This week's "Smooth Move, Ex-Lax" award goes to...Denis Dyack - Destructoid

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Growing up Buried On Mars' parents believed video game consoles to be the spawn of the devil. Using twisted logic he was able to convince his father that video games on a computer were educational and was given a Commodore Vic 20. Buried On Mars kept the charade going long enough to acquire a Commodore 64 and a PC with an Intel 386 processor. He now attends junk sales regularly to find all of the console games he missed in his youth. You can check out his BuriedOnMars youtube channel at

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This week's winner of the my coveted "Smooth Move, Ex-Lax" Award goes to Denis Dyack. Dyack is the founder of Silicon Knights, once a premiere video game developer in Canada.  After a string of hits including Blood Omen: Lecacy of Kain, Eternal Darkness, and the remake of Metal Gear Solid for the Nintendo Gamecube they looked like a developer that could do no wrong.  That is until Too Human.

Silicon Knights spent the better part of four years making Too Human as it was to be the start of a trilogy of games for the Xbox 360. SK never recovered from it's failure, but that is not what the award is for.  Developers make bad games all of the time and I cannot fault one for trying it's level best to create something good.  Dyack receives this award for pulling what is about to be a rather large dick move.

You see, over the past few years Dyack has made some poor decisions.  Stuff like funding his pet project with money he received from Activision to make a X-Men game.  His biggest mistake by far, however, was to sue Epic Games after stealing from them.  A mistake that ending up costing SK $4.25 million in a counter suit.  Dyack is appealing the judgment but it is unlikely the decision will be overturned.  So, SK is going to owe a lot of money very soon.  What is a person to do?

SK closing up shop and moving its core team (including Dyack) 30 miles down the road to open new studio called Precursor Games reminded me of something that my father went through when I was younger.  He was in business with a company who owed him a fair amount of money.  I'm going to call this company "Charlie Brown".  When it came time for my Father to get paid from "Charlie Brown", they claimed bankruptcy and closed up shop.  My Father was S.O.L.  A month or two later the people running "Charlie Brown" opened a duplicate business and named it "Charlie".  As it was considered to be a separate entity , it was not obligated to cover any money "Charlie Brown" owed.

Now, of course I don't own a crystal ball and I can't say Dyack plans to do the same with SK and Precursor Games.  But I certainly do feel that it looks that way.  Considering Dyack left SK "some time ago" and didn't bother to make a public announcement until this week is glaring.  And Precursor Games "buying" assests from SK to continue to work on a new Eternal Darkness game sends my ice cold douche chills up my spine.

And Epic Games isn't the only one SK will soon owe money to.  There is the matter of a some $3 and $4 million SK recieved in grants from the Canadian government that will be owed by the end of this year.

I'm sure Dyack feels as if he is doing something good by keeping his employees (friends) working.  And I can't blame him for feeling that might be more important than making sure a big publisher like Epic receives the money it is owed.  But it doesn't make it right. And now he has the nerve to ask for your money!  

Yep, he needs you to help kick-start the spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness.  Well, considering he has been irresponsible with Activision's money as well as Epic Game's property, I cannot imagine how I or anyone else could trust him.  Smooth move, Ex-lax.

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