Precursor dev charged with child pornography possession

Saturday, 29th June 2013 14:13 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Ken McCulloch, one of Precursor Games’ founding members and former director at Silicon Knights, has been arrested in Ontario and charged with multiple counts of involvement with child pornography, according to the Niagara Regional Police Service.

McCulloch was arrested at his home in St. Catharines earlier this week after a search warrant was issued. He had been under investigation over his online activities since April.

He has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography, making child pornography available, and accessing child pornography.

Due to the charges, Precursor has removed his profile from its website and CEO Paul Caporicci announced on the firm’s forums that he’s no longer with the company.

“Having just learned of these disturbing charges today and based on the serious nature of them, Ken McCulloch is no longer affiliated in any way with Precursor Games,” Caporicci wrote.

McCulloch was at Silicon Knights for 20 years before helping establish Precursor.

Thanks, Polygon, via Bullet News Niagara.



  1. KineticCalvaria

    Disgusting. This game looks more appealing by the day… not.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Cobra951

    Hmm. I wonder how solid the evidence is. Guilty until proven innocent? I guess when charges like that taint someone, he can’t ever recover, guilty or not.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Telepathic.Geometry

    Jesus Christ, the curse of Dennis Dyack is no small thing.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Ali

    So u guys believe every crap the crapheads at Kotaku say and nothing the police states ? The police won’t arrest him unless they have a strong evidence of his bad deeds.

    I don’t know why all the hate driven against Dennis over articles made by Kotaku of all the sites. And the guy is now associated with the crimes done by another employer at the studio.

    Give me a break and allow the shit that is Kotaku to destroy other devs.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. The_Red

    I hope this turns out to be a misunderstanding or something. Now I’m not trying to defend that disgusting act but his guilt hasn’t been proven yet. Also, as others have suggested, he could have possessed some hentai

    (Which according to Canadian government is no different to the actual, disgusting material. Something that I absolutely disagree. Why? Because one is created by grooming, exploitation and abuse of real children while the other one is the work of a painter / artist plus animation)

    #5 2 years ago
  6. KineticCalvaria

    @4, it’s confirmed by a local news site and the developers CEO, so it’s not just kotaku.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Cobra951

    @4: The police will arrest anyone that the state decides needs to be arrested. The “state” could easily consist of an overzealous, politically minded prosecutor. Or this could be a very deserved arrest and arraignment. The thing is, we don’t know. His former bosses probably don’t know all the facts either. It always bothers me when someone loses his livelihood based on unproven accusations. That’s why I commented.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Hoika

    I’m kinda glad I didn’t contribute to the Kidstarter… eh Kickstarter. We’ll see if he’s guilty or not. I guess these things don’t just fall out of the sky.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Ali

    @6 : I was actually talking the hate Dyack is getting which is based on the crappness that is Kotaku’s articles. I am not defending the other guy caught for children porn.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Sini

    well it’s pretty fucking obvious somehow Dennis Dyack turn that innocent soul onto child pornography, one just has to know how to connect the dots.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. salarta

    … So if someone working for the president is caught doing something illegal, then the president knew about it and is to blame? If this was something that the company knew about and sanctioned from the start, then I could understand. But people are bashing the company over what an employee did privately and secretly.

    Guess this is just another case of consumer idiocy, looking for excuses to say a company they don’t like is Satan incarnate while ignoring or making excuses for illegal behavior of companies they like.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Kyle Jackson

    I guess I won’t be getting my DVD’s back then :(

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    @11 For once we agree on something :P

    This shouldn’t reflect on Precursor in any way. Unlike picking Denis Dyack for one of their top executives.

    Considering that Kickstarters are to some extent popularity contests, and extremely sensitive to perception, I don’t think there’s any doubt that this is pretty bad though.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. KineticCalvaria

    @11, Don’t even know what your whinging about, nobody is saying that the whole company is full of unsavoury people, it’s just the company is getting a lot of bad press, which isn’t exactly making me want to buy a game off them, God knows what’s next!

    #14 2 years ago
  15. sh4dow


    Thanks for pointing that out, I feel the same way.

    A while ago, there was a case in Germany, where a whole slew of people were prosecuted for allegedly possessing child pornography because they all had been using some porn site that was deemed to contain such material.
    Many of them reported losing their jobs, their wives filing for divorce, etc.
    Guess what? In the end, all of them were declared innocent because “whoops, it’s not child porn after all”! But do you suppose many of them got their jobs or wives back?

    #15 2 years ago
  16. salarta

    @14: Your response is exactly the problem I’m responding to. One person at the company does something illegal and wrong in his private life, therefore you shouldn’t buy a game made by the company that had employed him without knowing of his behavior? There are several possible reasons for deciding not to support a game or company that make sense, “one of their employees did something wrong in his private life so the company should be punished for not being psychic and knowing everything about him” isn’t one of them. That attitude is like finding out a teenage boy has been secretly snorting cocaine and deciding the father should lose his job for having a son that does that and not knowing about it.

