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Precursor dev charged with child pornography possession

Saturday, 29 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.

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23 Comments

  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

    @7:

    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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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.

    http://www.efc.ca/pages/law/cc/cc.163.1.html163.1 (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:

    http://www.thefreeradical.ca/pornography/courtDefinesChildPornography.html

    #23 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.