Canadian studio Silicon Knights, developer of Eternal Darkness, Too Human and X-Men Destiny, has suffered another blow with the failure of its appeal against a judgement ordering it to pay Unreal Engine maker Epic Games $9.2 million in damages following a costly legal battle that began in 2005.
12th December 2012
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Eternal Darkness and Too Human developer Silicon Knights is "definitely alive," despite Epic Games' $4.45 million dollar lawsuit against the studio for Unreal Engine 3 licensing fees that resulted in all copies of Too Human and X-Men: Destiny to be recalled.
UPDATE: Microsoft has confirmed it removed Too Human content from the Xbox Marketplace at developer Silicon Knights' request.
Silicon Knights' cancelled games have been laid bare as part of a wide-ranging investigation by a member of NeoGAF.
User Mama Robotnik lists all known Silicon Knights games, including those released and unreleased, and unearths screenshots, concept art, renders and videos to showcase them.
Among the listed games is Too Human 2, Too Human 3, Eternal Darkness 2 and a number of aborted games worked on after the release of the first Too Human for Microsoft Game Studios.
After Canadian developer Silicon Knights lost its legal battle against Epic Games over the use of the Unreal Engine earlier this year it was ordered to destroy all games it built with the tech, it's emerged.
UPDATE: Silicon Knights will have 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.
Too Human developer Silicon Knights will only be eligible for $1 in damages if it wins its ongoing court case with Unreal Engine creator Epic Games.
If second-hand/pre-owned/used game sales continue unabated, our industry will "cannibalise" itself, Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack believes.
Too Human developer Silicon Knights has confirmed reports of a drastic set of redundancies at the studio.
CFO Mike Mays told the Financial Post that it has shed 45 employees, leaving just under 40 staff on the payroll.
Mays cited a cancelled project for Activision as the reason behind the cut-backs.
A round of redundancies has hit Denis Dyack's Silicon Knights studio, reducing the payroll from nearly 100 down to just 25, according to a 1Up report.
The swamp of tacky iOS games is "eroding" the overall quality of the entire handheld market, reckons Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack - the App Store is causing "dramatic disruption".
A sequel to much hyped but under-performing Xbox 360 fantasy epic Too Human could be on the cards, according to creator Denis Dyack.
Too Human developer Silicon Knights has been given a further $4 million by the Canadian government to help produce a new and unannounced game.
Denis Dyack, the outspoken boss of Too Human developer Silicon Knights, believes his studio is now "one of the last of the V8s", following a turbulent year in the industry of videogames.
Silicon Knights' next game may be very well be called "Siren in the Maelstrom", judging by a press release from Canada Telefilm commenting on projects approved for government aid.
Too Human developer Silicon Knights has temporarily laid off 26 employees while work on "several new and exciting games" gets under way.
Peter Molyneux reckons there was something "slightly off" about Too Human, and says he would have done things differently had he been in charge.
Afrika almost became king of the Japanese chart-jungle this week, but was beaten to the throne by quirky DS music game Rhythm Tengoku Gold (Rhythm Heaven here).
The latest and acclaimed instalment in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series has roared to the top of the UK all-formats top 40 this week.
The furore surrounding the long-awaited release of Too Human hasn't been pretty, but it has given outspoken Silicon Knights chief Denis Dyack a platform on which to ignite debate on subjects he feels have dogged the title throughout its development.
Outspoken Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has claimed he couldn't give two hoots about the criticial response to Too Human, expressing his confidence that gamers will enjoy the Norse action-RPG if they just give it a chance.
"I'm not worried about the critical reception at all," he told Eurogamer, speaking at a press event in London earlier this month.
"Do I think people are going to be critical? Well people already have - people were critical about the game before they'd even played it, so I don't think that's necessarily going to change."
I think it's only fair to warn you. These are first words I'm typing, but I can already tell from my notes that this is going to be a laundry list of complaints, gripes and grumbles. And that's a shame, because Too Human isn't a terrible game. It's just one of those "could've been" games where potential is squandered in so many areas that it's hard to know where to begin. Suffice to say, most of the game's good points can be summed in one simple sentence: it's a pretty good action game. Not a very good one, and certainly not a great one, but a slightly-above-average entry in the hack'n'slash genre that provides amusement amidst annoyances.
