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Dyack Responds to Kotaku expose on X-Men Destiny

Tuesday, 21st May 2013 02:01 GMT By Phil Owen

Last October, Kotaku published a feature titled “What went wrong with Silicon Knights’ X-Men Destiny?” You can read that piece here. Former studio head Dennis Dyack, now at Precursor Games today posted he response to it in a YouTube video.

The video is 30 minutes long, and includes some tangents — he addresses some assertions that were not in the piece, such as the idea that he embezzled money from Activision — but his response can be summed up with this bit: “When I first saw this article, I [didn't] believe — because there was not a single credible source where nothing could be verified — that anyone would actually believe this.” Kotaku’s sources were eight people, cited anonymously, who claimed to have worked at Silicon Knights.

Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo used this opportunity to explain the site’s process for vetting the sources, and it’s all a very interesting read. I recommend you watch the video, and then check out Totilo’s response-to-a-response.

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7 Comments

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  1. Richenbaum

    Yeah. Your kickstarter is still gonna fail Dennis, which sucks because it looks like it would actually be a good game from them again, but it’s too late, no one wants to give you any more money.

    #1 11 months ago
  2. tezzer1985

    http://www.vg247.com/2013/05/20/denis-dyack-video-discusses-past-mistakes-debunks-various-allegations/

    You guys have posted this earlier today, just saying

    #2 11 months ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    Taken just under $84 grand in a week with 4 left to go, target of $1.35 mil.

    I’d say it’s looking pretty grim.

    Their strategy doesn’t look very sound. $1.35 mil only buys them Episode 1, but their reward tiers at $25+ are promising multiple episodes for that price when the ability of the team to produce subsequent episodes is basically dependant on the commercial success of their venture outwith Kickstarter.

    I’m looking at this and wondering if the end result is going to be $25 for like 2 hours of content if Episode 1 bombs commercially and they can’t afford to follow through on the subsequent episodes. They certainly won’t be able to turn to crowd-sourcing for the subsequent episodes as they’ll already have sold the first 5 to 6 (if not more) episodes to the crowd of people who are willing to crowd fund their work just funding Episode 1.

    Realistically they should have been looking for the budget for the entire first season, that way potential backers know that if the project is funded they should actually get what they’ve paid for.

    #3 11 months ago
  4. Francis O

    Craptaku is a fail website that will post anything to get hits and trolls to attack developers.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. The_Red

    @4
    There is no denying that Kotaku is full of crappy stories BUT that has nothing to do with their Dyack article. That was an outside write, from a freelancer who previously wrote exposes for IGN and others.

    The article was exaggerated somewhat but if that was all bollocks like Dyack says THEN it has damaged a company and is liable for a libel lawsuit. Plus it means that there were no such troubles at SK and it was simply due to their lack of talent that X-Men Destiny turned out so bad… Which in turn means we should not expect much from people behind their new game because they are the same as XD ones.

    Finally, saying that they tried to spend 2 million for X-Men D from their own pockets (more than publisher fee) is just as ridiculous and sounds as untrue as some of crazier points of Kotaku article. To me, the truth is between the 2 sides.

    #5 11 months ago
  6. SplatteredHouse

    @4: As I’m reading again now the 2012 piece, I’m finding a lot of it meshes with what I remember as a long-time follower of SK and its activities, looked forward to each next game since Blood Omen, and someone who enjoyed TH.

    It’s filling in soundly several key blanks that were on my mind from that time. Things these sources are saying FIT into established pattern from that company. Too Human took forever and a day – WHY? It appeared stripped bare and lacking in the detail and complexity, WITH completely diluted, and altered focus, from which it was first presented to the world. To read this, that was also true of X-Men Destiny – see also: “A lack of answers”.

    Things which didn’t seem right, questions that I asked and were left unanswered. It is a LOT more credible in that respect, than Dyack’s attempted flimsy defense to save SOTE crowdfunding. the state of which not being perilously on the line, be under no doubt, there would be no such video! >:(

    #6 11 months ago
  7. SplatteredHouse

    McMillen’s story was not a quickly-written opinion piece or a breaking news report, and so he and I put a considerable effort into scrutinizing his sources and their claims. Because the sources were anonymous, I required that I needed to know who they were and eventually spoke to some of them. I did my own reporting, not included in McMillen’s piece, to also satisfy my curiosity about whether what we ultimately published seemed right and reasonable. Other outlets, including Wired, had considered publishing McMillen’s piece and had chosen not to. I can’t speak to why they did or did not but only to the thoroughness with which this story was further reported after Wired passed on it as well as vetted by McMillen, by me and by our company’s lawyers. Given the amount of work that was done on McMillen’s piece for Kotaku, it’s safe to say that the piece Wired declined is not the piece Kotaku published.
    - Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo’s riposte to Dyack’s video. (emphasis in bold, mine – apologies for block quote.)

    #7 11 months ago