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The Real Reason There Will Never Be A Sequel To Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

If you've ever read a list or article on the most underrated GameCube games, scariest horror games, or best video game fakeouts, you probably heard about Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. Gamers who've played the title have praised its Lovecraftian atmosphere, haunting story, and the draw of the experience: its "sanity effects." This novel mechanic simulates the visual and auditory hallucinations protagonists tend to experience when facing eldritch monsters that defy the laws of nature. And, these effects even strangle the fourth wall by faking cliffhangers, accidentally sitting on the remote, and BSODing.


On paper, Eternal Darkness sounds like the kind of game that would print money, but it didn't. Its reviews outshone its profits, and the game entered the hall of titles that achieved cult status but not sequels. However, Eternal Darkness' standing as a solo title wasn't just due to its lackluster sales. The true reasons lie in a storied and sordid history of bad business decisions, failed attempts to actually create a sequel (sort of), and one dev's run-in with the law. More importantly, these paint an unfortunate picture of a future that prohibits the development of new Eternal Darkness titles.

Silicon Knights picked the wrong company to sue

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is widely regarded as the magnum opus of Silicon Knights, but it also turned into the company's swan song. After Silicon Knights finished the game, the company received permission to remake Metal Gear Solid. But after working on that, it was all downhill, mostly because the studio sued Epic Games in 2007 and ultimately died because of it. 


Silicon Knights' next game, the hack-and-slash/shooter RPG Too Human, was a financial and critical bomb. Instead of learning from their mistakes, Silicon Knights accused Epic Games of deliberately sabotaging the studio and its product. How did Epic Games purportedly undermine Too Human? By releasing Gears of War, a third-person shooter that had nothing in common with Too Human save its engine.

Silicon Knights was trounced in court, but that wasn't the end of it. The jury ruled in favor of Epic's counterclaim that Silicon Knights infringed Epic's engine copyrights and used the company's trade secrets, awarding Epic $4.45 million in damages. This ruling killed Silicon Knights, which filed for bankruptcy shortly afterward.


To rub some salt into Silicon Knight's corpse, Too Human is now free for all Xbox owners.

A spiritual successor's Kickstarter failed miserably ... twice

If you want a beloved yet abandoned video game to receive a sequel or a spiritual successor, you can often find an audience through Kickstarter. With the love flowing for Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, you might assume it could have acquired the funds for a successor, but it failed to do that. Twice.


In 2013, Precursor Games, led by Eternal Darkness' director Denis Dyack, launched a Kickstarter for Shadow of the Eternals, which was touted as a spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness. The crowdfunding campaign failed to attract support and was prematurely aborted. The company later revived the Kickstarter campaign, but the second time wasn't the charm. Oh, and one of the game's developers was arrested shortly before the crowdfunding started.

After Shadow of the Eternals' twofold failure, Dyack closed Precursor Games ... and then formed Quantum Entanglement Entertainment for a third shot. Then he shut down that company and started Apocalypse Studios. This time, he abandoned Shadow of the Eternals to develop another game, ironically a spiritual successor to Legacy of Kain.


Since Dyack has given up hope of reincarnating the game, don't expect a sequel anytime soon ... or ever.