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Shiggy
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:02 PM)
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Why did it take so long to respond to the article?
- Dyack did not think that people would believe it
- He is now coming forward as it's impacting the fundraising campaign

Email from Andrew McMillen
- "There is no hard evidence apart from non-credible anonymous sources"
- Email from Andrew McMillen, which was forwarded to SK.
- Wired did not decide to go ahead with the story
- When McMillen was confronted with only having 8 anonymous sources, he said that it's fair enough

- Dyack: McMillen was aware that it would ruin SK and Dyack's reputation

Originally Posted by Andrew McMillen

The gaming editor at Wired, Chris Kohler, expressed significant interest in my draft. However, after discussing the matter with his managing editor, they've decided not to go ahead with the story in its current state. This is what he told me:

"There are a lot of serious allegations in the story, not least the idea that Silicon Knights is trying to scam publishers out of money and not deliver games. But there are no real facts, documentation, etc. to back any of this up besides the word of anonymous ex-employees."

Which is fair enough, of course. It is my role, as a journalist, to seek truth which can be confirmed with facts. And it is Wired's responsibility, as a publisher, to verify the truth of any claims before publication.

As it stands, the most controversial and potentially damaging claim within my story is that Silicon Knights have a long history of deceiving publishers, by intentionally pushing out their deadlines and budgets while using the publisher-supplied cash to fund development of their own IP. I believe this is a claim that could potentially ruin Silicon Knights if it is published. I should point out that it is not my intention to ruin SK. I am simply reporting what has been told to me, by yourself and your seven former colleagues.

But allegations are hard to prove, especially without hard evidence. I fear that this is one such situation. Though I have independently corroborated from my interviews that this type of behaviour took place at SK, I can't prove it without evidence.


Funds were diverted from X-Men Destiny to fund ED2 prototype
- SK put more money into X-Men Destiny than they received from Activision as they wanted it to be better than their last game
- Half way through the project, Dyack sat down with Activision executives and talked about how to improve the game after having paid 2 million more than they got paid
- Activision was stunned by this; they appreciated it and even told Dyack it was not a good business move
- Dyack sorry about how the game turned out
- Dyack also sorry about having said certain things in the past, he learnt his lesson and is now not involved in business decisions at Precursor
- Article says that 8 people totalling 45 years of experience were interviewed; Dyack says that people with only 5 years at SK would not know the budget allocation; those people who knew the allocation were not interviewed
- SK had open policy when working with partners; used Perforce and Hansoft; Activision could look at both databases and see which employee worked on what project
- External audits confirmed this


Allegation of why Silicon Knights left Nintendo
- Relationship between Dyack and Nintendo still close
- Iwata recommended that SK would become a second party
- Nintendo and SK went different ways because they wanted to create different types of games
- Nintendo were not oppressive but constructive

Allegation of claims that artists are a "dime a dozen"
- "Nothing could be further from the truth"
- Average salary 25000-30000$ higher than St.Catherines area and comparable to that at large publishers in larger cities
- People like Kevin Gordon would not work with him for over 20 years and many others stayed at SK for 10-15 years

Allegation of Activision demanding to know about staff leaving
- None of that was true, they did not feel out of the loop
- SK went through difficult time with layoffs and departures, but there was no exodus
- Turnover rate was low
- Former SK employees congratulated to Precursor campaign, Dyack does not believe this would have happened if they were treated poorly

Allegation of Activision changing the credits
- Dyack made the final call on credits, not Activision
- Allegation is untrue

Denis Closing Thoughts
- "I made a lot of mistakes"
- "I said a lot of things I should not have said"
- "Learnt my lesson"
- Focusses on creative design now


Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=Lm6gGFLMr_o

Chapter Selection

0:00 - Introduction
2:30 - Why take so long to respond to the article?
6:19 - Andrew McMillen Email
11:52 - Allegation of diverting funds from XMD
19:55 - Allegation of why Silicon Knights left Nintendo
23:02 - Allegation of claims that artists are a "dime a dozen"
25:06 - Allegation of Activision demanding to know about staff leaving
26:54 - Allegation of Activision changing the credits
27:57 - Denis Closing Thoughts
29:46 - Paul and Shawn Closing Thoughts

Kotaku article

Post is going to be updated.