    Now if it turns out that Precursor Games knew about it and let it slide, then I’ll agree with you. But all signs point to no.

    Though I’m also concerned by what @7 pointed out. If it was merely drawn, then I don’t think it should be something illegal. It’s not my cup of tea by any stretch, but nobody’s actually being hurt by the process, and there are some cases out there where such content MIGHT qualify as artistic. I see it as not much different to the difference between drawing a picture of rape in which it’s all fictional, and a photograph of an actual rape. I’m also a little concerned as to how much qualifies as possession of child porn and if the source has an impact; I’ve thankfully never had this happen to me, but I’ve heard that sites like 4chan have people that try to trick you into looking at such content.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. MegaGeek1

    I can tell you all right now that Canada has some of the world’s highest standards for Police, and an unparalleled intelligence network. They don’t just arrest folks based on crimestoppers tips.
    If this guy was arrested and formally charged the case was being built for months and the evidence will be overwhelming. Its too bad because I strongly support our Canadian development community, but child porn is child porn. There’s no misunderstandings.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Virginityrocks

    Keep in mind, in Canada (Unlike in the US) Hentai, drawings and other ‘depictions’ of children is considered Child Pornography in the same light. Virtually no legal distinction is made between drawings and actual child pornography. Which constitutionally is backward, since freedom of thought and expression is protected.

    If he is in possession and is guilty of distributing actual child pornography, then he is a criminal.

    If he is in possession of fake, drawings, or depictions of minors, then he is simply a victim of a poorly constructed legal system.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. MegaGeek1

    1) There is no Canadian Constitution. We have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    2) That Charter is not the same as the US Constitution. Freedoms of speech, thought and/or expression come with a caveat. You are free to say and believe what you want until you cause others undue harm, then you dont have that right anymore.

    3) I would love to see where in the Canadian Criminal Code that it states illustrations/depictions of minors are considered the same as actual child pornography. I will stand corrected if it is there, and am tempted to look it up myself, but common sense kicks in and says there are to many variables and interpretations of how old someone in a Hentai illustration could be perceived that it would never hold up in court.

    With all that said, if you have an illustration of someone that is so obviously underage that a jury of your peers WOULD unanimously agree that is a minor, than it should be illegal.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. KineticCalvaria

    @16, you seem to forget they also employ Denis Dyack and they’ve received bad press for that, which is also what I was referring to. I never said that one man’s private life is putting me off buying the game, I said the company now has bad press for two individual reasons and one of which is still in their employment, hence I’m not filling his pockets.

    It’s not just to do with this guy and nobody said it was which is why I don’t understand your convoluted criticism of something which none of us have said. I think you’re reading too much into it. :D

    #20 1 year ago
  21. sh4dow

    @17: Right… as was seen during the mass intimidation during the G20 in Toronto. And I thought merely a good old beating of a couple of lazy shit disturbers as seen in good old Germany or England was questionable already. No, Canada’s police force REALLY showed how to keep the drones in line.
    Actually… considering that… I guess you COULD say that they act according to “highest standards”. But those standards make me not want to trust any policeman except if I have no other choice.

    One might argue that handling political issues is different from individual cases though. Still… I wouldn’t trust anyone willing to participate in what I just described with anything else either.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. MegaGeek1

    @21 – You don’t even know what you’re talking about. Do you live in Toronto? How about Jarvis St and Carlton St? Maybe you’re formulating the basis of your argument based on what your local media outlet told you in your respective country?

    Dont debate things you know nothing about, especially topics as sensitive as G20 in Toronto. There is a reason why the Police Chief didn’t step down. In the court of public opinion (IN TORONTO, WHERE HIS CONSTITUANTS LIVE) he did the right thing. No one in Toronto gives a rats fuck what the rest of the world thinks.

    Perhaps if your parents convenience store had a Molotov cocktail thrown through the window on the first day when Police kept their arms down to allow “peaceful protest” you would be singing a different tune.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. LVX

    @19 Have you been living under a rock? Governments all over the world have used scary words like “terrorism” and “child pornography” to change old laws and make new ones to make more and more non-harmful things illegal. In Canada you can be sent to prison for being in possession not just of drawings, but also for completely fictional texts.

    No-one does anything about this, because the second someone speaks up against this idiocy, there is the accusation of ulterior motives. Oh, you want to change child pornography laws to allow people to write pornographic stories or paint pictures of naked children? Obviously you’re a pedophile. (1) In this section, “child pornography” means [...] (a) a photographic, film, video or other visual representation, whether or not it was made by electronic or mechanical means, [...] (b) any written material or visual representation that advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act.

    More on the subject:

    #23 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.