Canadian developer Silicon Knights, perhaps best known in recent memory for its work on Eternal Darkness, Too Human and X-Men Destiny, confirms that it has indeed been forced to seriously reduce its employee headcount just earlier today. Word first trickled from inside sources claiming just 25 "core" team members remained at the Ontario-based studio following a brutal round of layoffs.
The Financial Post backs the rumors with official word from SK's CFO Mike Mays, who also added that the actual number of redundancies came out to 45, and not the whopping 72 job cuts reported earlier by media, and that 40 team members remain on board. That still means SK has been reduced to just over half its total workforce today.
Mays explains that the layoffs followed Activision's cancellation of a project which SK claimed it spent months working on before the bucket of cold water was dumped on it "at the final second." SK had most recently produced X-Men Destiny for the mega-publisher. That said, Mays also notes that SK is still in talks for new projects and if all goes well, the studio may be able to "rehire" its now former team members.
That SK was forced to let go of so much of its current staff as a result of this cancelled project may come as a surprise to people familiar with the studio, especially how it succeeded in receiving sizable grants from Canadian provincial and federal programs.
According to the Financial Post, this outside funding amounted to some $8 million over the past four years. SK founder Denis Dyack previously expressed confidence that its most recent grants would help create even more jobs for talent at his studio.