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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."

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Latest comments (4)

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus3 years ago
The lesson, as always: never, ever, ever, ever, EVER trust Denis Dyack.
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John Pickford Owner, Zee 33 years ago
Definitely alive!
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Patrick Williams Medicine and Research 3 years ago
Precursor Games is going to need to answer to the claims of mismanagement at Silicon Knights, because the claims that were made against them were pretty damning: http://kotaku.com/5955223/what-went-wrong-with-silicon-knights-x+men-destiny .
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Show all comments (4)
It is a sign of great concern regarding the validity of the modern consumer game community if it is impossible for authoritarian response to the state of any developer. One would wonder if the trade associations have so little teeth to monitor and report on their members - and the trade media so little ability to gain a definitive response - what value and use are they?
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