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'Shadow of the Eternals,' spiritual sequel to a horror classic, resurrects art from a dying studio

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Precursor Games, the new company developing a spiritual sequel to classic horror game Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, isn't just headed by the founder of Eternal Darkness studio Silicon Knights. It's using the same chairs and computers, and even buying some unused art to put in its new game, after an apparent Silicon Knights meltdown. According to Polygon, Silicon Knights has closed down its office and cut its team to the quick, while still fighting a $4.45 million lawsuit with Epic Games and an order to destroy any unsold copies of games or samples of code using Unreal Engine 3.

In the process, it sold equipment to Precursor, headed by former Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack. More interestingly, it also sold art assets developed for a cancelled game — assets that have now appeared in the trailer for Shadow of the Eternals. Silicon Knights has insisted that it's still "definitely alive," and it hasn't filed for bankruptcy, but there's no sign that the studio is actively working on anything. Dyack and Precursor, meanwhile, have no explicit connection to the older company. At Epic's request, all the computers were wiped clean before being sold to Precursor, and Dyack has said that his new company has no legal liability if Silicon Knights loses its fight with Epic.

As Wired points out, NeoGAF forum members found a number of Silicon Knights art images that appeared to be made for an Eternal Darkness sequel last year. At least one of them shows a monster that appeared in Precursor's teaser trailer, and it's possible other old creatures will show up in the game itself. It's all just speculation at this point, but Eternal Darkness and Shadow of the Eternals may be bound by more connections than we previously suspected.

Update: In an odd and somewhat unsettling move, Polygon now reports that the Shadow of the Eternals crowdfunding effort will accept "donations" for things not necessarily related to game development. These donations will not be returned if the project fails to meet its goal, unlike pledges, which are contingent on fundraising efforts. Silicon Knights has had major problems with cash backing before: it allegedly received millions of dollars in a loan backed by the Canadian government but failed to meet its conditions, owing an unknown amount of money as a result. Dyack has made clear that he's trying for a clean slate with Precursor, but this isn't necessarily a great sign of things to come.