Silicon Knights in Hibernation Mode

Discussion in 'Misc. and Multiplatform Games' started by Midnyte_Sun, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Midnyte_Sun Medianoche de Sol

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    The developer of Eternal Darkness is in trouble.

    Silicon Knights staff now fewer than 5 - Report

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-10-26-silicon-knights-staff-now-fewer-than-5-report


    "The feature paints a dim portrait of Dyack's behavior during X-Men: Destiny development, with the former staffers describing him as aloof and disconnected during the game's creation. They also suggested that the studio head was more concerned with putting together a pitching demo for Eternal Darkness 2 than working on Destiny. The developers said Dyack had as much as 40 percent of the studio--including numerous senior people--working on the sequel to the studio's acclaimed GameCube effort from 2002 instead of the Activision super hero game."

    Only Canadian investment can save the company now.
     
  2. hippie_hunter The King is Back!

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    Read this a couple months ago, I also read some reports that Nintendo gave Silicon Knights the final deathblow.
     
  3. Midnyte_Sun Medianoche de Sol

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    Dyack is crazy. How can he try to double cross his investors by using their money on his own personal projects? How is this guy even still allowed to run a company?

    Looks like we won't be seeing Eternal Darkness 2. It has gone the way of Killer Instinct 3.
     
  4. Soapy Registered

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    I read that original Kotaku article back in October, it's a pretty good read and paints a very weird picture of Dyack.

    Edit: I can't remember if the article mentions it or not, but there's an episode of 1Up Yours worth seeking out and listening to if you want to experience Dyack's craziness first hand. If I remember correctly he showed up unannounced with a giant stack of papers, basically hijacked the podcast, and ranted about internet forums and read some kind manifesto for two hours.
     
    #4 Soapy, Jan 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  5. Midnyte_Sun Medianoche de Sol

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  6. hippie_hunter The King is Back!

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    I think Nintendo owns the Eternal Darkness IP. I would be surprised if Nintendo doesn't do something with it on the Wii U.
     
  7. hippie_hunter The King is Back!

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    Here's what happened to Eternal Darkness 2:

    Last year, Silicon Knights and Nintendo started to work together once again on a new title. Based on the fact that they already had Wii U dev kits and also based on Dyack's comments, it was Eternal Darkness 2.

    With Nintendo being a major owner of Silicon Knights, they were pretty much the studio's last saviour. After the commercial and critical failure of Too Human, just as well as long delays of both Too Human and The Ritualist (Sega, later THQ), Silicon Knights was pretty much avoided by 3rd parties. While they still got a contract for X-Men Destiny, the title received miserable reviews. All of this led to a series of layoffs, going from 150 employees in 2007 to only 40 in 2012.

    Of course, the Epic trial was not much of a help either. While SK already had a buckload of debt (e.g., a loan which needs to be paid back next year to the government (?)), 3rd party publishers feared that if SK lost the trial, SK would close shops and the game would end up unfinished.

    So as already mentioned, the studio was solely dependent on Nintendo's goodwill since late November 2011. But then the trial against Epic took place last week, and SK lost it. SK was ordered to pay 4.5 mio USD to Epic, and additionally they may need to pay for Epic's legal fees (any idea about that amount? Should it be above one million?). The company's debt rose to a new level.

    That's apparently when Nintendo noticed that things may not look as shiny anymore. I do not know what the budget for a mid-tier HD game like Eternal Darkness 2 would have been, perhaps 40, perhaps 50 millions USD? When Nintendo saw that they would need to pay an additional 10 million USD to have the company survive that develops the game, they didn't seem to like it, especially as they wouldn't get anything in return. This has happened in the past too, do you remember Factor 5?

    So it looks like there have been internal discussions between Nintendo and Silicon Knights. NCL reviewed its decision and it appears as if Eternal Darkness 2 is cancelled for now. Hence, many of the 40-man team were laid off, leaving the studio in limbo now.

    Obviously, Dyack anticipated what was to come. He did not comment on the outcome of the trial except for saying that they will appeal - that appears to be a last attempt to save the studio now; they've got nothing to lose anymore.

    Good luck to all employees who lost their job!
     
  8. Nathan Registered

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    Man, I can't believe what was going on at that place. I feel sorry for all the people who were forced to quit because they couldn't continue to work under such conditions. I guess with someone like Dyack in charge, it's better if the company doesn't continue to exist.
     
  9. jacobed Registered

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    So Activision gives Silicon Knights all this money for X-men and he has half his staff working on a different game than the one they were contracted to. Activision should sue them
     
  10. Llama_Shepherd Registered

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    SK should sell their rights over TTS to Kojipro :o, it'd give 'em some money for a lawyer.
     
  11. zenith16 Registered

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    kojima's too smart to let that guy that screwed over his own company stay around. And that guy is attached to it. after that news Kojima will want that man distanced from SK before he touches it. They were something when they made Eternal darkness, but cause of him they have taken a serious fall from grace.
     
    #11 zenith16, Jan 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  12. Llama_Shepherd Registered

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    Not the whole company, just the rights for The Twin Snakes.
     
  13. zenith16 Registered

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    he'll have the rights back with out having to buy it back. He 'll just let sk sink.
     
  14. Havok83 Registered

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    Xmen Destiny was the WORST X-men game Ive ever played. Being a huge fan of the franchise, it was such a dissapointment to see that releaed. Those who made it should be embarassed. What a mess
     
  15. Nathan Registered

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    Have you read that article? They aren't very proud of it either. You can't do much if the guy in charge doesn't even care about the game in the first place and only used Activision to fund his own game and used 40% of the staff to work on it, instead of the game they were tasked to do.
     
  16. Havok83 Registered

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    Nah I didnt. The thing was way too long. I dont think Activision should have released it. They should have just canned it as they have with other titles
     
  17. Nathan Registered

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    They didn't even know how much of the game was done. They'd barely get any feedback from SK, and Dyack was going to slow down work on XMD even further, and come up with excuses to get additional funding from Activision, to "finish" the game. But what did Activision do instead? They released a Teaser with SK's name on it, set a deadline and put SK's reputation on the line.
     
  18. Havok83 Registered

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    oh man that sucks. Its not like SK were highly regarded in the industry but that title defiently damaged their reputation. They didnt have enough hits in their library that they could get away with a really terrible game. People will always remember this now if and when they ever go on to make another title. And they'll remember them, not Activision. Sad but true. I cant wait till they lose their Marvel licenses
     
  19. Nathan Registered

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    Can't really blame Activision this time though. They gave them funding, they gave them reasonable amount of time to develop the game, and SK simply wasted time and resources. There was a year left to finish the game and they didn't even have a working level. Many SK employees even left, some because they didn't believe SK was interested in making quality games anymore.
     
  20. hippie_hunter The King is Back!

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    Silicon Knights doesn't have any rights to the Twin Snakes. It's a game that Konami published to a franchise that they own and Nintendo partially funded. It's like how Rare has no rights to the Donkey Kong games that Rare developed, it's all owned by Nintendo. When a publisher contracts a developer to work on an IP that the publisher owns, they own it all and the developer is properly compensated for the work.
     
  21. jacobed Registered

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    Agreed. This time you can't blame them. They should sue Dyack hard
     

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