Whatever happened to Silicon Knights? They seemed poised to be the next big thing on the GameCube, of all places, with their genius horror video game Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.
However, thanks to a failed lawsuit against Epic Games, botched relationships with publishers, and one of the biggest cases of video gaming shortcomings in history, the development team no longer holds the flack they once did. In fact, they might even be down to just outspoken founder Denis Dyack and a handful of guys still hanging around the joint.
Several anonymous victims of the layoffs resulting from Silicon Knights mishandling of X-Men: Destiny have come forward in an extended interview with Kotaku. They do not have nice things to say about the company, blaming Dyack for their financial woes and the game's poor quality. It seems he wanted to focus more on creating a demo and pitching Eternal Darkness 2 to potential publishers rather than fulfill the company's obligation to Activision.
"He runs his company like a high school gym class or football team. He sets examples of those who offend him. He is incapable of celebrating others' successes. He is irrationally competitive to a fault; for example, he has to sue Epic Games and gloat about it online. [In his mind] you're either for him, or against him."
It's a shame that such a promising company had to crumble under a man former employees have labeled a "dictator;" he once slapped them with a "mandatory six-day-a-week, 10-hour-a-day minimum crunch." Before being swallowed by the shadow of Too Human, the company also created the popular Legacy of Kain series and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, the remake of Hideo Kojima's PlayStation classic.
However, I don't feel too confident in the future of the company or the possibility of Eternal Darkness 2 ever emerging. I think it takes more people to make a video game than America's most delicious fast food hamburger. Mmmm…we need a Five Guys in Kobe, Japan.
Check out the article. It's a great retelling of how this stinker of an X-Men game got made, and it gives a crash course on how not to run your company. I'll always remember Mr. Dyack for his amazing PR fiasco on NeoGAF and subsequent rambling explanation on 1up Yours back during their Ziff Davis heydays.