The core concept won't be new to anyone who watched Ulysses 31 in the 1980s. It's ancient mythology rewritten as science fiction, with Norse legends retold as an advanced civilisation where cybernetically-enhanced humans are considered protective gods by the general population. Our hero is Baldur, favoured creation of the AI program ODIN and popular people's champion of Asgard. You can rename him (although everyone still calls him Baldur) and choose one of five classes for him, and each will be familiar to regular RPG players. Berserker is your meaty melee combat specialist while Commando is your choice for firearms and ranged weapons. Champion is the piggy in the middle, averagely proficient at both forms of fighting. Defender is the heavily armoured tank option, with Bio Engineer the surrogate Mage, able to heal himself and others.
Your choice made, you're dropped into the game at the head of Baldur's "wolf pack", a squad of space marine types, and you're set on the trail of the monstrous robot GRNDL-1 (Cyber-Beowulf was too busy). As you stroll through the ruined Hall of Heroes, robot goblins attack and you're introduced to Too Human's curious combat system. Rather than use the face buttons, you direct your melee attacks with the right stick. Move the stick in the direction of an enemy, and Baldur lunges at them. This basic template can be modified by using the left stick in the same direction, making Baldur launch energy projectiles or fly towards enemies depending on how far away they are, while a double directional twitch juggles foes into the air. Successful attacks fill a combo meter, which can be used to deploy Ruiners - radial smart-bomb attacks that vary from weapon to weapon. Ballistic attacks, meanwhile, are carried out by holding down the right trigger, which starts you shooting with your equipped firearm, and then the right stick is once more used to direct your fire.
Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has alleged that Epic "defrauded" an entire chunk of the games industry when promoting Unreal Engine 3.
Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack said hitting the level 50 limit in Too Human may take anywhere between 50 to 80 hours.
Microsoft has announced the demo for Too Human has been downloaded from Xbox Live 900,000 times.
The Too Human demo allows access to the other four classes found in the full game, besides the Champion.
The Too Human demo is now available from Xbox Live.
Microsoft is to release a demo for vikings-in-space adventure Too Human next week.
It's not really in the room yet, but playing through a near-finished build of Too Human, Diablo III is certainly an elephant on the horizon. Cruising around the universe as a cyberpunk Norse myth splattering tinsel-covered robots with a big blue hammer, something Blizzard's Rob Pardo said the other weekend springs to mind: "If there were a ton of games out in the market that are the isometric action-RPG model, then we probably would have more seriously done a different approach." Too Human is trying to be something like that - a mixture of hackandslash and shooter and customisation-heavy RPG, with an isometric camera among the various automated options - but if this had come out a year ago would Blizzard have looked elsewhere for its next big reveal?
Denis Dyack has taken to the Internet to "draw the digital line" under criticism of his forthcoming Xbox 360 game, Too Human.
SEGA Europe has told Eurogamer that The Crucible: Evil Within is not the game Silicon Knights is making for it.
Microsoft plans to give us a look at Halo Wars during the upcoming July E3 event, as well as reveal more about headline-grabber Gears of War 2.
Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack believes halving Too Human co-op from four players to two "was just the right thing to do".
Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has told Eurogamer there are plans to release a demo of Too Human via Xbox Live.
Silicon Knights has revealed that Too Human co-op has been chopped in half and will now support just you and a friend.
Microsoft has said Too Human will be released in Europe on 29th August, and in the US ten days earlier on 19th August.
As we all sit around rubbing hoof-shaped marks out of our foreheads, Microsoft has whipped open the stable doors and explained what's going on at its event in San Francisco - confirming names and details for Banjo-Kazooie and Viva Piñata sequels among other things.
Big news first: Cliff Bleszinski will be on hand in San Francisco to show off "dramatic new gameplay elements" in Gears of War 2 using a "campaign sequence from early in the game - where Marcus Fenix and COG forces engage in pulse-pounding firefights between two Derrick transports, fend off vicious Reaver fly-by attacks and rabid Brumaks" ahead of the game's November release on 360. Ellie is currently checking her pencil batteries and sharpening her dictaphone, so expect her report on all that very soon.
What's more, Too Human developer Silicon Knights has announced that the game will be out in the US on 19th August and in Europe on 29th August, giving us the chance to stab futuristic vikings in the face with inadequately researched contextual comments [very post-modern - Ed].
Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack reckons games or films grouped together posthumously are nothing more than marketing ploys.