Conflict of Interest Questions about Joanne Dyack in Human Resources said:

Having a founders spouse in a company is very common among many small to medium size businesses. Joanne was in HR for over 10 years at SK. Anyone hired during that time had an understanding of this before accepting employment at Silicon Knights. Furthermore, there were two other people in HR that could be utilized if for any reason they did not want to speak to her.


Why Credits are always difficult said:

Consider this:

If you had 100 people who worked equally on a project, how many of those 100 people would feel they only contributed 1% to that project?

Credits are a difficult issue and there is always passionate debate on what policy to use. It is common that some people may be unhappy with what credit they received because from their own perspective they may feel they contributed more than what others believe.


New Credit Policy during XMD said:

The Kotaku article claims that the credit policy for XMD was newly introduced at Silicon Knights. This is in fact, not true. The credit policy used in XMD was the same one used for Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem and is commonly used throughout the video game industry.

http://www.precursorgames.com/forums...ts-email.1465/
Last edited by Shiggy; 05-19-2013 at 08:47 PM.
NeoNess
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:03 PM)
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Against.
Wario64
works for Gamestop (lol)
(05-19-2013, 08:03 PM)
34 minutes, lol

Chapter Selection

0:00 - Introduction
2:30 - Why take so long to respond to the article?
6:19 - Andrew McMillen Email
11:52 - Allegation of diverting funds from XMD
19:55 - Allegation of why Silicon Knights left Nintendo
23:02 - Allegation of claims that artists are a "dime a dozen"
25:06 - Allegation of Activision demanding to know about staff leaving
26:54 - Allegation of Activision changing the credits
27:57 - Denis Closing Thoughts
29:46 - Paul and Shawn Closing Thoughts


More notes: http://www.precursorgames.com/forums...ts-email.1465/
jacksepticeye
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:05 PM)
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I don't really have the time to listen to Dyack try explain away some shit, I wish I did have time to watch it all though.

Would love a synopsis later though from someone :)
Roche
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:06 PM)
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I wonder if he still browses Gaf.
Jackpot
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:06 PM)
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Nothing can change the fact a court ruled they tried to steal Epic's engine and pretend they'd made it from scratch.
SniperHunter
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:06 PM)
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this guy is such a tool, just lies after lies. He is just spinning things
Zombie James
(05-19-2013, 08:08 PM)
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"I distinctly remember a theater review of the ‘Chinatown' level, which was so broken that it was completely unnavigable, even by the lead designer playing it," a source says. "Dyack's only note was that the ‘lights should be more red.' In another instance, he thought the final boss fight should be interrupted by ‘a challenge room'—his favourite thing from Too Human."

Oh boy.
Night_Trekker
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:11 PM)
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People have good reasons to be concerned with Dyack's involvement in SotE, but the knee-jerk bandwagon negativity around here is getting fucking ridiculous. It's so obviously not even connected to rational thought in some cases.
Ghost Dad the Whip
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:13 PM)
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He should have just gone on 1up Yours and straightened this whole thing up.
SniperHunter
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:14 PM)
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this needs an emotional piano track in the background
Sethos
Banned
(05-19-2013, 08:15 PM)
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Awww, he / they removed my comment.
SniperHunter
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:15 PM)
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Originally Posted by Sethos

Awww, he / they removed my comment.

what did you write?
Sethos
Banned
(05-19-2013, 08:17 PM)
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Originally Posted by SniperHunter

what did you write?

Just re-wrote his own quote about GAF :(

"Precursor Games is considered to be the worst, and I would say is probably the worst game company -- And so, you might as well pick the worst one. Why not?"
Speevy
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:19 PM)
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I'm really good at telling when someone is lying just by looking at their face.

