Shadow of the Eternals now in limbo

Both Precursor Games and Eternal Darkness spiritual sequel on indefinite hiatus

Precursor Games has put its Shadow of the Eternals project on hiatus after a series of major setbacks.

In a post on the Precursor Games forums, Dennis Dyack, who co-founded the studio with former colleagues from Silicon Knights, explained that both the game and the team will be taking a break.

"For those who are not aware, we all worked on this project as a labor of love and self financed 100 per cent of everything for a over a year to try to make Shadow of the Eternals a reality," he said.

"Although we did not succeed on doing this, we succeeded in making many friends and starting something that we hope provided value for those involved. We have no regrets."

Shadow of the Eternals was intended to be an episodic, loosely related sequel to Silicon Knights' classic horror game, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. However, the Precursor team's experience was not enough to raise the interest necessary to meet its ambitions.

The first Kickstarter campaign set a target of $1.5 million, which was to be used for development of Shadow of the Eternals' first episode. However, it was cancelled just over halfway into its five-week funding period with $300,000 raised. At the time, Precursor claimed the cancellation was due to, "a host of a new exciting opportunities that will make the game better than we envisioned."

Regardless, Precursor returned to Kickstarter in July, one month later, this time asking for $750,000 - a smaller amount due to some "private investment" the company had secured. Despite its more modest target, though, the campaign raised only $320,000 before the deadline passed.

In the midst of this, a more disturbing story surfaced. Ken McCulloch, one of Precursor's co-founders, was arrested at the start of July on charges relating to the ownership of child pornography. Precursor Games quickly cut ties with McCulloch, but the affiliation did not aid the studio's ongoing struggle to find stability.

"Is the project dead? No, but we feel it needs a rest," Dyack said in his post. "We have all agreed as a group that when and if the time is right we will get together and start it up again.

"Keep your head high everyone and remember what we have accomplished together."

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Latest comments (5)

Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee8 years ago
A rest? Hmm, maybe its time to ask Nintendo...
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
I really wanted to see this game be made. The graphics look really nice as well as the character models. WiiU could use another exclusive. If I were the company I would make an approach to Nintendo.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd8 years ago
@ Adam That was my first thought too. If they want to make this they'll need direct publisher funding at this point, and Nintendo has funded a number of outside projects for Wii U (which they desperately need) like Bayonetta 2 and Sonic: Lost World.

I think the ultimate problem this project had and continues to have is that Dyack's name is poison. He is despised by the industry for his mismanagement of Silicon Knights and allegations of code copying.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee8 years ago
True Nich, somehow though I'd like to think that Nintendo would be strict on quality assurance and with CryEngine 3 being awesome (and praised by them so much) it would be hard to steal... this time! :p

But really, I gues Nintendo could draw on the fact that the original on Gamecube was a sleeper hit. They still own the IP and this is a desperately needed exclusive, so I think there's potential.

I'd rather not see yet another game wasted. With Nintendo this could become a full blown Eternal Darkness 2.
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Axel Cushing Freelance Writer 8 years ago
I contemplated putting in for this. I didn't pick up Eternal Darkness when it first came out, but I did eventually pick it up, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. I liked the systems. I liked the characters. The whole thing was excellently done.

So what stopped me from kicking in for this? I had no problem ponying up for Star Citizen, and I'm still bitter at Chris Roberts for that godawful abomination passing itself off as a movie. (Hairless Kilrathi?! NO!) It's not that I'm opposed to crowdfunding or find it a fad. I liked the trailer they put together. I liked the setup they had for the plot. I wanted to know more about the characters. I was kind of hoping this one might actually make "episodic gaming" really work for me as a consumer and player.

I think a large part of it was the whole fiasco with Dyack and Too Human. The last chapter of that disgraceful saga had only finished a short while before Shadow Of The Eternals was announced. It would have taken a hardier (or more ignorant) soul than myself to completely forget about it, to not have lingering doubts, questions, or concerns. Then the thing with McCulloch came out and it just seemed like more trouble than it was worth. It was almost a case of "Oh God, what fresh disaster is happening next?" The company's troubles become more prominent than their project. The "slimmed down" version on Round 2 seemed a lot less interesting, and I think that pretty much killed it for me.

What would bring it back? What would get me to part with my cash the same way I did with Chris Roberts? I suspect it would take some serious convincing that this is not going to be the next great fiasco.
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