Denis Dyack Apologizes for X-Men: Destiny

Denis Dyack Apologizes for X-Men: Destiny

That Kotaku article has gotten under Dyack's skin.

If you've been following Precursor Games' Shadow of the Eternals Kickstarter then you're probably already aware of a Kotaku article concerning Silicon Knight's X-Men: Destiny implosion, if only because it comes up so often in the comments threads. Denis Dyack, formerly of Silicon Knights and now working at Precursor, has responded to the Kotaku piece with a lengthy video rebuttal, provoked by Precursor's struggling crowdfunding effort. As of time of writing Precursor's own Shadows campaign has raised $156,825, and its Kickstarter - running in parallel with Precursor's effort - has raised $81,511 of its $1.35 million ask. "The problem that we're facing," says Dyack, "is that [the Kotaku allegations] are affecting everyone here at Precursor Games."

"We are really sorry how [X-Men: Destiny] turned out," says Dyack. "I would think that there were some mistakes made, but all I can tell you is we did nothing but put our best efforts into this project." Also a substantial amount of Silicon's cash, according to Dyack. Because "we wanted our next game to be as good as possible," Dyack says, Silicon put into development $2 million more than Activision gave it, to make X-Men: Destiny a success. One of the claims made in the Kotaku article was that resources were diverted from X-Men development to other Silicon projects; Dyack hopes that his response to the Kotaku piece will be enough to put that particular allegation to rest.

Dyack rebuts the Kotaku piece pretty much in toto. Lack of facts and reliance on anonymous sources, Dyack alleges, make the article unreliable. However Dyack apologizes, not just for the game itself, but also for his reaction to press criticism at the time. "I've learned my lesson," he says, "I've learned it so much that, at Precursor, I'm not making business decisions like that." Other people run Precursor, not him, and if you want to know what they think of him, have a look at the segment from about 30 minutes in, to the end.

Whether or not the video rebuttal will be enough to save Precursor's Kickstarter is something we'll know in 29 days. And counting.

Source: Eurogamer

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Meh the truth is They still failed to deliver. You've managed to release other games, so it WASN'T your best effort.
However this seems to be a project they actually care about, so they might make this work. The only thing that should stop people from investing in this is if they were really looking forward to X-Men Destiny.

He can say whatever he wants. The fact is that he's associated with Silicon Knights, a company that hasn't produced a decent game in 9 years, and that he's expecting money from people based off of what? Perhaps he should make a game on his own to prove that his projects are worthwhile.

X-Men Destiny was their best effort? I'd hate to see what kind of X-Men game Silicon Knights would've made if they didn't care at all.

Isn't the point of Kickstarter to give money to companies you think won't botch the job? Wouldn't NOT giving money to a company who screws up a good idea? Kickstarter is all about public image.

Wasn't there a piece of news about a guy that worked in Silicon Knights that said they treated Destiny as a mere joke and never really cared about it or something?

Captcha "Love is Blind" After looking at some of my friends' dates... Indeed Escapist, indeed.

It's much easier to believe what he says when you remember Kotaku published the original article in question.

Hope it goes well for them all. There new game looks nice and might be nice to see it happen shame if all this hate boils over into hurting its creation.

Destiny was the last time I got burned on a pre-order and really opened my eyes about the whole process. If anything I owe them a thank you, not much of one, because the game was pure shit, but still.

Either way you've got a problem. You can apologize for Destiny, but if that's the best you can produce after putting all your effort into it perhaps we should hold off on that Eternal Darkness sequel till you get some better staff.

DVS BSTrD:
However this seems to be a project they actually care about, so they might make this work.

I'm pretty sure he really cared about Too Human as well.

Fappy:
It's much easier to believe what he says when you remember Kotaku published the original article in question.

But also harder to believe what he says because of the person saying it. The man is notorious for being a complete and utter asshole who also seems to be something of an awful businessman, a terrible game director, and possibly a liar to top things off.

