Jarrod Mawson
03 Nov, 2011

Silicon Knights lays off 50% of staff

PALGN News | And hints at the next game.
Troubled Canadian developer Silicon Knights is the latest studio to take a blow from this generation's massacre of game creators, with reports from 1up and Kotaku indicating around 50% of original staff have been shown the door, leaving about 43 people unemployed.

Founded by Denis Dyack almost two decades ago, Silicon Knights has seen difficulties retaining contracts and major projects over the last few years. Underwhelming critical reception and market performance of Too Human caused Microsoft to withdraw funding from what was planned to be a trilogy, and poor reviews of their latest title, X-Men: Destiny, had led to these most recent layoffs. Between Too Human in 2008 and X-Men: Destiny last month, the company had released no titles.

Though downtrodden, the studio is not willing to go down without a fight, with a studio spokesperson stating that the company as a whole is working towards 'refocusing and returning to its roots', stating that they're working on 'one of its most requested titles for the next generation'.

Given the relatively modest history of Silicon Knights titles, there are only a couple of games that could possibly fit the mould of 'most requested titles', those being Eternal Darkness and Too Human. Could we be seeing a long awaited sequel to Eternal Darkness, or continuation of the Too Human trilogy? We'll just have to wait and see.

PALGN would like to wish the best of luck to ex-Silicon Knights staff now seeking work elsewhere.

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2 years ago
I'm guessing it's eternal darkness. I doubt they would have the rights to do legacy of kain again and Too Human wouldn't exactly be returning to its roots.
2 years ago
I would love to see the original Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain given the iOS / Android treatment but as far as I know, it is Eidos that hold the rights to that franchise.
2 years ago
I would love an Eternal Darkness sequel. Such a great game and I'm surprised that it didn't get some kind of Wii port, ala Pikmin, Jungle Beat etc.

It's a shame to hear about the layoffs, hopefully their next project (whatever it is) ends up as a success.
2 years ago
Jaws is correct, Eidos own the rights to Legacy of Kain, which in turn means Square Enix own it.

The only two games it could possibly be are Eternal Darkness and Too Human. The problem with the latter is that it really isn't a highly requested title, and the problem with the former is that Nintendo still, as far as I'm aware, have retained the copyright to the series.

So I don't know. One one hand Eternal Darkness is the most logical answer if we're to take their word as literal and truthful, which means they're probably working with Nintendo. On the other hand I wouldn't be surprised if they were bullshitting about 'highly requested' or whatever, and are back working on Too Human.
2 years ago
I'm not surprised by this news. What's surprising is how Silicon Knights is still afloat given how many other video game developing companies are either cutting staff or shutting down completely after one title release that doesn't perform well within the first week or so after that initial release.
2 years ago
They got a hand out from the Canadian government.
2 years ago
They shouldn't be surprised. X-Men was looking promising up to the point where actual gameplay was released. They need to seriously lift their game or go the way of Factor-5.
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