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Sun Setting on Silicon Knights?

Our mixed metaphor headline comes from a report on Polygon saying Too Human developer Silicon Knights is down to its last few employees as they have closed down operations. Sources tell them the studio laid off most of its staff last summer, and has now closed its office and sold off its remaining assets. Their attempts to contact the studio by phone have failed, and they believe the company's main number has been disconnected, though CFO Mike Mays tells Polygon that the few remaining employees are "very busy" and the studio is "definitely alive." Silicon Knights' fate was sealed about a year ago when Epic Games won a $4.45 million award from the company in a dispute over Unreal Engine support in a lawsuit that was actually initiated by Silicon Knights. Polygon notes that many of the company's assets were sold to Precursor Games, founded by former Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack, a move that has inspired scrutiny from Epic, in spite of that not seeming fishy in the least. Precursor Games is currently attempting a Shadow of the Eternals Fundraiser for a spiritual successor to Silicon Knights' Eternal Darkness. Polygon quotes a Canadian bankruptcy attorney saying Silicon Knights has not filed for bankruptcy.

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12. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 16:18 Beelzebud
 
That lawsuit was utterly clueless. It's hard to claim the Unreal engine sucks when you have so many examples of not only successful games, but critically acclaimed games that came one after another.  
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11. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 14:44 siapnar
 
Verno wrote on May 10, 2013, 13:00:
the spare units were ordered to be destroyed by a judge as a result of the lawsuit, seemed like a fitting end for the whole debacle.
Lol that's golden

Too Human was trying to be a mix of too many things. The Art Direction alone was a clusterfuck mish mash that never materialized into a whole.
 
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I have projectile dysfunction.
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10. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 14:15 Flatline
 
Verno wrote on May 10, 2013, 13:00:
siapnar wrote on May 10, 2013, 12:46:
I remember Dyack coming to my school in 2006, acting like Too Human was the next coming of Christ. The lead character modeler with him also seemed like a pompous ass.

Good riddance.

He was totally obsessive about that game, it was bizarre. He kept going on and on about how ambitious it was and that was why they kept missing release targets. Finally it arrived as a twin stick action game with shallow RPG elements, weak story, buggy as hell and capped it all off with a bad UI. I did have one friend who got so invested in the pre-release hype that he was in denial at release and still maintains it's the best game for the Xbox 360 despite the fact that he didn't even finish it according to his achievement list.

I remember reading a few months ago that the spare units were ordered to be destroyed by a judge as a result of the lawsuit, seemed like a fitting end for the whole debacle.

I moderately enjoyed Too Human. It didn't rock my world, but when you were swimming through swarms of enemies, leaving destruction in your wake, and your "dodge" was actually "murder bad guys over here", it got into a groove that kind of reminds me of a rhythm game like Rock Band. And during those times, the game was good.

The repetitive enemies, the 3 levels, the bad AI, the buggy gameplay, and any enemy that wasn't a swarm sucked donkey balls, and the story was severely truncated, but I didn't mind the cyberpunk viking mythos.

I dunno if it'd ever be as good as the hype, I don't think the design was there for example, but if they had taken something like God of War's silky smooth combat system with that kind of depth, and melded it with mowing down hordes of baddies, in that weird rhythm game-like groove, it might have had something serious going for it, if they overhauled the story and made it actually make sense.
 
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9. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 13:50 Fantaz
 
the mothership must go on...  
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8. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 13:42 saluk
 
"in spite of that not seeming fishy in the least."

Hahaha
 
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7. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 13:00 Verno
 
siapnar wrote on May 10, 2013, 12:46:
I remember Dyack coming to my school in 2006, acting like Too Human was the next coming of Christ. The lead character modeler with him also seemed like a pompous ass.

Good riddance.

He was totally obsessive about that game, it was bizarre. He kept going on and on about how ambitious it was and that was why they kept missing release targets. Finally it arrived as a twin stick action game with shallow RPG elements, weak story, buggy as hell and capped it all off with a bad UI. I did have one friend who got so invested in the pre-release hype that he was in denial at release and still maintains it's the best game for the Xbox 360 despite the fact that he didn't even finish it according to his achievement list.

I remember reading a few months ago that the spare units were ordered to be destroyed by a judge as a result of the lawsuit, seemed like a fitting end for the whole debacle.
 
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6. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 12:46 siapnar
 
I remember Dyack coming to my school in 2006, acting like Too Human was the next coming of Christ. The lead character modeler with him also seemed like a pompous ass.

Good riddance.
 
Avatar 26019
 
I have projectile dysfunction.
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5. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 12:00 Cutter
 
Praise the Sun!

\o/
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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4. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 11:51 Parallax Abstraction
 
Yeah, after looking into this, Precursur Games is basically Silicon Knights II. SK is basically dead (they don't even have an office any more) but they're not putting it into bankruptcy because if they do, Epic and others might be able to come after Precursor for their owed monies instead. I wouldn't be surprised to see Epic file a legal motion to force Silicon Knights into liquidation in light of this, though Epic did seem to be OK with Precursor purchasing some of their assets.

As a Canadian taxpayer who had my government pour many millions into this sinkhole of a company, I think anyone who contributes to Precursor's crowdfunding is setting themselves up to get fleeced. Dyack's a terrible manager and if this project has him in an executive capacity (which it does), I'd stay far away.
 
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3. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 10:51 Verno
 
I'm amazed it took Dyack this long to implode, shame it took the entire company down with him. It was quite apparent something was off during the Too Human fiasco but most people thought they could recover.  
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2. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 10:43 Keilun
 
I think that depends on how poorly their game performs. Then it's Crytek's fault for lack of support. Obviously can't blame themselves!  
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1. Re: Sun Setting on Silicon Knights? May 10, 2013, 10:16 wtf_man
 
So are they (Precursor games) going to sue Crytek next, since that's what Shadow of the Eternals is using?  
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