I'd kind of like to see Shadow of the Eternals succeed, but based on this... I wouldn't put money on it, metaphorically or literally.

I understand the urge to rebut negative publicity, but saying "hey, we tried our best to make a good game" about an offering widely considered a failure when people are considering putting their money into your new game just gives people a sharp reminder that you and yours may not have the best handle on what a good game is. It makes it seem more likely that your past successes are a fluke and you're more interested in capitalizing on those few successes than actually exploring the ways they might be expanded on creatively.

Looking at the Kickstarter itself also hints at failure. They created "limited" tiers with better rewards at the same levels as unlimited tiers with inferior ones, presumably in an attempt to put time pressure on people to pony up. That's not how it's done, guys, especially when you're trying to raise over a million dollars. It's the kind of thing that makes people feel less like contributor-patrons to a worthy, underfunded project than slotted consumer-variables getting screwed over by another damned pre-order; people turn to Kickstarter in part to bypass exactly that kind of marketer-driven bullshit. Given that those oh-so-artificially-precious limited tiers all still have open slots as of this writing, it says something about how well that tactic worked.

So, ah, best of luck, Percursor- you've got your work cut out for you, and the blame for that lies largely on your own doorstep.

If I understand correctly, his argument is as follows:
We did everything we could to make X-men Destiny good.
We realize X-men Destiny wasn't very good.
Therefor, please give us more money so we can do everything we can to make our next game good.

I have absolutely no idea what the truth in this situation is, but purely tactically speaking, he'd have been better of claiming Destiny was a publisher-driven rush job, and that they can do much better with indepenent funding for a passion projected they really care about.

I want to believe it. I want more Eternal Darkness, too...but I can't roll with this. My head-canon is that Nintendo's oversight was the reason Eternal Darkness was so good, and that this team simply can't manage themselves properly in order to put out something good and finished.

They have the names, the titles, and the prototype for many publishers to decide to say "yes". Why would the public essentially give a pre-order "yes" if publishers who had a chance to make a profit said "no"? I do want more Eternal Darkness, but I just can't imagine that's what this would be. Half remake, half "spiritual successor", all misguided and kinda broken.

Grabehn:
Wasn't there a piece of news about a guy that worked in Silicon Knights that said they treated Destiny as a mere joke and never really cared about it or something?

Captcha "Love is Blind" After looking at some of my friends' dates... Indeed Escapist, indeed.

I believe that was from the article in question, or was stated by the guy called "SK Whistleblower".

Honestly I'm not impressed here. This kind of video should of been released BEFORE the kickstarter-ripoff attempt was made. That kotaku article was still more than half a year or so old at that point, and he had yet to bother to defend anything from it.

And his only real rebuttal here is "Lul Anonymous"? Yes, because going behind the screen of anonymity is solely used by writers to write whatever they want about something huh? Its not because badmouthing a former employer can potentially hamper or even kill your chances of working in that industry. It can't be because some people didn't want to even risk the aforementioned result.

And oh, the Kotaku article states all of that too. Dyack is about as unreliable as the sources here.

And lets face it, this video never would of been made in the first place if his little gamble for more money wasn't failing so hard. It's the exact same reason the Kickstarter was made, despite them claiming that it was impossible for them to do so on it.

bificommander:

I have absolutely no idea what the truth in this situation is, but purely tactically speaking, he'd have been better of claiming Destiny was a publisher-driven rush job, and that they can do much better with indepenent funding for a passion projected they really care about.

Going off the Kotaku article, X-men was technically a publisher-driven rush job. Yet it only became that because Dennis was blatantly lying time and time again to Activision about the project itself, this going on for a couple of years or so. Silicone Knights only really started working on the game when Activision made the public announcement with Silicone Knights logo right in big font on it.
In that end, the Publisher was tired of being led around for years, paying for practically nothing, and decided to announce the game and force them to work on it instead.

