Silicon Knights closes offices, lays off employees
Silicon Knights art assets and equipment find their way to Precursor
Developer Silicon Knights has closed its offices and sold its equipment and game assets, according to a report by Polygon. Silicon Knights chief financial officer Mike Mays told Polygon that a skeleton crew of employees remains and the studio is "definitely alive," but local real estate agents confirmed that Silicon Knights' offices are empty and available for lease.
Silicon Knight founder Denis Dyack is currently the chief creative officer of Precursor Games, a studio working on a new title, Shadow of the Eternals. The game is a spiritual sequel to Silicon Knights' Eternal Darkness and currently Precursor is running a funding drive for the title. According to Precursor CEO Paul Caporicci, art assets for Shadow of the Eternals were among the items sold to Precursor.
Caporicci was laid off from Silicon Knights last July and could not comment on his former employer. In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Caporicci stressed that Precursor was a "wholly different company" from Silicon Knights.
"From my experience in July, I was laid off from Silicon Knights with a number of other people and I was saddened, you know, that we were going to go our separate ways," he added. "And so I started reaching out to other people and seeing if they were interested in starting something brand new."
Silicon Knights is on the hook for $4.45 million in damages in its case versus Epic Games, over the use of Unreal Engine 3 in the development of Too Human. Silicon Knights is still in the process of appealing the court ruling.
Epic Games filed legal motions to ensure that Silicon Knights formatted its computers before selling them to Precursor Games. According to court documents obtained by Polygon, the computers were wiped clean, preventing Silicon Knights' game assets from making their way to Precursor. Precursor's Shadow of the Eternals is being developed with Crytek's CryEngine.
"Silicon Knights was selling off extra assets to laid off employees and we, along with others, purchased some of them," Caporicci said to Polygon. "Like so many others who have been laid off in this difficult economy, we are simply trying to turn a tough situation into something positive."