This guy is lying.
SniperHunter
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:20 PM)
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Originally Posted by Sethos

Just re-wrote his own quote about GAF :(

"Precursor Games is considered to be the worst, and I would say is probably the worst game company -- And so, you might as well pick the worst one. Why not?"

they haven't released a single game, how can you call them the worst company?

edit: misread your post doh!
Last edited by SniperHunter; 05-19-2013 at 08:25 PM.
Lactose_Intolerant
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:21 PM)
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Basically he's bad at game design and spent more money than Activision gave them. Story of Xmen
The Abominable Snowman
Pure Life tonsil tickle
(05-19-2013, 08:22 PM)
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The game is still at around 5% funded. Interest in it is dead. He might as well start on another project.
Speevy
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:22 PM)
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Originally Posted by The Abominable Snowman

The game is still at around 5% funded. Interest in it is dead. He might as well start on another project.

Wii U and Vita release.
sext0n
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:23 PM)
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I don't support any software associated with Dyack.
MDSVeritas
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by SniperHunter

they haven't released a single game, how can you call them the worst company?

It's a joke of taking Dyack's comments about GAF, and replacing GAF with The dev.
SniperHunter
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by Speevy

Wii U and Vita release.

they are already working on wii u
Backfoggen
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:24 PM)
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Watch the amount of pledges skyrocket now that this video is out.



Not really.
Zombie James
(05-19-2013, 08:27 PM)
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Former employees say Dyack was confident that history would repeat itself, and that yet another publisher would cave to his demands for extensions and further funding injections. He was wrong. "SK kept getting stonewalled by Activision regarding extensions for the game and pushing back the launch," says a source. "However, SK management was convinced they would have to delay; as a result, they started shifting a few more resources very quietly to ED2." The idea was to slow down production more than ever before, to try to apply pressure for an extension.

It didn't work. Instead of offering an extension, Activision turned up the pressure by publicly announcing the game, and attaching Silicon Knights' name to it prominently.

Have to give Activision some respect here.
ZealousD
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:28 PM)
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Originally Posted by Roche

I wonder if he still browses Gaf.

Probably posts on one of the other shadow boards for all the other folks who got banned and are salty about it.

So yeah, probably still browses GAF too.
Shiggy
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:29 PM)
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Interesting to note:
Several media outlets, such as Wired, turned this article down as they believed it was not credible. McMillen contacted SK several times and said the article was coming soon, but then it didn't because there was no-one going to publish it.
stephentotilo
Behind The Games
(05-19-2013, 08:34 PM)

Originally Posted by Shiggy

Interesting to note:
Several media outlets, such as Wired, turned this article down as they believed it was not credible. McMillen contacted SK several times and said the article was coming soon, but then it didn't because there was no-one going to publish it.

We'll have something on this at some point today or tomorrow. I just started listening to the video and one of the odd things is that he's talking about some things that aren't actually in the article. The whole Nintendo bit, for example, and the reason for their split. Very strange.
Samurai_Heart
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:35 PM)
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His history and reputation has really damaged this kickstarter hasn't it =/
ChaoticPotion
Junior Member
(05-19-2013, 08:36 PM)
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Originally Posted by Samurai_Heart

His history and reputation has really damaged this kickstarter hasn't it =/

I feel bad for the team that he's bringing down.
The Dutch Slayer
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:36 PM)
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Will not support this project but the video so far is really good.

Bad Kotaku bad kotaku :(
bob page
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:36 PM)
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Why is this guy still involved in the industry?
Wario64
works for Gamestop (lol)
(05-19-2013, 08:37 PM)
.

From: Andrew McMillen
Sent: 1/20/2012 11:01 PM
To: REMOVED
Subject: Media request: Wired re Silicon Knights, X-Men: Destiny

Hi REMOVED,

I hope you're well, and that 2012 is making you happy so far. This is a reasonably long and important email. I appreciate your time and attention. Please keep this correspondence confidential.

I'm writing to give you an update of my planned feature story about Silicon Knights, entitled "Why did X-Men: Destiny suck so bad?". I have been working on this story since July 2011, when I was first contacted by someone named 'SK Whistleblower', who tipped me off about SK's plans to not include former employees in XMD's credits. This is how I came to contact you.

