The last couple of times Precursor Games tried to crowdfund Shadow of the Eternals, it didn’t go all that well. A twin-attack of a Kickstarter page and website-based Paypal donation system was ended due to lack of interest, along with doubts that the Precursor team wasn’t a million miles away from being a rebranded Silicon Knights. There were also concerns over the funding goal of $1.5 million USD, which appeared to only be financing an “episode one.”
Well, now Shadow of the Eternals is back, back, back baby. And this time it’s cheaper than ever, asking for just $750,000 USD for a full 8-10 hour game based around Elizabeth Bathory. Detective Paul Becker will now be voiced by David “Solid Snake” Hayter, too.
Here’s the thing. Precursor Games is still a company run by a lot of the same management staff (including Denis Dyack) who were at Silicon Knights. In 2012, Silicon Knights lost a $4.45 million USD lawsuit with Epic Games in which the judge stated that the company had “deliberately and repeatedly copied thousands of lines of Epic Games’ copyrighted code, and then attempted to conceal its wrongdoing by removing Epic Games’ copyright notices and by disguising Epic Games’ copyrighted code as Silicon Knights’ own.”
So, in every legal sense Precursor Games is a new company. It just happens to contain quite a few people who fled the sinking ship of Silicon Knights, an entity (not so much a studio, since it laid off the majority of its staff and closed its offices) that still owes Epic Games millions of dollars.
Anybody hoping to back Shadow of the Eternals needs to ask themselves, no matter how much they want to see a sequel to Eternal Darkness, whether they trust this outfit to make the game with funds from the general public.