Silicon Knights closes office and sells assets

Silicon Knights closes office and sells assets
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

May 10th 2013 at 11:12AM

Studio down to a handful of employees as its future remains unclear

Troubled Too Human developer Silicon Knights has closed its office and sold of the company’s game assets.

As reported by Polygon, the studio now houses just a few employees and has also sold off its office equipment.

A source claimed that Silicon Knights had laid off most of its staff last year, with much of the studio’s art assets and office equipment bought by Silicon Knights founder Denis Dyack’s new studio, Precursor Games, which is attempting to crowdfund a spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness, Shadow of the Eternals.

Despite the claims that the studio had finally closed, the developer’s chief financial officer Mike Mays said the company was still “definitely alive”, although refused to answer questions about what state it was in.

Silicon Knights has been embroiled in a multi-million dollar legal battle with Epic Games for a number of years, after the Too Human developer originally sought $58 million in damages after it claimed Epic did not provide sufficient support in its use of Unreal Engine 3, which it said affected subsequent sales.

The developer failed in its court case however, and last November a North Carolina judge ordered the studio to pay up $4.5 million to Epic, which had successfully argued that Silicon Knights had stolen trade secrets with regards to UE3.

As part of the ruling, the court also ordered the company to cease distributing Unreal Engine-developed games and also destroy all game and engine code related to titles created with Epic’s technology.

With some of the developer’s assets now moving to new studio Precursor Games, Epic is said to have filed a legal notice to the company in July last year to ensure UE3 tech and assets made with the engine had also not been transferred. It was later proven that all computers had been completely formatted prior to their sale.

Precursor CEO Paul Caporicci also stated the new studio “has no connection with Silicon Knights”, and said there was no liability or any claim against the company.

“We are a completely separate and independent entity and always have been," he said.

"Precursor is not and never has been a party to that case, and is not involved in it whatsoever. We purchased completely wiped clean machines, that is all. There is no basis for any liability or any claim against Precursor Games. We wish Silicon Knights the best of luck in their future."