GameReactor (via VG247) Konami Europe’s Dave Cox revealed that “senior management” got cold feet prior to the title’s 2008 Games Convention announcement.
“It was quite a radical departure from what had gone before with Castlevania, and there was a little bit of nervousness that perhaps it wouldn’t be accepted as a Castlevania game,” said Cox. “As this was quite a big departure from what people knew about Castlevania, senior management took the decision that we were going to announce it as Lords of Shadow, see what the reaction is, and if it’s a good one then this would become a fully-fledged Castlevania.”
According to Cox, fighting game Castlevania Judgment complicated matters further. “Not only that, but as you probably remember, we were showing Castlevania Judgment at the time, and it was felt that we didn’t want to take the focus away from that particular game.”
All this despite the fact that Lords of the Shadow was “pitched and green-lit” as a Castlevania game. You would think that with none other than Hideo Kojima taking an executive producer-type role over development, Konami bosses would have been a little more confident.