News Article

Denis Dyack: X-Men Destiny Accusations Affecting Shadow Of The Eternals Development

Posted by Damien McFerran

"I've got to do something about this"

Last last year, Kotaku reported that Silicon Knights was on its last legs, crippled by mismanagement. The blame was laid squarely at the door of founder Denis Dyack, who has since left the company and joined Precursor Games — which is hard at work at the Wii U title Shadow of the Eternals.

Dyack was accused of being heavy-handed with staff, embezzling money and neglecting projects — such as X-Men Destiny — to focus on Eternal Darkness 2. He has now released a video responding to Kotaku's claims, stating that:

I've got to do something about this, because it's affecting me, it's affecting my colleagues at Precursor Games, and it's affecting the community that wants to see this game get made.

Dyack is adamant that the claims made in Kotaku's feature are entirely groundless, and the reason he didn't respond to them at the time is because be didn't think anyone would believe them. Silicon Knights appears to be all but dead now, despite the protestations of its chief financial officer Mike Mays.

You can watch the full video below — once you've had time to digest it, let us know what you think by posting a comment.

[via gamesindustry.biz, youtube.com]

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User Comments (22)

MAB

#1

MAB said:

Just make S of the E a great game and all will be forgotten mate ;)

Peach64

#2

Peach64 said:

Kotaku can back up their claims by just pointing at the awful games SK put out. Their one success was under the strict watch of Nintendo, and Dyack hated how much control they had. He's made rubbish games, awful business decisions (the mess with epic), and then goes and makes the funding process of his new project look extremely shady too.

First of all ask for a ludicrously high amount, then offer donator rewards that you can't even fulfil by getting your full funding. Set it up on your own website with murky T&Cs that allow you to keep the money even if the target is not reached, and THEN set up a kickstarter with an extended deadline. Yeah, that will win back people's trust.

placidcasual

#3

placidcasual said:

I read this at the time and its an enlightening read. I also thought kotaku were very fair in their reporting and its why I haven't supported the new eternal darkness game. I'd advise anyone on here to give the original article a read before commenting, its very inyeresting and will fill you in on a lot of background info especially on Dyaks alleged behaviour

AhabSpampurse

#5

AhabSpampurse said:

Maybe its just a case of not as many people want the game made as you think, Denis. I love ED, I played through it again about three months ago and it still holds up really well, but after playing their further titles (MGS not included), it does make me think that maybe they've just lost it. And yes, as said above I also feel that the Kotaku article, all things considered, was pretty fair and reasonable.

akabenjy

#6

akabenjy said:

I already pledged $50 to Kickstarter but I don't think they are going to make their goal. It's sad because if the 200,000 people who bought the first game only pledged $7.50 each they would make their goal of 1.5 million.

banacheck

#7

banacheck said:

I just think people are very niave to believe anonymous articles as fact, especially when it can ruin someones career. Now if the kotaku article didn't have an anonymous source, that would be a different story.

Araknie

#9

Araknie said:

I remember when this happened at Too Human.
Really, again?

Reall, why 12 episodic content and no box retail, why Nintendo does not take this under his sleeve.

Cant. Compute.

Kamalot

#11

Kamalot said:

Dennis:

If your friends and coworkers continue to run into this wall, this block people have about trusting you, then a little YouTube video isn't going to help.

At this point, step aside. Lots of people would love to give Shadow of the Eternals a chance, including the team looking forward to building it. Your presence is rapidly turning you into boat anchor instead of a buoy. Don't sink this project due to your ego. Step aside. Maybe stay on as a consultant instead of a director. If the game is successful, you'll have another laurel to add to your crown. If it isn't successful, well at least it won't be due to the distrust many people have about you.

In my own humble opinion, the way you publicly aired dirty laundry on previous occasions makes me skeptical of your ability to lead a team. Your rants and broadcast role as a victim to the will of others shows a lack of personal and professional responsibility. I myself loved Eternal Darkness and would adore more in the same universe. Yet with your past behaviors I will not give a dime to any project on which you are associated until a product is released and it achieves glowing press from my trusted sources.

I wish you luck, but don't play the role of victim. It isn't becoming of anyone.

Edit: Plus, work on your 'reading-out-loud' skills. Seriously! It is a fantastic skill to have and will help improve people's confidence of you when speaking publicly.

Midnight3DS

#12

Midnight3DS said:

X-Men:Destiny was neglected alright. One of the biggest disappointments I've seen. Public Enemy once said, don't believe the hype...

indienapolis

#14

indienapolis said:

I don't see how you can say it's a fair article given its sources are entirely anonymous. There used to be a time when it was considered journalistically unethical to publish things unattributed unless it was some sort of political scandal with international consequences. The article was well written, and much of what's there may have happened. But if no one is willing to go on the record, I have a hard time wanting to burn down someone's career over an unattributed article. The games he and SK have released are a mixed bag, and probably a fairer way to judge him.

