Things are looking grim for Canadian developer Silicon Knights, developer behind the GameCube cult hits Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. Despite beginning the current console generation with a team of 120, the studio has now only a handful of employees remaining.
According to a article from Kotaku, Silicon Knights has suffered lawsuits, cancelled publishing deals and a lack of motivation within the staff. Alleged former employees were less than satisfied with their time at the company.
It was also revealed that work on an Eternal Darkness 2 demo had begun, but ultimately fell flat. One former staff member shared:
“The farthest they got with it when I left SK was, literally, one two-level church interior”.
“It was really bad, as I recall. It took the side-team a long time to even get that far. Bad tech, combined with a team composed of people who had not shipped a title since Metal Gear really hurt that demo. Other than that, I can’t explain why things went so poorly for them [except that] a lot of key people responsible for the original Eternal Darkness are long gone.”
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem didn’t have the greatest combat system or pacing, but it was certainly a unique experience. Its main gimmick was playing mind games with the player. When your sanity meter drained, the game’ would fool you into thinking there were bugs on your screen, your game save had been deleted or cause your character to lose their head for a brief period of time. It was great at performing trickery and hallucinations, and its unfortunate that we may never see its potential continue.
Similarly, The Twin Snakes was a well-made remake of the phenomenal Metal Gear Solid original. That was back in 2004, and unfortunately Silicon Knights has only outed two games since then: Too Human and X-Men Destiny – both of which were critically panned.
Its a harsh industry, and we’ve had ridiculous amounts of redundancies lately. Just this month we’ve had lay-offs from Zynga, Lionhead, Irrational Games, LightBox and even Sony Japan. We can only hope things improve in the next generation.