Shadow of the Eternals Development Halts
Future of Eternal Darkness’ spiritual successor is nebulous
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 16:10
The development of Precursor Games’ “Shadow of the Eternals” has been put “on hold,” according to Chief Creative Director Denis Dyack.
The news came in a post on Precursor Games’ website.
“It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to put the “Shadow of the Eternals” project on hold,” Dyack scribed. “We are very happy with what we have accomplished both as a group and with the community. The community has blown us away and was the one thing that kept us going through it all—we cannot thank you enough.”
“Shadow of the Eternals” has had about as rough a go of it as a game can get. The title was a product of Precursor Games, a studio founded mostly by former members of Silicon Knights. At the time of Precursor’s inception, Silicon Knights had just lost a long-standing legal battle with Epic Games—the creators of “Unreal Tournament,” “Gears of War” and the graphics engine “Unreal Engine 3”.
As a result of the legal battle, Silicon Knights was ordered to recall and destroy all copies of its latest games—“X-Men Destiny” and “Too Human.” Neither game (“X-Men Destiny” in particular) was a critical success, and both failed to meet sales expectations. Combined with legal fees and canceled projects, this led the studio to close down shop, and offload its property—though it never officially filed for bankruptcy.
Silicon Knights was best regarded for its work on Nintendo’s GameCube. It was responsible for “Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes”, and the survival horror cult hit “Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem”.
“Shadow of the Eternals” was billed as a spiritual successor to “Eternal Darkness”, and garnered a great deal of interest at its announcement. Some were excited at the prospect of a follow-up to the much-loved sleeper hit, while others were wary of Dyack and company’s spotty track record.
In this case, the wary seem to have won out. Precursor launched a Kickstarter campaign for “Shadow of the Eternals,” alongside its own, private crowd-funding system to pay for the game’s development.
The Kickstarter was canceled shortly after an inauspicious start while Precursor Games changed design direction. A second Kickstarter launched only a couple months later, and failed to meet its $750,000 goal, earning just $400,000 over three months. Thanks to Kickstarter’s rules of operation that meant all of the donated money went back to its donors, and not to Precursor Games.
Just last month, Dyack insisted the game was not dead. He promised that Precursor would “pursue other avenues with the ultimate goal of having our games come to fruition.”
Now, the developers are “taking a break,” from working on the game.
“We have all agreed as a group that when and if the time is right we will get together and start it up again,” Dyack said.
Technically, this doesn’t mean the game is completely dead in the water; on hold is a far cry from canceled, after all.
“Many of us will be taking a break,” Dyack said. “For those who are not aware, we all worked on this project as a labor of love and self financed 100 percent of everything for a over a year to try to make “Shadow of the Eternals” a reality. Although we did not succeed on doing this, we succeeded in making many friends and starting something that we hope provided value for those involved.