Sad news out of Canada today as Silicon Knights, one of the older developers in the video game industry, is reported to have laid off nearly 75-percent of its staff, leaving only 25 of the 97 person staff with jobs.
Silicon Knights was founded in 1992, and is headquartered in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada. The company’s first foray into the gaming industry came with Cyber Empires for Amiga, Atari ST and DOS in 1992, but they began to gain a reputation following the release of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain for the PC and PS One in 1996. They further earned praise for its next title in 2002, the GameCube game Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem.
The developer then worked on Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for GameCube before making the ill-fated leap to the 360 with the poorly received Too Human. Most recently, the company released X-Men: Destiny for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 to mixed reviews and low sales.
Although Silicon Knights has yet to officially announce that the majority of the staff are now unemployed, leaving only a small core of people, 1up has received multiple tips that that confirm the downsizing. Among those reportedly laid off was HR member Joanne Dyack, wife of Silicon Knights founder Denis Dyack, so the cuts seem to be across the board and without pity.
It’s unclear what might happen next for the developer. Over the last three years Silicon Knights received three grants totaling $8 million (CND). In July of this year Dyack claimed the grants would be used to make the developer “self-sustaining,” which would allow the staff to increase by 80 people, and keep the 97 employees working.