Silicon Knights consists of “less than five employees”
Ten years ago, Silicon Knights released a game for the Ninendo Gamecube called Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem to great reviews. They followed this up with a commendable remake of Metal Gears Solid entitled Twin Snakes. Their potential seemed unlimited and when they started making games for Microsoft, people had high hopes.
The company once boasted a staff of 120, now it has “less than five”.
Kotaku have done an impressive job in interviewing former employees of the company to find out what happened to this once promising company. While admitting that they’re only hearing one side of the story, the majority of the fingers are pointed squarely at the CEO Denis Dyack, who created the company in 1992 and has run it ever since.
The article details the troubles that came with working on their latest and most disappointing game X-Men: Destiny, which Dyack had little interest in and saw it only as a time waster while they work on other personal projects. It is said he barely play tested or even looked at the game during it’s two and a half year development.
Dyack even started moving people off of the project to work on an Eternal Darkness 2 demo without Activision knowing, though when Activision forced a trailer from them, which not only announced a release date, but also listed silicon Knights as the developer, all hands were thrown back on the deck to get the title finished.
Dyack’s leadership abilities were also chastised; he would “set examples of those who offend him (and) is incapable of celebrating others’ successes.” Running the company like a high school gym class (Physical Education being one of his three degrees). His wife ran the human resources department so it was nigh impossible to talk with her without Dennis finding out.
45 people were said to have left the company in a six month period, including people who have been there for a long time.
Now a year since the game released to dreadful sales and their worst reviews, the Silicon Knights HQ is described as a “smoking crater”.
Read the article for more details, it’s a very interesting and eye opening read (Activision were in the right!)