Dyack Brags That 'Staggering' Layoffs Make His Studio 'Oldest'

In an interview, Denis Dyack bemoaned the "staggering" layoffs seen in game development over the past 18 months, then went on to talk about how such attrition has helped cement Silicon Knights as one of the longest tenured studios left.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Dyack touted Ontario as a potential global leader in the games sector once the economy recovers, and rather pointedly mentioned the rarity of his own studio's lifespan and that it makes him a well-positioned survivor amidst the bloodbath. Said Dyack:

It's been really a rough year and a half for the industry as a whole. The number of layoffs in the industry has been staggering. As an external developer it's been tough. I actually don't know anyone who's older than us any more. There used to be four or five people I knew of but I feel right now that we're one of the last of the V8s. I've talked to a lot of people and I know a lot of people who have gone out of business.


What that means for us is we're really excited because we're going to be able to come out, and the industry is going to rebound and grow, and we'll be one of probably five companies in the world that has any serious business beyond ten years.

"Serious business beyond 10 years"? Is he talking about the development of Too Human?

Dyack: Developer Layoffs and Closures have been "Staggering" [GamesIndustry.biz]


    Apparently tenure has nothing to do with quality of of work, in Mr Dyack's case.

      While people such as yourself who have only gotten into gaming with the xbox 360/ps3 migt not know this, Silicon Knights has made some great games, perhaps the best being Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.

    lol.. A couple of DOS games, a couple of Gamecube games and one Xbox 360 game..

    I had never heard of Silicon Knights to now.. if they were any good EA would have bought them ages ago..

    Good to know that there is a future for mind numbingly average games.

    As one of the people that enjoyed Too Human (yes! We exist!), it is fair to say that Dyack makes a point.

    The previous years involved a lot of investment into the gaming sector and many studios did not survive a long time.

    However, SK does make quality games. People like to bash Too Human (I don't understand why. Its certainly not perfect but I derived lots of pleasure from it), but SK have a proven track record in creating IP (Legacy of Kain), and universally-acclaimed games (Eternal Darkness). To be fair, a lot of the critical reaction to Too Human seemed (in my judgment) to be more "anti-Dyack" than anything else. Too Human wasn't perfect but the game clearly deserved a 7 or 8 out of 10 and was frighteningly addictive. I think a lot of the gaming press thought Dyack was attacking them or their treasured 'community' (which, conveniently, they like to see themselves as governing the opinions of), and attacked him by screaming his game sucked.

    Now, Too Human is not perfect, but it certainly did not suck.

      I suppose its fair to say, well for you a fan to say, it doesn't suck. But it doesn't take away the fact that i was the Fable of the Xbox 360.

      Although Fable still stayed a well-received and commercially successful game.

      If they never let it drag on in development and made it seem like the next best game with all the bragging they went on about, then their wouldn't be a lot of people trashing Too Human.

      But since that happened, let the trash-talk continue.

      Hear Hear, I'm sick and tired of these bashers. The only thing wrong with TH was that it was over-hyped. Still at least he's no Dr. Derek Smart.

      And what's with all this '10 years' bullshit. The game was a developmental idea and prototype for that amount of time, they worked on a few other titles within that period. The '10 years' he mentioned in the article isn't even a reference to that, it's a reference to the fact that his studio is still open while so many others are closing or being restructured, becoming new studios without old games to their name, including even Too Human.

    In all fairness, Eternal Darkness was an excellent game.

    Eternal Darkness was awesome, as was Blood Omen. I love the entire Legacy of Kain series but the original Blood Omen was easily one of the strongest titles in the series. Also don't forget they did Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes.

    You know Dyack has rubbed people the wrong way when folks can only remember Too Human.

      Why? It is a good game. Oh that's right, anything that isn't WoW or MW2 is spawn of satan right?

    Having just caught Owen not reading his sources twice in two days I've just gone back to see if he does this a lot, and he's doing it again here. The juxtaposition of the two quotes above suggests one is referring to the other; it's not. The "this" in "what this means for us" refers to the economic upturn in Canadian development resulting from the government-backed expansion of Ubisoft; it's NOT a reference to people going out of business or Silicon Knights being a long-lived studio.

    Go read the original article at gamesindustrybiz and then decide for yourself whether Owen's take bears any but the most hallucinatory resemblance to the source material. Certainly the article title is an innovative work of fiction in and of itself.

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