Job cuts add to bad news plaguing Silicon Knights

Things aren’t going so well for Silicon Knights – over the past few weeks, a judge has found against the studio in a multi-million dollar lawsuit, stories are swirling that Eternal Darkness 2 will never be more than a rumour, and now, a bunch of job cuts have come to light.

[img_big]center,6617,2010-11-20/TH_Valkyrie.jpg,Too Human[/img_big]

Silicon Knights has been in court with Epic Games for years, over allegations relating to Epic‘s Unreal Engine 3. Silicon Knights claimed Epic was compromising the development – and the success – of Too Human, by withholding crucial parts of the game’s engine. (Silicon Knights claimed it was forced to create its own engine to complete the project.)

This might seem like small potatoes, but following the release of Too Human, Silicon Knights hasn’t really enjoyed much success at retail, and apparently the company believes Epic is at least partially to blame.

Epic – and the judge – sees otherwise, as an official statement explains:

The jury rejected Silicon Knights’ claim that Epic breached its Unreal Engine 3 license agreement with Silicon Knights. The jury also found in Epic’s favor on all of its counterclaims, namely that Silicon Knights breached the license agreement, misappropriated Epic’s trade secrets, and infringed Epic’s copyrights in the Unreal Engine 3 code. The jury awarded Epic damages totaling $4.45 million.

Reportedly, Denis Dyack, founder and president of Silicon Knights intends to appeal the decision.

In the meantime, however, the studio has been forced to reduce its workforce. While actively denying rumours surrounding the development of Eternal Darkness 2, Dyack has made a statement which explains a “small number” of staff have been laid off.

Silicon Knights has unfortunately had to lay off a small number of people. We are scaling back to a core group and focusing all our efforts on future opportunities.

No number has been mentioned so far – and this may well be the ebbs and flows of video game development (the same thing happened last November), but the timing is unfortunate for Silicon Knights, and won’t fill Eternal Darkness fans with confidence.

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