The confusing, confounding and craptastic development of X-Men: Destiny actually masked something else.
Everyone (almost) knows the story of Silicon Knights. The developer rose from the ranks with quality titles like Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. It then fetched a plum deal with Microsoft for Too Human, which really didn’t live up to expectations. Suddenly, after a two and a half year development, they came out with X-Men: Destiny, an atrocious adaptation with the franchise which was shrouded in secrecy and doubt.
Now that development process has come to light. Kotaku has an incredibly in-depth piece that showcases how, since separating from Nintendo, Silicon Knights fell under a very much tyrannical rule under President Dennis Dyack, who didn’t have any concern for the development of X-Men: Destiny (one source stated that, “SK didn’t take the development of XMD seriously the entire time I was there. Denis is not an X-Men fan either, so he didn’t care much for the license. To him, it seemed more like a job to get us by”), and in fact siphoned off resources from the project for another.
Which, surprisingly enough, was Eternal Darkness 2. “They were working on an Eternal Darkness 2 demo that they could take to publishers. While I was there, they were even siphoning off staff from my team to work on it. Although development on X-Men Destiny was already struggling, one source said that “SK had about 60% of the development team working on XMD and the other 40% working on ED2.”
Of course, rapid departures and the further ruination of the studio’s good name by X-Men: Destiny’s release turned Silicon Knights into a shadow of it’s former great self. And what of that Eternal Darkness 2 demo? “Bad tech, combined with a team composed of people who had not shipped a title since Metal Gear really hurt that demo.” Also, “a lot of key people responsible for the original Eternal Darkness are long gone.”
Currently, the studio employs less than five staff, including Dennis Dyack.