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Silicon Knights staff numbers down to a skeleton crew – report

Friday, 26th October 2012 22:48 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Silicon Knights is down to around five employees, which includes the company president Denis Dyack, according to a Kotaku report.

A feature on the site detailing development of X-Men: Destiny noted the headcount, citing former employees who claimed Dyack was more concerned with developing a pitch demo for Eternal Darkness 2 rather than polishing the X-Men game for Activision.

According to the anonymous, former staffers, 40% of the studio were working on the demo instead of the X-Men title.

“At SK, publishers are viewed with an extremely adversarial perception,” claimed on source. “Instead of a symbiotic relationship, it was essentially parasitic. The less Activision knew about the goings-on at SK, the easier it was for Denis to spin his web of warped reality with them.”

“We seemed to intentionally tank the game,” claimed another former employee, who noted Activision was asked for an extension on the game, which the publisher refused to do as it would put the game over budget by 35%.

Instead, Activision announced the game publicly as being in development at Silicon Knights, essentially forcing the studio to buckle down with six-day work weeks and working 10-hours-a-day minimum.

X-Men: Destiny released in September of 2011 and it wasn’t a financial or critical success.

Soon after, the studio laid off 45 employees after a separate project was canceled.

Thanks, GI International.

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11 Comments

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  1. alimokrane

    Four words Denis Dyack & Too Human.

    They guy has lost it all!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. YoungZer0

    There ain’t nothing like being forced to work 10 hours a day, 6 day a week for a game that was destined to be shit from the beginning, only to get fired after its release.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. KrazyKraut

    well…how can one dude can be so faqing stupid?

    Eternal Darkness is one of the best games ever and I always wonder how someone like him managed to do it (but at least I thing he wasn’t that involved…he was more concerned to work on Too Human).

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Mike W

    eternal darkness was definitely a hidden gem. But I think Too human bounce around to much. By time real gameplay was shown, ppl were “like what the fuck?! We waited damn near 14 years for this shit?”

    #4 2 years ago
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    #5 2 years ago
  6. The_Red

    @2
    That is indeed truly shitty but you know what’s worse? Pretty much everyone got fired EXCEPT for the actual person that CAUSED all of this and drove the company into the ground (Dyack).

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Sini

    oh man that’s some juicy drama, but need a lot more of it. Someone needs to open all the floodgates.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Clupula

    @6 – is that ever not the case, though? It’s always the grunts that suffer, not the guy in command.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Da Man

    Turns out that NeoGaf social experiment went well..

    #9 2 years ago
  10. The_Red

    @8
    Yeah but reading that Kotaku feature. It was beyond infuriating even if that was just one side of the story (SK’s performance and Dyack’s declines make it seem like at least some major parts of that report are true).

    #10 2 years ago
  11. ManuOtaku

    I think iam on a minority here, but i did like Too Human, once i get used to the controls, i dig the gameplay with the action-loot style, for me it was one of the firsts games to introduce this, since i dont do PC gaming, maybe thats the reason why iam so forgiving with this title, but i did like it a lot, i hope the can bounce back and make a second part, for too human or eternal darkness, whichever is eaiser and cheaper to develop for.

    #11 2 years ago