Silicon Knights, the Canadian studio who created Too Human, saw their first video game release in three years in September with X-Men: Destiny. Partnering with Activision for the first non-movie-based X-Men games didn’t work out for the developer as it was slammed with negative critical reviews.
Now, Silicon Knights may be suffering from financial woes as inside sources indicate that the developer is being hit with massive layoffs. Since our review of X-Men: Destiny went up only yesterday, is it partially our fault?
Our X-Men:Destiny review was just one of many that point out the lacking gameplay elements, lacking story and dated graphics and design of the game. It was a step back from 2008’s Too Human and when combined with the earlier reports of the developer not including names of certain staff who had left the company, uncertainty is a certainty.
1up has the scoop which comes from several inside sources, indicated that the staff has been cut from 97 people, down to 25. There’s confusion surrounding this since the provincial government provided a grant of $3 million to Silicon Knights which this summer had Denis Dyack, president of Silicon Knights, talking about being able to secure the 97 employees and add upwards of 80 more.
Silicon Knights has yet to confirm the news, but if true, this would be yet another developer hit with layoffs after a rather bad year for studio closings.
What does this mean for the future of the studio? Back in May, Dyack spoke of plans to continue the Too Human franchise with sequels and finish the trilogy, but they’re seemingly still recovering from the litigation surrounding Epic Games and the broken engine code allegedly provided which hindered the original Too Human‘s development.
At the time of the $3 million grant in July, they were working on a 3D engine for the next generation of gaming so we’ll have to wait for official word on the layoffs to see where they go next. 25 staff is very small, especially after the failed release of their latest game and the loss of most of the work force. Morale is not high and we feel for the teams.
While X-Men: Destiny was not a good game, we would like to see them have a chance at making Too Human 2, if only to correct the issues with the original. Stay tuned for more as we hear it.
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