Bullshit you put your best efforts into it. It was a cash grab to be released alongside X-Men First Class, you weren't payed to make anything more than that, we get it. It happens.

According to Kicktraq we have nothing to worry about, the project has a very low chance of getting funding.

(seriously 1.35 million? even the big Kickstarters like Torment kept it below one million)

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/617502838/shadow-of-the-eternals/

You're not getting shit, Dyack.

Honestly, I feel sorry for the people that recruited you and for the co-workers having to put up with you.

Okay, time to play Devil's Advocate (well, not quite, I actually believe this project might end up well, if it gets funded, but it may as well be Devil's Advocate considering the fan-base's rabid approach):

1. "Silicon Knights hasn't made a good game in years". Silicon Knights hasn't. Not Precursor Games, you know the company with some of the same people, but Silicon Knights. I can't speak much about Too Human and X-Men: Destiny, but I can comment that these are two games made with a physics engine they pretty much sucked with, which is where a good chunk of the problems came from (e.g. you tend to be unable to make a bigger game when you're spending your days wrestling with software). This led to an ill-fated law-suit which led to X-Men: Destiny being doomed of any sales past the six-months point. However, not only they seem to know what the hell they're doing with the physics engine now based on the footage presented so far of the game, but it's also important to note a second time that it's only SOME of Silicon Knights.

2. "Denis Dyack was a terrible person and abused his co-workers". The same Denis Dyack that has been employed a second time by his former co-workers at Silicon Knights? Doesn't it come off as a bit odd that the same co-workers that apparently got abused or may of noticed the abuse would employ someone that has been personally targeted and black-balled by the gaming press and the gamers? To say that's weird is a mass under-statement since Silicon Knights doesn't seem like a printing-press of money and have things like ethics.

3. "Denis Dyack pooled funds from X-Men: Destiny to fund Eternal Darkness 2". I've got three separate points about this:
a. X-Men: Destiny? People get excited over Marvel/DC games? Or at least excited enough that when they flop they take it as a personal insult? Marvel/DC games have a notorious history of being a hideously hit/flop switch. Sometimes they hit and you end up with Batman: Arkham series or Marvel Vs Capcom series. Sometimes they flop, which they flop either because they're flat out bad (e.g. from what I remember Mortal Kombat Vs DC was part of that collection, if not I can always just shift through a bargain bin at Game and see what's there) or because they appeal to a niche audience (e.g. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance). Based on the track history, it was going to be surprising if it was ever going to do well since it seemed to be taking a more niche approach. Unsurprisingly, they didn't.
b. Let's say it's correct they pooled funds into Eternal Darkness 2. Shouldn't that show how much they love the game series? Isn't that a statement of "if we're going to do anything right in our damn lives, this is going to be it"? If that argument was pointed at any other game Denis Dyack was involved in, fair enough, but this is an argument that may as well be pointed at Eternal Darkness 2. The argument only shows why they're going to do it right, not how the project is going to end badly.
c. Denis Dyack's role in the company is Chief Creative Officer. They have the ability to do a lot of things such as design how the game will be and work out cool game mechanics. They also tend to dabble with the writing. You know what it doesn't entail? Finances. It's like concluding "well, I don't know ...Neil deGrasse Tyson can't design a cure for cancer, I don't know if he's equipped to comment on space". Even then, there's other creative input by those who invest in this.

Seriously, if you want to not fund this game due to a reason that's core with the game, then do that. Check out the trailer, read the things they're talking about and check out other things they're offering up. Don't just push this to a side because of a personal vendetta against Denis Dyack. At best it doesn't make that much sense (it makes a little, but not a whole lot of sense), and at worst you're acting like Precursor Games is Denis Dyack. A quick piece of research will tell you that Precursor Games is definitely not Denis Dyack.

