There are a lot of indie developers out there that sadly don’t receive all the funds they need. Sometimes an indie dev may get lucky and be picked up to join a program that Sony or Microsoft funds, but for the most part it’s a crap shoot as to whether a small firm or even an established one will get funding from a key source such as the government. With that being said, the government of Ontario has once again given developer Silicon Knights a rather substantial grant. The developer behind the classic Eternal Darkness and the not-so great Too Human, Silicon Knights has now received an additional $2 million grant on top of the $4 million grant they received last year. So within the last two years Silicon Knights has received $6 million in funding yet all they have to show for it is the extremely average looking X-Men Destiny.
I know it may be harsh for me to be a bit ticked off that Silicon Knights has received so much government aid in the last two years, but considering the products they’ve released lately I think my feelings are somewhat justified. It may be nice to see a developer thrive since this new batch of funding will allow Silicon Knights to hire eighty new staff members, but I still can’t help that the money is being squandered in a way on whatever ego trip project Denis Dyack is heading up now. Aside from strengthening their development team, the money Silicon Knights has acquired will also go towards a new game engine the studio is working on, which probably has something to do with how the company is suing Epic Games over Unreal Engine 3 and Epic’s supposed lack of help in aiding Silicon Knights during the development of Too Human.
"With Ontario government support, we are better-positioned to further develop the 8th Art of video games. This will enhance our competitive edge within the highly-competitive video game market, help us become a self-sustainable, self-publishing entity, and allow us to enter lucrative global markets," said Silicon Knights President Denis Dyack. Yes, on top of hiring new people and building a new game engine, Silicon Knights is also set on publishing their own games. We don’t see many studios go from releasing their games through publishers to going strictly self-publishing, but Silicon Knights will be making that jump at some point. Like many of the inner workings of Silicon Knights it’s unknown when we can expect to see the next original project from the company surface, but I’m wondering if we’re finally going to see the Too Human trilogy finish since I’m sure Dyack still wants his vision to be shown.
I’m all for people getting new jobs and working on stuff that they dig, but in the past few years Silicon Knights hasn’t exactly proven to be a studio that deserves a ton of financial support from government outlets compared to the many indie houses trying to get by. In general it’s nice to see that governments across the world are starting to support video game developers more and more, but I hope that the $6 million Silicon Knights has received so far doesn’t end up being used to fund some vanity project that won’t go over well at all with gamers.