Silicon Knights Confirms Layoffs, Hopes to Hire Everyone Back

Posted by patrickklepek (5581 posts) -
Too Human was supposed to be a trilogy, but a rough reception to the first delayed those plans.

The rumors are no longer rumors, according to a report by the Financial Post. Silicon Knights has laid off a sizable chunk of its staff, the result of a sudden project cancellation by an unnamed publisher.

“We had another project lined up that had been in the works for months, which had been green-lit and at the final second, at the high corporate level, the project got canceled,” said studio CEO Mike Mays in a statement. “We don’t know why. Probably something to do with the publisher on their side, but that resulted in us having too many people so we had to do a layoff.”

It’s unclear what project was given the axe, but rumors about a sequel to Eternal Darkness, either officially or spiritually, have swirled for years.

Employee resumes, including one filed on Linkedin right now, reaffirm Silicon Knights was working on something called The Box. It’s unclear whether that’s still true.

Sega announced a development partnership with the Canadian developer back in 2005, but we’ve yet to see anything come from it--if the project still exists.

If Silicon Knights is able to sign another project quickly, Mays said it hopes to hire back the employees that were just told to clean up their desks.

#1 Posted by patrickklepek (5581 posts) -
Too Human was supposed to be a trilogy, but a rough reception to the first delayed those plans.

The rumors are no longer rumors, according to a report by the Financial Post. Silicon Knights has laid off a sizable chunk of its staff, the result of a sudden project cancellation by an unnamed publisher.

“We had another project lined up that had been in the works for months, which had been green-lit and at the final second, at the high corporate level, the project got canceled,” said studio CEO Mike Mays in a statement. “We don’t know why. Probably something to do with the publisher on their side, but that resulted in us having too many people so we had to do a layoff.”

It’s unclear what project was given the axe, but rumors about a sequel to Eternal Darkness, either officially or spiritually, have swirled for years.

Employee resumes, including one filed on Linkedin right now, reaffirm Silicon Knights was working on something called The Box. It’s unclear whether that’s still true.

Sega announced a development partnership with the Canadian developer back in 2005, but we’ve yet to see anything come from it--if the project still exists.

If Silicon Knights is able to sign another project quickly, Mays said it hopes to hire back the employees that were just told to clean up their desks.

#2 Posted by ScreamingFist (365 posts) -

wwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?

#3 Posted by inevitabledoubt (9 posts) -

Kind of a shame. Would love to see something like Eternal Darkness from them again or even some refinements to the Too Human formula. Wonder what'll happen next here.

#4 Posted by mazik765 (2315 posts) -

I don't care what anyone says. I would totally play a Too Human 2.

#5 Posted by Fattony12000 (7528 posts) -

Fucking Dyack.

#6 Posted by Soap (3613 posts) -

'Hopes to hire everyone back'

I guess they also hope to find oil in there gardens and to actually make good games but I don't see any of those things happening to them.

#7 Posted by Animasta (14713 posts) -

2human... it's a video game.

#8 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Animasta said:

2human... it's a video game.

More like Too Bad: The Silicon Knights Story.

#9 Posted by Slaegar (727 posts) -

That's a shame. I would love to see an eternal darkness 2 with high res textures and a lot of the jank removed.

#10 Posted by Cynic04 (124 posts) -

Further proof that success in the previous hardware generation is no guarantee of success in this modern, HD, hard-as-shit-to-develop-for generation.

#11 Posted by boylie (305 posts) -

Man this sucks to hear. Good luck to everyone affected by the layoffs. Our studio just suffered a huge cut ourselves. It's pretty brutal to be a game artist / programmer / designer out there right now, or at least in the Toronto / Niagara region...

#12 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11308 posts) -

Ugh! Please get the money and people to make Two Human! I know it can be awesome if they had the right resources!

Moderator
#13 Posted by Sword5 (150 posts) -

I am going to guess it was that X-Men game that killed their current project.

Maybe this will keep them from making a terrible Eternal Darkness game?

#14 Posted by PXAbstraction (343 posts) -

They've said elsewhere that Activision was not the publisher who bailed on them. That Sega project was also rumoured to have been canned a while back but it was never confirmed.

#15 Posted by WJist (314 posts) -

If you have fired up Too Human lately, you realize how marred it is by its own mechanics. A shame, because you can see the potential there and Eternal Darkness was a better game for its mechanics and its potential. A sequel to both games from Silicon Knights would be a great thing to see.

I think ED2 was hinted at directly in one of the sanity meter delusions.

#16 Posted by Dookysharpgun (586 posts) -

...really? Who didn't see this coming? I'm never pleased to hear about people losing jobs, but SK lost whatever spark they had after too human, and X-men Destiny was a deathnail, this was bound to happen. I would have rathered the company be liquidised and the team absorbed into different developers, but that was best-case.

#17 Posted by ChuckDeNomolos (72 posts) -

After that garbage X-Men game, they sort of deserve this. They might be good people, but that was just a squandered licensed game without any thought or effort put into making an engaging game. At this point, Eternal Darkness seems to be just a fluke, considering the last games they made were either merely mediocre, or just plain terrible.

#18 Posted by OriginalGman (294 posts) -

If the Wii U had an Eternal Darkness sequel at or near launch, it would be the only reason I'd need to pick one up. But publishers make terrible decisions everyday, so instead the Wii U will probably launch without a single game aimed at *sigh* "core gamers" and hope to sell simply based on a fake appearance of low supply, high demand.

#19 Posted by travisspeck (1 posts) -

The real story here is that the Ontario government gave Silicon Knights a $4 million loan in April 2010, that was supposed to not only keep the 100 existing jobs, but create 65 more jobs immediately. Over a year later, and the company not only didn't create those promised 'long-lasting' jobs, but they cut half of their staff. Can this company even survive on its own?

