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RUMOR: Silicon Knights cuts almost 75% of staff

Silicon Knights, developer of X-Men: Destiny and 2002's cult GameCube title Eternal Darkness, has laid off a large majority of staff, reports 1up. The studio is said to have dismissed 72 employees to pare its staff down to a “core staff” of 25. In July, Silicon Knights was staffed by 97 employees and had plans to hire 80 more, following a CDN $3 million Ontario government grant aimed at turning the developer into a “self-sustaining” games publisher.

At time of writing, the studio has not commented on the rumors. According to 1UP, sources have been predicting layoffs as far back as July, with “a disproportionate amount” of Silicon Knights employees updating their resumes on LinkedIn. A number of X-Men: Destiny staff are mentioned in the “Special Thanks” portion of that game's credits; one source calling themselves “SK Whistleblower” told 1UP these staffers were due for dismissal, and had initially been planned not to appear in the game's credits at all. Silicon Knights have denied this.


In 2008, the company dismissed 26 employees soon after the disappointing critical and commercial performance of action RPG Too Human. The company received a CDN $1 million investment that year from the public-sector Ontario Media Development, followed by a CDN $4 million grant from the Canadian government in 2010. At that time, the company's staff exceeded 100, with promises to use the funds to immediately create over 60 additional positions. X-Men: Destiny, the company's latest, performed even worse than Too Human, with scores hovering around the 50% mark.

Source: 1up

8 comments

  • jackthemenace - November 1, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    Hey, I LIKE Too Human., and if this means I'm never going to see the series concluded, I'm seriously disappointed.
  • Darkhawk - November 1, 2011 5:36 a.m.

    As an Ontarian, I really want to feel sorry for these guys. But then, they've made nothing but awful games ever since Twin Snakes (which in itself was only a remake, and a lesser one at that) and can no longer pretend to be anything but terrible developers. Canada has enough great games talent; hopefully these people will find work elsewhere at Ubisoft, EA, etc.
  • GhostbustTyler - November 1, 2011 7:42 a.m.

    As another Ontarian, I feel ya man.
  • DecoyOctorok - October 31, 2011 9:14 p.m.

    I'll always love them for Eternal Darkness and to a leser extent, MGS: Twin Snakes, but I can't say that this is all that surprising.
  • larkan - October 31, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    Maybe they should use their remaining employees to work on some simple, 8-bit indie games until they learn how to properly make a good game again.
  • Redeater - October 31, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    Guess it's back to selling oranges on the off-ramps for them.
  • CommandantOreo - October 31, 2011 6:55 p.m.

    the canadian govt. gave millions to these incompetent, washed up devs trying to relive the glory days of Eternal Darkness? Wow. We are in massive debt and this is how we solve the problem???? Fk you Silicon for wasting our money.

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