The Canadian government-funded game studio behind Too Human and X-Men Destiny reportedly suffered major cutbacks today.
Silicon Knights is an independent game studio based in St. Catharine's, Ontario across the border from Niagara Falls, NY. Despite receiving money from multiple government sources in order to create highly sought after jobs, reports are coming in from anonymous sources close to the company that Silicon Knights has laid off most of it staff. According to the sources, the company shrank by nearly 75 percent - reduced from 97 full time employees to just 25.
"Silicon Knights has had massive layoffs. They are now down to a core staff of 25 people," one source said.
"It may interest you to note that SK laid off all but 25 employees today," said another.
Founded by Denis Dyack in 1992, Silicon Knights made a few DOS games before making a big splash in 2002 with Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem for the Nintendo GameCube. After the dismal Too Human in 2008 and an ongoing legal battle with Epic Games, the studio received three grants from both the Province of Ontario and the Canadian Federal government totaling $8 million Canadian to grow to a staff of 97 and "make a AAA game."
Unfortunately for Dyack, Silicon Knights and the people who no longer are employed at the studio, that game may have been X-Men Destiny. Its critical and commercial failure greatly contributed to the financial situation in which these layoffs were a necessity.
Silicon Knights has not confirmed or denied these layoffs, but if the rumor proves true, The Escapist extends condolences to the families of those who might have lost their jobs. With some help, I'm sure that they'll find work again soon.