Last week I filed a 5,700 word draft to the gaming editor at Wired. The story is based on interviews conducted with eight former employees of Silicon Knights. It touches on the game's history of development; the way that SK management have long attempted to distance themselves from publishers as much as possible after securing a contract; how around 40% of the studio were diverted to work on an Eternal Darkness 2 demo while seeking a time and budget extension from Activision; and how Activision were the first studio to put their foot down and demand that SK release XMD, despite its poor quality. SK has refused to provide comment; Activision have ignored my requests.

The gaming editor at Wired, Chris Kohler, expressed significant interest in my draft. However, after discussing the matter with his managing editor, they've decided not to go ahead with the story in its current state. This is what he told me:

"There are a lot of serious allegations in the story, not least the idea that Silicon Knights is trying to scam publishers out of money and not deliver games. But there are no real facts, documentation, etc. to back any of this up besides the word of anonymous ex-employees."

Which is fair enough, of course. It is my role, as a journalist, to seek truth which can be confirmed with facts. And it is Wired's responsibility, as a publisher, to verify the truth of any claims before publication.

As it stands, the most controversial and potentially damaging claim within my story is that Silicon Knights have a long history of deceiving publishers, by intentionally pushing out their deadlines and budgets while using the publisher-supplied cash to fund development of their own IP. I believe this is a claim that could potentially ruin Silicon Knights if it is published. I should point out that it is not my intention to ruin SK. I am simply reporting what has been told to me, by yourself and your seven former colleagues.

But allegations are hard to prove, especially without hard evidence. I fear that this is one such situation. Though I have independently corroborated from my interviews that this type of behaviour took place at SK, I can't prove it without evidence.

This is why I am writing to you. If you have anything in your possession that could potentially be used to verify the above claims, I would love to read, see or hear this material (company emails, audio recordings, internal documents - things like that).

If you've been holding back on anything during our previous discussions, I am asking you to come forward. I fear that this story will remain unpublished - untold - unless we can come up with something.

In every previous correspondence of ours, I have assured you of your anonymity as far as this story is concerned. Again, I assure you of this. Your name will not be attached to the story, nor will any of the eight sources' names. However, if you have a change of heart, and would like your previous comments to be attributed to you, this gesture would prove extremely helpful. If any - or all - of you decide to be quoted by name, I will write to each of you individually, to let you know that this has taken place.

If you have any thoughts, suggestions, material or concerns about what I have written above, please reply in as much detail as possible. I hope I have made it clear that I am taking this story extremely seriously, and treating it with the utmost care. It is my intention that this story sees the light of day, eventually, as I believe it is an important story that the international game development community needs to hear. I hope that you share my beliefs.

I thank you for your time, energy and assistance so far, and for considering the requests outlined above.

Speak soon.

Andrew

--
E: REMOVED
W: REMOVED
M:REMOVED
T: REMOVED
S: REMOVED

Shahadan
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:40 PM)
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IdreamofHIME
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:42 PM)
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I dont hate him like a lot of folks, but damn his voice is awful for such a dry piece. Sending me to sleep.
Shiggy
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:43 PM)
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Originally Posted by stephentotilo

We'll have something on this at some point today or tomorrow. I just started listening to the video and one of the odd things is that he's talking about some things that aren't actually in the article. The whole Nintendo bit, for example, and the reason for their split. Very strange.

They asked on their forums and I believe that question does not relate to the Kotaku article but to the thread by Mama Robotnik here on NeoGAF.
Jonnyboy117
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:44 PM)
It's quite surprising to see Denis release a video that so directly responds to a lot of very serious allegations. I met Denis at the Eternal Darkness N64 demo back at E3 2000 -- within five minutes, I realized that he is everything I would want a game developer to be. He was obsessed with the project, incredibly enthusiastic and yet completely open to feedback, criticism, and ideas. He was one of the first industry people I ever met and to this day is one of the most open, intelligent, receptive game developers I've ever spoken to.