#20 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

@Soap said:

'Hopes to hire everyone back'

I guess they also hope to find oil in there gardens and to actually make good games but I don't see any of those things happening to them.

lol

#21 Posted by Maitimo (204 posts) -

It's sad when people lose their jobs, but unless they got whoever it is that does Ninja Theory's pitches to publishers, it was kind of inevitable - there was no way they were getting the stink of failure off. Too many bridges burned, too much money and prestige lost. Hopefully they land on their feet and go on to better things than Too Human and X-Men Destiny.

I presume Dyack is still there and will go down with the ship, though. To the point of squatting in the building, zealously guarding all the Too Human 2 design documents.

#22 Edited by jasondesante (604 posts) -

they had a project going for months, that eventually got cancelled.....when their new game came out and everyone said it was shit.

their last game before the most recent shitbag was also shit.

and that sega partnership was probably half way through before sega pulled the plug because they might have thought it was shit.

silicon knights are shit developers.

shit. shitty shit shit

#23 Posted by shades846 (153 posts) -

i still think things would have gone much better for them if they had sold out to Nintendo and become a second/first party dev. Though i guess that would have only happen if Nintendo had gone the HD route for the Wii.

#24 Posted by HarrySound (235 posts) -

To be honest this developer wasn't really doing anything with the industry.... Too Human was a terrible game purely because of the lame controls.

I feel for those who have lost work though.

At least the industry is a robust and blossoming one that has many options for the right people.

#25 Posted by Little_Socrates (5683 posts) -

Again, hopefully those employees get jobs at better, more successful studios where they don't bite off so much more than they can chew.

#26 Posted by Barrock (3545 posts) -

Curious what they were working on now...

#27 Posted by vinsanityv22 (1064 posts) -

Wonder what happened to that exclusive game they were working on for SEGA? If a publisher canceled a project, I'm sure it's because they saw how Silicon Knights handled Too Human and X-Men Destiny. I would hesitate to blame the publisher. SK really needs to right their ship, y'know? The only games they've done that are awesome is when other people were busting their asses (Blood Omen = Crystal Dynamics, Eternal Darkness = Nintendo, MGS: Twin Snakes = Konami)

#28 Posted by Brendan (7845 posts) -

It's a shitty situation, but I haven't played a recent Silicon Knights game that I've liked. If their games aren't selling well, then it's pretty hard to justify their existence as a company (that is trying to make profit). Again, it sucks to hear about people losing their jobs.

#29 Posted by Jedted (2391 posts) -

Shame. I really had my fingers crossed for a Too Human sequel but i geuss that'll never happen.

#30 Posted by VolcanicTrees (3 posts) -

Too Human was such a shame but it can be salvaged. I could see it on a similar scale to Assassin's Creed One and Two. Assassin's Creed One fell way below expectations but there was enough potential there to push a sequel and fix ALL the issues. Assassin's Creed Two was a masterpiece. Too Human could do the same with a humble team and a willingness to take the input/criticism from the first game's audience. It's certainly a risk but it could yield an extremely high reward.

#31 Posted by JP_Russell (1172 posts) -

The Box? I'm sure there's no relation, but that game "Legendary" was given a tentative title of "Legendary: The Box" at one time (in reference to Pandora's Box being in the game).

#32 Posted by Zapato (98 posts) -

This also means even less chance for a new Legacy of Kain game -_-

#33 Posted by Diablos1125 (179 posts) -

Wish they had a chance to finish up Too Human

#34 Posted by briangodsoe (487 posts) -

@OriginalGman said:

If the Wii U had an Eternal Darkness sequel at or near launch, it would be the only reason I'd need to pick one up. But publishers make terrible decisions everyday, so instead the Wii U will probably launch without a single game aimed at *sigh* "core gamers" and hope to sell simply based on a fake appearance of low supply, high demand.

It's impressive how people on this site can turn anything into "fuck Nintendo". It's like a sport or something.

This is a shame but not entirely unexpected. Hopefully SK can get back on their feet, they were one of my favorite devs in the previous gen.

#35 Posted by Norusdog (347 posts) -

y'know..being one of the unemployed..I'm certainly not happy about ANYONE else losing their jobs in this economy.

however..when you put out garbage...this is what happens. What's a shame is there are those that were let go that have legit talent.

But X-Men, for example, is an abortion. So yah. When you do shit work. You tend not to keep your jobs long. Well unless you're into politics I suppose.

#36 Posted by OriginalGman (294 posts) -

@briangodsoe: I wasn't saying "fuck Nintendo" with that comment, since I doubt they were the publishing partner that canceled SK's game. I am saying "fuck publishers" in general that cancel or don't allow the games I actually

want to play. I understand it's a business, but I have played enough FPS games to last a lifetime at this point. I'm not angry at Nintendo over anything, but I do think they have gotten a little too comfortable this generation with their systems selling more on good vibes than great games. I want them to succeed, not fail, and if they don't show some interesting stuff for Wii U besides asymmetrical minigames and Darksiders 2/Batman, then they are most assuredly in trouble.

#37 Posted by NinjaCommando (102 posts) -

X-Men Destiny. LOL

#38 Posted by jipearce (32 posts) -

They need to look at Double Fine's result. They were struggling as a traditional developer for publishers. So they decided to work on their own projects, using their own ingenuity, and now they are going stronger than ever before. I would have thought the injection of cash from the government would have allowed them to keep their staff and begin building their own games?

#39 Posted by MeatSim (10898 posts) -

It's a shame if they actually ever got around to making Eternal Darkness 2 I would have been on board.

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