Working on Eternal Darkness 2 Put Silicon Knights on the Ropes

Monday, October 29th, 2012

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Seriously, though, I'd rather Eternal Darkness stand on its own than be ruined by an awful sequel.

Not only is Eternal Darkness publisher Silicon Knights on the ropes, but it was an Eternal Darkness sequel that put them there.

Kotaku has received several anonymous sources who claimed to work for Silicon Knights during development for X-Men Destiny, the last and most critically panned Silicon Knights game. According to these sources, while working on X-Men Destiny, Silicon Knights was also working on a playable demo for Eternal Darkness 2, a project which siphoned off a large chunk of the development staff from X-Men Destiny.

“SK didn’t take the development of XMD seriously the entire time I was there,” a source says. “They were working on an Eternal Darkness 2 demo that they could take to publishers. While I was there, they were even siphoning off staff from my [XMD] team to work on it.”

Not only were developers continually siphoned off from X-Men Destiny, but the Eternal Darkness 2 demo was apparently not that great.

“The farthest they got with it when I left SK was, literally, one two-level church interior,” says one former employee. “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.”

It seems that it’s poor management that’s killing the Eternal Darkness beast, with President and founder Denis Dyack at the heart of the storm.

“He runs his company like a high school gym class or football team,” one [source] said. “He sets examples of those who offend him. He is incapable of celebrating others’ successes. He is irrationally competitive to a fault; for example, he has to sue Epic Games and gloat about it online . [In his mind] you’re either for him, or against him.”

It’s sad to see the developer of Eternal Darkness fall so hard, but considering the slow decline in quality since Silicon Knights left Nintendo, does anyone really want to see an Eternal Darkness 2 from them? Since most of the original team is long gone, it would probably be more Duke Nukem Forever than magnum opus.

Source 1

Source 2

  • I really do hope Silicon Knights gets shut down not even a sequel to one of the scariest games around is going to save them if this is how the company is being ran. if i was in Silicon Knights right now and i know there is nothing good coming, i would just get the F out of there. move to a different developer and not stick around there

    • Mizu D

      Well that what happened, the company only have 5 peoples now including Dyack and probably his wife who was helming the HR…

      During the X-men credit, there is about 120+ names in the “Thank you” section, that how many people left SK. Dyack was a stickler for people leaving HIS company so he have them remove from credit, Activision caught wind of it and demand they be put in the “Thank you” section.

      That how bad he was running the company.

  • they really should just sell nintendo the rights to eternal darkness. If I remember nintendo renewed the trademark or something to eternal darkness last year or so. They also have the sanity meter patent too. Nintendo doesn’t really do horror but I’m sure retro or some other company under them would be better than silicon knights.

    • I agree, Nintendo should buy the rights and give it to one of their existing 2nd parties or development teams.

    • I agree that they should, but I doubt that Dyack would allow it.  He seems to be set on ramming the S.S. Silicon Knights full-speed into as many icebergs as it takes to sink it.

    • He’d probably think “if silicon knights is going down, than I’m taking eternal darkness with me”.

    • Also, Nintendo should buy the N64 Rare properties while they’re at it.

  • Astute observations.  Perhaps S.K. should sell Eternal Darkness to Nintendo and let them do a proper sequel.

  • Mizu D

    What baffle me is the total lack of vision Dyack have during the development of X-Men Destiny for Activision, he thought that he can leech money of Activision and couldn’t care less about how development goes or how bad it is, heck he even hope to get a contract extension or cancellation of the project and keep the money!

    As I am reading all those article, one event really show how much he care about the overall quality of the game. During a meeting, the development team was showing a very buggy/bad built of the game and what does Dyack notice? Yes…a van in the background, a non moving static grey van! He spend dozens of minutes to talk about it and request it to be change to red!


  • Why do these companies ever leave Nintendo?  Didn’t they learn anything from Rare?

  • And really. Only 5 people including himself and his wife? How the hell are they expecting to make a big budget AAA game? A very small but inspired indie game I can see but not something big.

  • Jacob D. Taylor

    Ok…. wow. I understand this is 10-12 months old, but for anyone who manage to catch a glimpse of this from here out, watch how speculation from the first comment trickles down to fact in the last. Speaking in purely general terms, the testimony of one pissed off lazy ass worthless retard employee speaking against a tight ship doesn’t merit much in my book. For those who wish to discredit my assumption that’s fine, but be willing to discredit your belief in such anonymous and unfounded statements as well. Silicon Knights produced several exceptional titles of the less than 10 they made overall. I to this day have not met an individual who hasn’t complained about their boss whether immediate manager or upper management and this is absolutely no exception. For those without management experience I challenge you to find it. Afterwards this article will mean far less to you.