Denis Dyack announces new game Deadhaus Sonata

Denis Dyack is hoping to rise from the ashes of Silicon Knights with Deadhaus Sonata, a free-to-play RPG inspired by Legacy of Kain, Bloodborne, and Diablo.


Denis Dyack has had an interesting journey within the gaming industry. Throughout his history with now-closed game development studio Silicon Knights he has overseen the development of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, battled with Epic Games over the use of Unreal Engine 3 in Too Human, served as director for the critically-demolished X-Men Destiny, and more. Now, he's hoping to rise from the dead with a new free-to-play game called Deadhaus Sonata.

“When I talk about the House of the Dead, I feel like I’m talking about myself,” Dyack said in an interview at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas. “Silicon Knights is dead. It’s never coming back. With the launch of Apocalypse, I’ve gone through some things and can bring that experience to light in ways that I think are refreshing and new.”

After losing case and counter-suit from Epic Games, Silicon Knights was closed and the company filed for bankruptcy. That along with Dyack's other ventures combine for a pretty dire series of events and he's embracing that morbidity with his new studio and project. In an interview with Venture Beat, Dyack declares he's "coming back from the dead."

Denis Dyack silicon knights apocalypse studios deadhaus sonata new game legacy of kain

Deadhaus Sonata, being developed by Dyack's new Apocalypse Studio using the Amazon Lumberyard game engine, is a third-person RPG that casts players as undead creatures fighting against the living. In the interview, Dyack regularly mentioned Legacy of Kain and how it influences some things that are being done in Deadhaus Sonata. He likens the gameplay to "Bloodborne meets Diablo" with a class building system called the "trinary archetype system" that the team has trademarked "for fun." Here's an excerpt explaining the system and a bit more about the game's direction:

"Here’s an example of what I mean. We have physical, magical, and essence, which is essentially artifacts. You’ll be playing revenants, wraiths, vampires, liches, banshees, ghouls, wights. All of them will play extremely differently and do different things. As an example, the vampire has blood magic. You’ll suck blood from people and use your blood to cast spells. The Legacy of Kain community is really resonating with this. It’s been 20 years since they had a Legacy of Kain game, and a lot of people have said, 'Hey, this looks a lot like Kain.' We had one of the old hardcore fans that have been following Kain for 20 years do an interview with us on our YouTube channel. It’s been fun.

Lots of itemization, hundreds and thousands of weapons and armor pieces and that stuff. We’ve been thinking about this a long time, and not because of all the shit that hit the fan recently. This is something we truly believe in. Monetization cannot be pay to win. You can’t use money to give players an advantage. You have to focus on ethical things. No loot boxes. Things that essentially make people look better, but when it comes down to the play style—we’ll eventually introduce PvP, but money will give you no advantage whatsoever. It’s all skill-based. That’s super-important."

Deadhaus Sonata is going to feature multiplayer, but can also be played solo despite being "online all the time." At this time, the free-to-play game is planned for PC and home consoles with mobile also being an option. There are no plans to crowdfund at this time. Stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 25, 2019 10:30 AM

    Charles Singletary Jr posted a new article, Denis Dyack announces new game Deadhaus Sonata

    • reply
      February 25, 2019 10:38 AM

      Ah, Denis Dyack, has his lesson been learned?

    • reply
      February 25, 2019 10:40 AM

      I want Too Human Two

      • reply
        February 25, 2019 11:25 AM

        This sounds like they’re using some loot-as-stats/skills ideas from Too Human, plus the online or solo thing.

        I loved Too Human. Always wanted to see where the cyber-Norse story was going to go.

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      February 25, 2019 10:46 AM

      Dude is an absolute tool. I can't believe anyone would give him money or choose to work with him

    • reply
      February 25, 2019 11:18 AM

      Bring it on! Love him or hate him, dude knows how to make a dramatic game. I’d take a game from him over one from David Cage any day, talking about mocked video game auteurs, and I like Quantic Dream.

    • reply
      February 25, 2019 11:50 AM

      Hope he makes 4 sequels.
      I just want Deadhau5 Sonata to happen.

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