It's no secret that former Silicon Knights president and current Precursor Games Creative Officer Denis Dyack loves his projects. Prior to the release of Too Human, the man had a nice sabre-rattling
with NeoGAF which resulted in him being banned from the forum. A brave man for taking on the vastness of the Internet by himself to be sure, and it seems he still has a sore spot when it comes to pre-emptive criticism.
Two Best Friends Play, the duo of AMERICANS who routinely regale YouTube with their humorous game-playing premise, have become quite active in the gaming community since their inception two years ago. In particular, they have become vocally supportive of various crowdfunded projects, such as DiveKick
, Kaiju Combat
, and Shovel Knight
Once the news of Shadows of the Eternals
came down, the Best Friends were pestered into a statement on the game. After all, they were just fresh off a playthrough of the game's spiritual precursor: Eternal Darkness. Who wouldn't want more of that?
Apparently, Pat of Two Best Friends wouldn't. Or at least, he offered words of caution for his fans on their Facebook page:
"Shadow of the Eternals is the new crowdfunding initiative by the remains of Silicon Knights, Dyack included, to make what is basically Eternal Darkness 2. They are asking for money, straight up, on their website. They do not have to hit their goal. They can merely say they will make do with the money donated, and take it, and go make whatever. In addition, they are merely taking raw donations on their website, not even going through something like IndieGoGo, which has rules about how to present your product.
Dennis Dyack and Silicon Knights are people who took Too Human and delayed it for years all the way from a PS1 game into a shitty 360 one. They're the ones who are alleged to have embezzled money from Activision in the process of making X-men Destiny in order to fund the Eternal Darkness 2 demo they are showing off to try and get donations. A crew of people that had to have Nintendo come on board and clean up parts of ED1 during development because they were running it too sloppy. Not to mention what a jackass Dyack has been over the years
They're running the donation drive on the assumption that donations will built episode 1 of 12, and that 1 will clearly do well enough to support development for the remainder, some of which are promised via pledges.
I wouldn't trust them with a dime of my money. They're unreliable at best and outright crooks at worst. My opinions are my own (hell, Liam and I got into a huge argument over this, he thinks I'm paranoid as shit), but considering how many people are posting about how excited they are for this, I felt I should put it out there. You should think twice before giving them a single dollar, and if you have, seriously think about trying to get it back.
I'm aware there's a lot of love for Eternal Darkness, and it's pretty good, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't use your head."
Now unfortunately, this statement was made at almost the exact time the actual Kickstarter for the project
went public. Regrettable, leaving egg on the face of the Best Friends, but what's surprising is that Denis Dyack himself personally had some words for Pat:
"I think the best way to address your comments is with facts to clear up any confusion you may have on what is happening here:
You say "They are asking for money, straight up, on their website. They do not have to hit their goal. They can merely say they will make do with the money donated, and take it, and go make whatever. In addition, they are merely taking raw donations on their website, not even going through something like IndieGoGo, which has rules about how to present your product.”
We announced a kickstarter yesterday. As stated in our terms of service and our Paul’s CEO latest press release:
"Our community’s involvement has gone well beyond our expectations, with over one thousand pledgers joining our Community Forums to discuss the game and its development,” stated Shawn Jackson, COO of Precursor Games. “We are seeking to raise $1.35 million dollars on Kickstarter. By combining this goal with the tremendous contributions already on our own website, Precursor Games will be able to provide an opportunity for gamers to create games that they want to play.”
“Some people may ask what happens to the pledges on our site if the Kickstarter does not move forward, and the answer is simple: We will issue refunds on our site if the project does not reach its goal on Kickstarter,” said Paul Caporicci. He also emphasized that both campaigns will run in parallel with the same reward tiers.”
I am sorry you did not like some of my past efforts. I always did try to do the best I could - many mistakes were made - I acknowledge that. I can assure that I have learned from my previous experiences. I know there is more to cover here and I will be addressing other issues in the future. I think it is important to get the facts straight on the crowdfunding campaign before moving on to the other issues.
Precursor Games has nothing to do with any of that past and was built from the ground up to interact with the community and digital distribution. We are looking toward to future and hope that others can see the potential of what we are doing.
I hope this helps.
Pat followed up this response with a rebuttal of his own:
"Mr Dyack, I'm glad you saw my post, but I do have to make a few things clear. I do not want your donation drive for a new game to fail, and I certainly wish you no ill will personally. Far from it. However, Matt, Woolie and I have very publicly pushed for several kickstarters in the past, and seeing the huge amount of people asking us for our thoughts on your new project is what prompted this post.
In addition, I felt pretty stupid when I found out when I had made the post, you folks had in fact started a kickstarter a day earlier. I made a comment mentioning such in the comments below the original post.
I'm certain you're all very talented and nice folks. I also feel very likely that you have the best of intentions with this project. That being said, you cannot possibly honestly say that -
"Precursor Games has nothing to do with any of that past" when on the kickstarter page you clearly list the following as one of the very first selling points in your pitch-
"Shadow of the Eternals is a psychological horror game made by the creators of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Reqiuem,"
If it had nothing to do with any of that past, there wouldn't be so much overlap between companies, and that's more or less where the issue lies. Unfortunately, the way that the public has received news about you and your former companies projects in the past has been poor, to say the least. The entire system of pledges for a product is built on trust in those making said product, and trust in you folks is quite low, as you have a long history of incredible delays, under-delivering and most recently engaging in a disastrous lawsuit that utterly destroyed the company.
Hell, I still remember your personal involvement in the nonsense of "Owned by Too Human" back on Neogaf. I certainly don't think you're a bad guy Mr Dyack, but for an undertaking such as this, credibility is by far your most valuable commodity, and both yourself personally as well as anyone involved with the history of Silicon Knights has very little at this point.
I'm sorry if my post had seemed like a personal attack, or was seen as a desire for you or your project to fail, but I have a responsibility to the people who come to this page and watch our videos to avoid misleading them into the "give everybody your money it'll be fine" fantasy that many have fallen into with this kickstarter phenomenon, even passively, even by not saying anything at all. I felt it was my responsibility to warn folks of what I believe to be real dangers.
So, once again, I wish you the best Mr Dyack, and I hope you and your team have success in both this and your future endeavours. I will gladly purchase your game on release, should you get there."
It seems the pain of past burns simmers gently beneath this exchange, despite the professionalism exhibited by both sides. We'll see how this develops as the Shadows of the Eternals project moves forward.
You can see the entire exchange for yourself on the Two Best Friends Play Facebook page