Looking at the Fall of the Silicon Knights

Kotaku has recently posted an intriguing article by Andrew McMillen which takes a look at what has happened to the St. Catharines, Ontario-based developer Silicon Knights over the past few years. Once considered a true quality development house with the release of such titles as Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem and an exclusive remake of Metal Gear Solid called “The Twin Snakes” for the GameCube, their output seemed to drop considerably after they left Nintendo’s umbrella.

In 2008, four years after the release of The Twin Snakes, they released Too Human for the Xbox 360 to fair reception. Then came 2011’s X-Men: Destiny, which seemingly cemented signs of decline from the company. How could this happen?

That’s what Kotaku’s article delves into. With the word of anonymous ex-Silicon Knights employees against nothing from the company or X-Men: Destiny publisher Activision, the article offers testimony of how the company squandered time, resources, and input while painting an unflattering picture of Founder and President Denis Dyack amidst many departures. All the more intriguing is the role of Activision, a company frequently vilified but appearing perfectly reasonable here– especially when they turn the tables on the studio.

Plus, according to the article, the number of employees at the studio has dwindled from around 120 to five– including Dyack himself– over the course of these events.

When a bad game is released, especially one with ample development time, we rarely get a glimpse as to how this could have happened, and there is plenty of insight offered here. I don’t tend to pander to industry gossip and such very much, but with this particular instance hitting rather close to home (i.e. being in Canada, and Ontario at that), I felt compelled to share it here. Even if you aren’t a fan of any of the games mentioned, it is nonetheless a fascinating read.

Source: Press The Buttons


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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.