So you might say I'm biased, because I actually know this man in some capacity and have continued to interview and casually chat with him for over a decade, though much less so in recent years. Regardless, I thought the video was remarkably detailed, to-the-point, and logical in providing both evidentiary and personal refutation to the specific items called out in Kotaku's article as well as many other online forums and comments. Everything Denis says here rings true for me -- note that I'm not saying it is all true, just that it strikes me as probably being true -- based on the nature of that article, the kinds of data he claims to hold in opposition to the anonymous claims, and my direct impression of Denis through several face-to-face interactions over many years.

So that's my two cents. And for what it's worth, I have been a NeoGAF member for nearly as long as I've known Denis and have repeatedly stated that his dealings with this forum were profoundly ill-advised. By now, I'm sure would agree.
A.E Suggs
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by ZealousD

Probably posts on one of the other shadow boards for all the other folks who got banned and are salty about it.

So yeah, probably still browses GAF too.

I'm sure he has an alt account. Even with an Ip registration system its impossible to stop those.
Blake'sGrave
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by bob page

Why is this guy still involved in the industry?

PrivateRyan
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:47 PM)
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Noticed they're zapping negative comments on that YouTube video already
Shiggy
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:48 PM)
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Originally Posted by Andrew McMillen

The gaming editor at Wired, Chris Kohler, expressed significant interest in my draft. However, after discussing the matter with his managing editor, they've decided not to go ahead with the story in its current state. This is what he told me:

"There are a lot of serious allegations in the story, not least the idea that Silicon Knights is trying to scam publishers out of money and not deliver games. But there are no real facts, documentation, etc. to back any of this up besides the word of anonymous ex-employees."

Which is fair enough, of course. It is my role, as a journalist, to seek truth which can be confirmed with facts. And it is Wired's responsibility, as a publisher, to verify the truth of any claims before publication.

As it stands, the most controversial and potentially damaging claim within my story is that Silicon Knights have a long history of deceiving publishers, by intentionally pushing out their deadlines and budgets while using the publisher-supplied cash to fund development of their own IP. I believe this is a claim that could potentially ruin Silicon Knights if it is published. I should point out that it is not my intention to ruin SK. I am simply reporting what has been told to me, by yourself and your seven former colleagues.

But allegations are hard to prove, especially without hard evidence. I fear that this is one such situation. Though I have independently corroborated from my interviews that this type of behaviour took place at SK, I can't prove it without evidence.

That sounds a bit worrying.
Giolon
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:50 PM)
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Well, I give Denis points for finally coming out and addressing the allegations. I am not sure if I believe everything he's saying though.

I don't know that this video is going to help him and Precursor though. The impressions and opinion of Denis and SK are so toxic at this point, that nothing short of delivering a cure for cancer will redeem in many people's eyes - and even then that probably wouldn't be good enough.
Beermeister
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:51 PM)
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True Lies. Great movie.
jWILL253
Junior Member
(05-19-2013, 08:53 PM)
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This guy's still involved in game development?
Dali
(05-19-2013, 08:55 PM)
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He didn't think people would believe him before he was trying to fundraise so somehow now that money is on the line he's more easily believed?
freddy
(05-19-2013, 08:56 PM)
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This guy write the story.

http://andrewmcmillen.com/
Last edited by freddy; 05-19-2013 at 09:00 PM.
Alchemy
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:56 PM)
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Dyack made his own bed, this article just put a cap on the entire situation. Release bad games, lash out at the community, and try to sue Epic for their own failures. The article might not be completely true but it doesn't make Dyack's involvement in Precursor anymore acceptable by those who would choose to kickstart Shadow of the Eternals.
scitek
Member
(05-19-2013, 08:57 PM)
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Originally Posted by stephentotilo

We'll have something on this at some point today or tomorrow. I just started listening to the video and one of the odd things is that he's talking about some things that aren't actually in the article. The whole Nintendo bit, for example, and the reason for their split. Very strange.

