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Silicon Knights Cuts Staff by 75%

The studio that brought you Legacy of Kain and Eternal Darkness seems to be in trouble.

Embattled developer Silicon Knights has been pretty much out of the news for quite some time now. The company recently shipped X-Men: Destiny out the door with little hype or fanfare, and company front man Denis Dyack has been pretty quiet as of late. But reports that cite credible sources from within the company state that the Canadian game studio has had a round of massive lay-offs.

According to these sources, only 25 people remain of the 97 that were on staff. This comes after the company had received a sizable funding grant from the Ontario government that was to be used to hire new employees, upgrade the studio’s tech, and make Silicon Knights “self-sustaining”. There is no word at this time what went wrong in the scant three months between that grant and this news, and Dyack has not made a public statement.

Silicon Knights has had its share of troubles for many years, going all the way back to the lawsuit over the rights to the Legacy of Kain series, which delayed the release of Crystal Dynamic’s Soul Reaver for quite some time. The company sued Epic Games over allegations that the company misled Silicon Knights on the use of the Unreal 3 Engine, which added to the already protracted development cycle of Too Human. X-Men: Destiny is the first release from the company in 4 years, and the studio has not made any announcements regarding upcoming projects.




Our Take

Julian Titus Senior Editor

11/01/2011 at 12:56 PM

I've been a long-time supporter of Silicon Knights. I loved Legacy of Kain and Eternal Darkness, and I ended up liking Too Human, even if it wasn't the game that I was waiting ten years for. It's never a good thing when a studio makes cuts like this, and I wish the best to those affected by these layoffs.

Stanton Daries Staff Alumnus

11/01/2011 at 01:30 PM

You reap what you sow...

Nick DiMola Director

11/01/2011 at 01:33 PM

I can't ever make heads or tails on Silicon Knights. I also enjoyed Too Human in spite of its shortcomings, and like most others, Eternal Darkness is a longtime favorite. The MGS 1 port on GameCube was great too.

However, the company seems horribly mismanaged and without the help of some more skilled people from other companies, they're incapable of delivering. I've basically given up on them at this point.

I can only hope that those who were laid off are able to find gainful employment somewhere else, lending their expertise to projects that deserve it.

Jesse Miller Staff Writer

11/01/2011 at 01:33 PM

As sorry as I am for all of the employees that lost their jobs, this doesn't come as a big surprise to me. After the huge failure that was Too Human and the badly received X-Men: Destiny it makes sense that the studio would "right size" itself.

It will be interesting to see where Silicon Knights go from here.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

11/01/2011 at 05:45 PM

While I don't know enough about the folks around Silicon Knights to dislike someone like Dennis Dyack the same way Stanton does, I have to say I feel like the issue here has more to do with leadership than staff. That's my opinion, at least. I hope those who lost their jobs find something soon, as always. Who knows, maybe they'll all get together, form their own studio, and outshine Silicon Knights in every way. It's happened before, hasn't it?

Nate Hascup Staff Alumnus

11/01/2011 at 06:47 PM

I have to wonder how many of those cuts are writers as Dyack always championed having in-house story writers versus outsourcing.

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