Silicon Knights Appeal Fails, $9.2 Million Epic Judgment Upheld

Silicon Knights Appeal Fails, $9.2 Million Epic Judgment Upheld

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Does Silicon Knights exist any more? Good question.

Silicon Knights, creator of Too Human and X-Men Destiny, has lost its appeal against the $9.2 million judgment awarded to Epic Games back in 2012. That judgement has been upheld in its entirety by the Court of Appeals. Silicon Knights acted in bad faith, the Court confirms, when it infringed the Unreal Engine 3 copyright, and now has to pay up.

The question now is, does Silicon Knights still exist? When last anyone heard of Silicon Knights, its CFO Mike Mays was quick to say the studio was alive. Yet its PCs - carefully wiped clean of data - and office furniture, as well as many of its staff, went to Precursor Games, the studio that tried to Kickstart Shadow of the Eternals.

When that failed, twice, Denis Dyack announced that Precursor's people would be "taking a break," and that while the forums would continue to operate the studio was on indefinite hiatus. Precursor's people "have no regrets," Dyack claimed. The most recent post on the forum, made by a moderator, suggests that the team still wants to make Shadow of the Eternals work, but at this stage it's difficult to see how.

The Silicon Knights website still exists, and there's even a functional link to the Store, with stuff for sale. Not the games, before you ask; just tees, hoodies, caps and mugs. Cafepress merch seems to be all that's left of Dyack's studio, but it'll take more than a few novelty T-shirt sales to cover Silicon Knights' bills.

Source: Eurogamer, Court of Appeals

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I hope they have another go at Too Human, loved the history and the designs etc Just the game was terrible, think if it was on a similar scale to Mass Effect then it would have been awesome. I remember years ago it was ME trilogy and the Too Human Trilogy that the websites were going on about. I guess it just seemed TH was more rpg than hack and slash.

Well, that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin for Shadows of the Eternal.

I still feel a bit foolish telling all my friends Too Human was going to be awesome. I loved Legacy of Kain, Eternal Darkness, and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. How could they screw it up?

... my friends still laugh at me. What could've been...

The downfall of Silicon Knights is so last decade, it's all about 38 Studios these days!

And I hope Epic weren't counting on actually getting any of that money since they're unlikely to ever see any out of Silicon/Precursor now.

SonOfVoorhees:
I hope they have another go at Too Human, loved the history and the designs etc Just the game was terrible...

Too Human was a great idea utterly ruined by terrible gameplay. Their other "hit", Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, was much the same, but ED's faults were more forgivable given its memorable story and mechanics. Given the mismanagement that torpedoed the developer, it seems unlikely we'll ever see a sequel to either. You never know, though. It's not like they're terribly valuable IPs. Someone with a passion for techno-Asgardians (or eldritch horror in the case of Eternal Darkness) may pick it up on the cheap and do something worthwhile with it. I just wouldn't hold my breath.

SonOfVoorhees:
I hope they have another go at Too Human, loved the history and the designs etc Just the game was terrible, think if it was on a similar scale to Mass Effect then it would have been awesome. I remember years ago it was ME trilogy and the Too Human Trilogy that the websites were going on about. I guess it just seemed TH was more rpg than hack and slash.

I seriously doubt they could shake the stigma of the first game.

Trishbot:
Well, that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin for Shadows of the Eternal.

I thought the nail in the coffin was nobody being willing to support it.

More seriously, though, the studio creating the game is different from SK, though it's formed with members of the same team. If indefinite hiatus and two failed kickstarters isn't sufficient to kill your hope, this probably shouldn't be.

CriticalMiss:
The downfall of Silicon Knights is so last decade, it's all about 38 Studios these days!

It's like wearing white after Labour Day! How gauche!

I really wish they would get their act together....

I have faith in these guys...it's juts so hard sometimes...

God, the SK beatdown was one of the most incredible legal outcomes I've ever seen. I remember when the whole thing started, when SK sued Epic. I thought the whole thing was bull at first; SK's logic just didn't sit quite right. Then Epic counter-sued and things got good.

And finally the outcome. Silicon Knights was forced to destroy - destroy - every copy of Too Human at their expense. Plus, there was all the money SK owed Epic. It was impressive just how thoroughly a legal victory Epic won.

Here's probably the best article about the aftermath: http://www.giantbomb.com/articles/why-silicon-knights-vs-epic-games-is-probably-over/1100-4839/

Trishbot:
Well, that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin for Shadows of the Eternal.

I still feel a bit foolish telling all my friends Too Human was going to be awesome. I loved Legacy of Kain, Eternal Darkness, and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. How could they screw it up?

... my friends still laugh at me. What could've been...

To be perfectly honest, Too Human being a bad game shouldn't have been that much of a surprise. Blood Omen was a pretty simple top down dungeon crawler (with some of the worst slow down in history), Eternal Darkness had terrible controls and gameplay (only being saved by the good story and sanity effects to be honest), and Twin Snakes was basically a straight port of the level design from MGS to the gameplay and engine of MGS2, so they didn't really do anything of their own there either.

These guys were never gameplay people. They could put together a good story and characters but beyond that they never had much else to lean on when selling their games. Their good titles were really good almost in spite of themselves.

As shitty as Silicon Knights has become, Eternal Darkness will always hold a special place in my heart. Here's looking at you, kid!

CriticalMiss:
And I hope Epic weren't counting on actually getting any of that money since they're unlikely to ever see any out of Silicon/Precursor now.

I doubt they expected any money from this at the end, given what SK tried to pull it was more about Epic pissing on SK's chips, then ramming them down SK's throat.

If nothing else, it shows that spreading false information, starting frivolous lawsuits, stealing copyrighted material and reneging on contracts are not things you should try to do to Epic games. Maybe the next guy will be a bit more careful.

Trishbot:
Well, that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin for Shadows of the Eternal.

I still feel a bit foolish telling all my friends Too Human was going to be awesome. I loved Legacy of Kain, Eternal Darkness, and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. How could they screw it up?

... my friends still laugh at me. What could've been...

Honestly I think SK's good games were a fluke. They only made the first Legacy of Kain game and its nothing like the rest of the series. MGS: Twin Snakes was a simple remake and Eternal Darkness had to have been a result of the stars aligning.

Everything else they've mad was garbage. And the only reason they were around long enough to make Too Human is because the Provincial Government of Ontario kept bailing them out as some poor attempt to compete with Quebec in the Canadian video game world. They've been nearly flatlining for over 10 years now.

 

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