He's answering questions from their forums.
Margalis
Banned
(05-19-2013, 09:00 PM)
None of this stuff strikes me as particularly different from what you'd hear from disgruntled employees at any place.

Guy above them made bad game design decisions, people confused about where money was going, asking publishers for extensions, blah blah...it sounds dramatic but it's all pretty ordinary.

I'm sure you could produce a similar story about most similar dev houses, including Obsidian, TimeGate, BottleRocket, Gas Powered, etc.


( Edit: I don't mean to indicate that the studios I listed are particularly bad or anything like that, just that they are smallish independent devs who have been through the publishing wringer)

Deadlines and budgets get pushed out not because anyone is scamming but because people plan very optimistically. How many KS projects are now offering some combination of "oh shit this isn't enough money" or "oh shit this isn't enough time"?

Anyone who has worked at a developer, even an in-house one, has a number of stories that could sound very dramatic is presented properly. There are a lot of personality conflicts, people disagreeing about directions, a lot of people with an incomplete view of the project and limited information, etc.

It seems like people believe this simply because they want to.
Last edited by Margalis; 05-19-2013 at 09:39 PM.
Omikaru
Banned
(05-19-2013, 09:00 PM)
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I've had a laugh at Dyack's expense because of his dealings with GAF and the 1up Yours podcast fiasco, but if Kotaku's hatchet job of Dyack and SK was founded on the basis of lies -- and I should add that I'm open to listening to Kotaku's side of the story too, but their explanations had better be good, because some of Dyack's explanations to these allegations are convincing to me -- then I think it's probably the worst thing Kotaku has done in recent memory. Without a doubt.

At any rate, since Dyack has now responded, I think it's fair that we shouldn't let GAF's past dealings with him cloud our evaluation of what he said, just because the Kotaku story confirms our biases. Let's wait and see what Kotaku has to say and go from there.

And if what Dyack says is true, and other outlets rejected the piece where Kotaku accepted it, then it's pretty damning stuff, and goes a long way to confirm the biases (rational or otherwise) that people hold against Kotaku in regards to its quality of reporting, and how low their standards are.

Since Kotaku has done a lot of good stuff lately, especially some of the longer articles written by Jason Schreier and Kirk Hamilton, I hope for their sake that Dyack wasn't unscrupulously attacked like this. I'd probably not read the site again if that's the case.
Morrigan Stark
Arrogant Smirk
(05-19-2013, 09:03 PM)
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So 8 employees were all lying about everything? I find that somewhat hard to believe. I do think the Kotaku article is probably way too sensationalist and facts got so distorted over time about SK, but to say that all the allegations are just 100% false seems like a stretch. If it's the case, then Dyack should sue the living shit out of Kotaku and/or Andrew for libel, since these unproven allegations have caused demonstrable damage to both his reputation and arguably to the success of his Kickstarter campaign.

Maybe those 8 employees were all just disgruntled ex-employees who got fired and had a grudge against Dyack? But then Andrew claims they independently corroborated each others's testimonies... is Andrew lying, or is Dyack full of shit again and just saying these things because he knows Andrew had no proof? Ugh, what the hell is going...

I guess it's too bad Activision isn't commenting. If Dyack's claims that they were all transparent with them about the funds and assets are false, then Activision could just step up and refute all of it. But then, if his claims are true, then the employees were indeed clearly lying somehow, or Andrew didn't corroborate it as well as he thought he did.

In other words, I don't really know what to think, I still feel Dyack isn't telling the whole truth, but I'm sure a lot of the accusations are distorted or gross exaggerations. FWIW I backed Shadows of the Eternals before this video came out, so this doesn't affect my feeling on the game. I do think that no matter what really happened, Dyack is sincere about the game itself and really, really wants to make it.

* For example, the whole thing about them leaving Nintendo because of the Wii name... come on. Dyack probably just said "lol what a silly name" at some point and then an offhand comment turned into some sort of official policy/decision.
Last edited by Morrigan Stark; 05-19-2013 at 09:06 PM.

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