Still, a shame about SotE.

Stuffgamer1

#15

Stuffgamer1 said:

I'll admit, the reputation that article gave the man did leap readily to my mind when I heard of the crowdfunding project. That's not to say that I necessarily believed all of it...to be honest, I don't know WHAT I believed...but I at the very least recognized that it would be a stumbling block for this project at large one way or another.

I appreciate their taking the time to make this video, and I think the gesture should not be ignored. Their arguments are reasonable, I get no sense that they're trying to deceive...and if I had an income, it would be enough to push me to pitch in on the project. I really hope they succeed.

tanookisuit

#17

tanookisuit said:

I mean let's be serious here. We're talking about Kotaku. Of all the mainstream game news covering sites, they're by far and large the most dishonest pack of attention seeking truth twisters and liars. Primarily they seem fairly bent on being jerks to Nintendo stuff I've noticed over the years, but they also can get tunnel vision on other people and companies and then the horse s**t flies. It's a shame those scumbags can just keep attempting to wreck this guys life. I'm surprised he's staying above it and not seeking damages in court.

Yanchamaru

#18

Yanchamaru said:

Shadow of the Eternals has a better chance of getting released if Dyack leaves Precursor Games.

Kirk

#19

Kirk said:

Irrespective of all the media crap surrounding Denis Dyack and this new game I'm thinking the only way it's going to get the kind of backing it needs is for Precursor to have a playable demo that people can actually try hands-on at shows like E3 for example and that games sites can properly preview too.

I think that's the only way people are going to be truly convinced this is a proper game that's in a genuinely playable state and that is of good enough quality to really warrant the hype and media backing it needs to get everyone else truly excited about and behind the project.

Having a one level playable demo of the game worked wonders for a game like Shovel Knight and it really helped gain the support it need to get fully funded.

If precursor can just convince people once and for all that this thing is truly solid, and not maybe all just a bit of smoke and mirrors (an admitedly lovely staged video/demo isn't really going to be enough to achieve this imo), wiping away any doubts people have about the potential of the team, company and end product to deliver etc, then I think that will go a long way towards silencing all the naysayers and just making people feel a lot more comfortable about everything to do with the game in general.

Only then do I think the Kickstarter campaign will have a realistic chance of being successful.

I really want this game to happen but at this rate I just don't see things going well for the project.

placidcasual

#21

placidcasual said:

@banacheck I know you mean well and everyone's entitled to form their own opinion but personally speaking I'm not naive and I actually have a BA Hons in Journalism. I'm chosing to believe the sources in the article because of the balance of evidence and my own interpretation. If the article is untrue then Dyak was free to sue Kotaku. He chose not to comment on the story at the time despite Kotaku's repeated requests.

Also Kotaku did not just base this article on an interview with one whistle blower, here's a quote form the original piece:

"Ultimately, I secured interviews with eight former SK employees who worked on XMD, including the initial whistleblower. Between them, these former staffers represented over 45 years of service to the Canadian game development studio. All of them spoke to me on the condition of anonymity, for obvious reasons."

Anonymity is understandable considering the circumstances. Remember sources are anonymous to the reader but they are not anonymous to the writer, they can verify the source. As the writer in this instance reached out to these people he is talking to the right people. Interesting to note too that of the people he spoke to not a single one countered the allegations.

As I said I'm not attacking your opinion I'm just saying personally I'm not naive (I'm a trained journalist) and it's not the opinion of one source -its from multiple sources.

By the way I'd also love for there to be an Eternal Darkness 2 -I loved the first it was one of my favourite GC games. I just can't reconcile my desire for that game with my personal distrust of Dyak. Also full discolsure here- I actually quite like Kotaku, it's well written and has good standards. Nintendolife is better though -we probably all agree on that...

Roivas

#22

Roivas said:

@Peach64
Saying a game sucks isn't proof of their claims. They have anonymous sources and in the journalism world-anonymous sources does not mean fact. And Kotaku has a history of making things up and getting gullible people to believe them. They're like the Fox News of gaming journalism. All they do is feed people garbage. I'm much more willing to believe a man willing to point out the facts of the situation, a man who argues reasonably about the situation by talking about his relationships with his employees than some Kotaku writer with absolutely zero proof to their claims.

Secondly, the amount isn't ridiculous. They could easily get their funding if everyone who originally purchased ED pledged around 8 dollars. It's not much at all. I know the game has a lot of love on the internet. Only reason the kickstarter and crowdfunding hasn't been as successful as it could be is because of the lies made up by sites like Kotaku.
They have even asked gamers for support and input to add to the game to make the experience about what they want. What is wrong with that? I swear Kotaku and it's followers exist to ruin gaming and fun.
They have even said they would return the funds if the kickstarter wasn't successful. Learn the facts and stop making things up like the Kotaku writers you praise.

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