Precursor Games has launched their second attempt at funding their “spiritual successor” to the Gamecube cult classic Eternal Darkness. While the game’s original fundraising campaign ended prematurely and fell far short of its goal, Precursor is confident that the game will be successfully funded this time around.
The new Kickstarter campaign for the game only has a goal of $750,000 — half of what Precursor originally asked for. Denis Dyack, the former head of Eternal Darkness developer Silicon Knights and Precursor Games’ new creative director, says that they were able to lower their crowd funding goal because the company was able to secure some private investments from some as-yet-unnamed partners.
In his interview with Polygon, Dyack also addressed some of the other criticisms and gossip that have surrounded Precursor Games ever since their inception.
Dyack’s former company, Silicon Knights, is still technically in business, but for all intents and purposes the company is effectively dead — Silicon Knights was forced to lay off most of its employees following poor sales of games like Too Human and X-Men: Destiny, and it also lost a high profile court case against Epic, the creators of the Unreal engine. During the course of their legal battle with Epic, a court discovered that Silicon Knights had illegally used trademarked code and technology from Epic, and the company was ordered to pay Epic $4.45 million dollars and destroy any remaining unsold stock of Too Human and X-Men: Destiny. Precursor has been accused of being Silicon Knight’s “shell company,” designed to allow the company to continue to develop new products while avoiding paying back the millions of dollars that they still owe Epic.
Dyack says those allegations are entirely untrue. While Precursor is mostly made up of former Silicon Knights employees and Shadow of the Eternals is being made with assets recycled from a cancelled Silicon Knights game, Dyack says that there is no legal connection between the two companies. “No, they’re not related in any way, and that’s not the basis or the reason corporations are formed,” Dyack told Polygon when asked about the connection between the two companies. “[CEO] Paul [Caporicci] formed Precursor Games. It’s a completely separate company. It’s got nothing to do with Silicon Knights. None of that is true whatsoever — you just have to look up the incorporation papers. At the end of the day, almost all, if not every rumor is pretty much unsubstantiated.”
Despite all the negative rumors surrounding the game, Precursor is confident that they’ll be able to get Shadow of the Eternals funded this time. The game is still being developed for the PC and Wii U, and Precursor has added a possible PS4 version as one of the Kickstarter campaign’s stretch goals. While the game will still be released in an episodic season, Precursor is now guaranteeing that the game’s backers will receive “one full story,” (basically, enough content to warrant a “full game.”) instead of just receiving a certain number of episodes. The new Kickstarter page also reveals that David Hayter, the recently replaced voice of Metal Gear’s Solid/Naked Snake, will voice one of the game’s central characters, Detective Paul Becker.
You can read more about Shadow of the Eternals, including some impressions from the game’s first demo and more of Dyack’s interview, over at Polygon.