News Article

Struggling Silicon Knights Ordered To Recall Unsold Games

Posted by Damien McFerran

X-Men Destiny May Become A Collector's Item

A while back we reported that Eternal Darkness developer Silicon Knights was effectively on the ropes, with less than five staff members remaining in the company. The outlook has just gotten significantly worse, as it has transpired that the Canadian studio has been ordered to recall most of its recent games - and at its own expense, too.

The order comes after Silicon Knights lost its legal battle with Epic Games regarding the use of the Unreal Engine technology - which was utilised to create Too Human and X-Men Destiny, as well as other titles.

It's not currently known if this order covers the Wii and DS versions of X-Men Destiny or if it is limited to the 360 and PS3 editions, but if we find out, we'll let you know.

Eurogamer sums up the situation neatly:

In May Silicon Knights was ordered to pay Epic $4.45 million in damages after the jury found in favour of its counter claims. The court ruled that Silicon Knights breached their Unreal license agreement, misappropriated Epic's trade secrets and infringed Epic's copyrights in the Unreal Engine 3 code.

The argument between the two parties started back in 2007. Silicon Knights claimed that Epic was holding money back that it should have spent supporting Unreal Engine and pouring it into Gears of War development. Problems with the engine allegedly caused the Too Human studio to ditch the tech at the last minute and develop its own system, resulting in development costs shooting up.

On the positive side, it means that the largely unplayed copy of X-Men Destiny you've been using to prop up your wobbly dining room table could potentially be worth something in the future.

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User Comments (16)

luminalace

#1

luminalace said:

Another nail in the coffin for Silicon Knights! It looks like there is 0% chance of Eternal Darkness 2!

MAB

#4

MAB said:

The situation might have been different if they were up to Eternal Darkness 5 ultimate OTS QTE over-the-top Hollywood action edition.

ennan

#6

ennan said:

Nintendo should buy the eternal darkness IP from them that way we might get a sequel and the people currently working at silicon knights might get some redundancy pay...

LeasTwanteD

#8

LeasTwanteD said:

NintendoWorldReport wrote:

This DS game is pretty good, but doesn't really hit as hard as it could have. With average graphics and music accompanied with the average gameplay, nothing about the game really stands out... except for Wolverine. He's a cool guy.

...

Ren

#9

Ren said:

that's too bad. I only played eternal darkness about a year ago finally and it is really as good/ better than most of what the Wii had to offer. Looks like it's done for sequel-wise. I hope someone can buy the IP and do another; even a new re-make of it would be pretty welcome just to retain the fire of the original.

sinalefa

#10

sinalefa said:

I haven't played ED, but the most talked about feature seems to be the Insanity Meter, and that is copyrighted by Nintendo. That means that nothing stops Nintendo from creating a spiritual successor instead of a sequel for an IP they have no rights on.

So someone tweet Miyamoto to let him know that people have not grown weary of it.

Tasuki

#11

Tasuki said:

This kinda sucks. If Silcon Knights goes out of business the chances of Eternal Darkness being rereleased on the Wii U VC will be very slim.

siavm

#12

siavm said:

ED was pretty good when I finally played it for the first time last year. And I liked twin snakes. Sad to know that this and other things are pretty going to leave them destroyed. I suppose the memories is all we can have. Luckily for me they are good memories since I did not play anything they made pass the two GameCube games.

motang

#13

motang said:

Silicon knights and Factor 5 should have just stayed on as Nintendo's second parties, both broke off after the GameCube and now one is gone the other is on the brink of non-existence.

bound4earth

#16

bound4earth said:

There seems to be some confusion tied to Eternal Darkness, so I thought I would register and chime in. Nintendo owns the IP rights to Eternal Darkness along with the patent for the insanity effects. Any work Silicon Knights was doing for the Eternal Darkness demo were for Wii U. Further evidence was given by Dennis himself during an interview back in 2008 he said "a complicated question with a complicated answer" in reference to who owns the IP. Dennis Dyack is a control freak. It's the reason why he left the supervision of Nintendo. It's also the reason why he didn't just come out and say that Silicon Knights does not own the rights, or at the very least only owns a partial right to create a sequel. See not so complicated after all.

I still hold out hope for Eternal Darkness as Nintendo applied for a trademark in 2010. Along with the fact that when Silicon Knights goes bankrupt and dissolves, so do any IP claims that might have had. Nintendo would be able to make a sequel free and clear of the Dennis Dyack plague. Retro Studios is currently working on a secret project that should be revealed soon, hey I can hope right. At the very least it's going to be something new from Retro Studios that is big enough to veil in secrecy.

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