Denis Dyack says he's surprised there's been such a big turnout for his pre-GDC presentation. Indeed, every seat in the room is taken and there are plenty more journalists standing at the back. But is that really so surprising? After all, Too Human is high up on the list of the most interesting titles coming exclusively to Xbox 360 this year - and it's not a long list.
Too Human developer Silicon Knights has been given CAD 500,000 to help kick-start work on its psychological action thriller.
Microsoft Game Studios boss Shane Kim has confirmed that the Marvel Universe MMO has been canned.
Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has questioned the long-term effects of government subsidies in Canada and called them "insane" and unsustainable, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
The judge in the middle of the squabble between Epic Games and Silicon Knights has refused to dismiss the lawsuit.
Silicon Knights' Denis Dyack has said that he believes "justice will be done" when his company's case against Epic Games over an alleged lack of Unreal Engine 3 support is heard.
Of all the discussions at the Games Convention Developer's Conference, Denis Dyack's stood out partly because he was making a contentious point rather than a safe one, and partly because of the sheer degree to which his argument inspires discussion. At the time of writing, our write-up of his speech has been met with nearly 250 comments - more than three times as many as Julian Eggebrecht's keynote, which effectively had full-on pornography in it. Dyack believes that a unified gaming platform is inevitable, arguing that the history of commoditisation in other industries guarantees it. We sat down with Dyack, president of Too Human developer Silicon Knights, and put some of your and our queries to him.
Outspoken developer Denis Dyack outlined his vision of a one-console future in a speech at GCDC yesterday, arguing that the history of commoditization in other industries meant the standardisation of gaming hardware was an inevitability - and something we might see as soon as the next cycle of console hardware.
Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has said a demo for 360 exclusive Too Human is in the works and should emerge at some point before the game's release in 2008.
Epic Games is counter-suing Silicon Knights, accusing the Too Human developer of attempting to "take Epic's licensed technology, pay nothing for it, and use it any way it pleases", GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Developer Silicon Knights has filed a breach of contract lawsuit in North Carolina against Epic Games, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Silicon Knights' Denis Dyack says the company didn't bring Too Human to E3 because it's too busy finishing the game.
Gamers no longer want to play games that last 60 or 100 hours according to Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack.
Game God Denis Dyack, boss of Silicon Knights, believes that the games industry needs to radically reconsider the way it markets its output.
Too Human developer Silicon Knights' outspoken director Denis Dyack has, well, spoken out about a number of things the team has in plan for its upcoming Xbox 360-exclusive.
Too Human will feature four-player jump-in coop and could launch as soon as this year.
Xbox 360 titles Forza Motorsport 2, Crackdown, Shadowrun and Too Human are now down for release before the end of June 2007, Peter Moore has admitted.
Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack subscribes to the view that PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are roughly equal.
Silicon Knights president Dennis Dyack has explained why Too Human was absent from Microsoft's recent X06 showcase, despite having been around in playable form at E3 several months earlier.
Microsoft has taken the unusual step of publicly denying reports stating that Silicon Knights had abandoned the use of Unreal Engine 3 in its Xbox 360 title Too Human.
Microsoft is surely counting its blessings with two former Nintendo-centric developers showing at this years E3. Obviously, Silicon Knights' previous epic Eternal Darkness helped fill a void within the first year of the GameCube lineup, and SK is back again to provide a similar favour for Microsoft. Comparisons between these two games seem natural. Particle effects, colour schemes, and sweeping cinematic in-game camera are emphasised in both games, which creates an auteur atmosphere for players of Too Human and Eternal Darkness.
Silicon Knights has revealed new details of Too Human, the first instalment in what's billed as a "three part trilogy" (as opposed to a four part trilogy?) of epic action games.
Too Human, you may recall, was long ago announced as being in development for the PlayStation and then the GameCube - but it was finally confirmed as an Xbox 360 exclusive back in May.
The game sees you playing as "Cybernetic God" Baldur, who finds himself tasked with fighting for the whole of humankind after an army of monstrous machines goes on the warpath.
Hel in a handbasket.
Following news that Silicon Knights (the developer behind Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes) has signed up to develop Too Human exclusively for the Xbox 360, the first details of the game have emerged.
According to US magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly, the game puts you in the role of a god named Balder. We're promised �sweeping, epic battles�, �oceans of organised enemies� and an online two-player co-op mode.
Silicon Knights boldly describes Too Human as �the Xbox 360's God of War�, adding that it's only the first part of a planned trilogy.