It does this Canadian gamer no good to see Silicon Knights fall so far.
Once lauded as the studio behind the masterful GameCube title Eternal Darkness, a game that deliciously and purposely screws with the person holding the controller, the company has produced only three major games since: GameCube's well-received Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (dig the oh-so-subtle homoerotic innuendo), and then this generation's Too Human (generally considered okay) and finally X-Men: Destiny (generally considered not okay). Each GameCube title was made in collaboration with Nintendo, while the latter two were made in an abortive relationship with Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3. That relationship went sour, with Silicon Knights suing Epic Games, alleging that they pulled support of the Unreal Engine and put the money into developing Gears of War, thus damaging both Too Human and X-Men: Destiny. Epic counter-sued, and ultimately prevailed, and a recent investigation by Andrew McMillen at Kotaku contains allegations of all sorts of unsavoury practices from Silicon Knights' management.
Now comes news from keen-eyed NeoGAF poster Xenon that Silicon Knights was not only ordered to pay 4.5 million USD in damages to Epic Games, but the court also ordered that:
"Not later than December 10, 2012, Silicon Knights shall destroy all versions of the Licensed Technology in its possession, including (but not limited to) the video game code and game engine code for Too Human, The Box/Ritualys, The Sandman, X-Men: Destiny, and Siren in the Maelstrom, all versions of the Unreal Engine 3, and all copies of any information obtained from the licensee restricted portions of the Unreal Developer Network."
Sources in the Kotaku exposé claim that staff were pulled from X-Men: Destiny to work on Eternal Darkness 2, but Silicon Knights' staff is reportedly decimated from layoffs, and one wonders if the company has the resources to create a game of that scope at this point.
I won't lie; I loved Eternal Darkness. I would equally love to see Silicon Knights pull itself out of the ditch and get on with a great sequel to that game, but the signs are not auspicious.