A story for gaming website 1UP; my first for them. Excerpt below.
Sources tell us the team has shrunk from 97 to 25 employees.
All but 25 staff at the Canadian video game development studio Silicon Knights have been laid off, according to sources close to the company.
Silicon Knights has not officially confirmed the cuts, but two credible independent sources contacted us with the information over the weekend. One wrote that “Silicon Knights has had massive layoffs. They are now down to a core staff of 25 people.” The other said, “It may interest you to note that SK laid off all but 25 employees today.”
This outcome follows the St. Catharines, Ontario-based studio receiving three recent funding grants, totaling CDN $8 million: $1 million in 2008, invested by the Ontario Media Development Corporation, $4 million in 2010 via the federal government, and most recently, $3 million in July 2011 via the Ontario government.
Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack stated in July 2011 that the CDN $3 million investment would allow the company to improve its technology, hire 80 new people while keeping 97 current jobs and allow the company to become “self sustaining.” We do not know at this stage what went wrong, nor how the studio’s payroll has shrunk from 97 to 25 in three months. A source says, “I heard they laid off all of HR including Denis’ wife,” in reference to Joanne Dyack, SK’s director of human resources.
On October 26, another source told 1UP that “you might want to keep an eye on SK in the next few days. If you were connected to many of SK’s directors and producers on LinkedIn, you would be noticing a very disproportionate amount of CV updating and connection-making activity. And yes, I have heard that the worst is happening. Stay tuned.” Silicon Knights’ publicist responded that same day, saying “Silicon Knights is not shutting down and no layoffs have happened at this time.”
For the full story, visit 1UP. Expect more stories concerning Silicon Knights in the near future.