Riobux:

b. Let's say it's correct they pooled funds into Eternal Darkness 2. Shouldn't that show how much they love the game series? Isn't that a statement of "if we're going to do anything right in our damn lives, this is going to be it"? If that argument was pointed at any other game Denis Dyack was involved in, fair enough, but this is an argument that may as well be pointed at Eternal Darkness 2. The argument only shows why they're going to do it right, not how the project is going to end badly.

The point of contention here, I would see, isn't that they were pulling all their money into Eternal Darkness 2.

The problem was, as the kotaku article said, that Dyack was pulling money out of Activision's funding for X-men into the development of Eternal Darkness 2.

You know, the same kind of thing Gearbox was alleged of doing with Sega's money when they took all the Colonial Marines cash and spent it all on booze, hookers, crack, and a whole bunch of crazy guns (aka Borderlands 1 and 2). The same thing that now has Gearbox pretty hated by fans because of doing that.

If Dyack did indeed rip funds and team members off the X-men staff, he shouldn't be congratulated. You shouldn't praise him for "caring so much for ED2".

Besides, they might not even of been interested in doing it "right". Eternal Darkness is a classic, and they know it. They wouldn't have to do much to hype the game besides announcing it, and pre-orders alone for the title would of more than likely of been high, crap or not game otherwise. This was all around the point where the lawsuits were getting heavy, and for all we know they were just looking for a quick buck to save their (or his) ass.

Okay, I cut a good chunk out. My defence wasn't to say congratulations or praising him for pooling funds elsewhere, but more a symbol that they do care about the project enough that it's not just to print money.

cursedseishi:

Besides, they might not even of been interested in doing it "right". Eternal Darkness is a classic, and they know it. They wouldn't have to do much to hype the game besides announcing it, and pre-orders alone for the title would of more than likely of been high, crap or not game otherwise. This was all around the point where the lawsuits were getting heavy, and for all we know they were just looking for a quick buck to save their (or his) ass.

If they wanted to just print money, then why did they sit on the project? As you said, all they needed to do is snap their fingers, declare "we're making Eternal Darkness 2 now guys, this is our soul project" and vomit that out in a year. There are other game genres and game types that are even easier to print money with in comparison to an Eternal Darkness sequel. Maybe it's because the series would be destroyed if they did it badly? Since you can only really make one bad game in a series before people declare the series dead. It is possible they were planning or are planning to make the game quick, cheap and easy but it's the same problem as burning your house for the insurance: You can only really do it once.

It'd also seem strange to follow up a bomb like Too Human with a completely different game if you viewed Eternal Darkness as a cash-cow. It'd be better to follow up Too Human with Eternal Darkness 2, and then use the money from the quickly-made sequel to make a game that can make a lot of money.

Okay then, a number of things.
Firstly, who even pays attention to Kotaku anymore?
Secondly, I don't remember X-Men Destiny being a bad game. Not interesting and really boring, but not bad.
Thirdly, didn't Kotaku use to have integrity? I don't remember them always being a horrible mess.

Radoh:

Secondly, I don't remember X-Men Destiny being a bad game. Not interesting and really boring, but not bad.

It was a functional game, but little more than that. The touted ability-swapping mechanic was pointless outside a few combinations that essentially made your character a god; even for a multiple-paths game, the story has been re-tread so many times in X-Men comics, cartoons and films that I don't know why the even bothered with one...Oh, and it also still holds the prestige of having the worst moral choice system I've ever seen in a game, since literally the only thing it changes for about 90% of the game is who you speak to in a cutscene.

I would definitely go with the rush job theory, because when I played through it I assumed that it was originally meant to be an MMO whose bottle went and they decided to just release it as a very dull action/RPG; overall the whole game just lacked polish and felt extremely bare and unfinished.

Ordinarily in this situation I would say that no developer sets out to make a bad game and that sometimes you just misfire, but if he is honestly calling that their best effort then he should seek a different line of employment.

Wasn't Destiny absolutely awful? You would think they'd be better off saying they couldn't be arsed with it than saying that was their best effort.

I am not giving that man a half hour of my time, let alone any of my moneycash.

 

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