38 Studios Tickling Death’s Sickle Arm

This is likely as close as we'll ever get to being in Amalur again.

The news was bad yesterday, but rumors coming from a local mass media station (!) in the area has made it oh, so much worse. According to Joystiq and Fox News 25 Boston, the studio has laid off its entire staff and is attempting to sell Big Huge Games, the viable game developer 38 Studios purchased in mid 2009.

BHG was responsible for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, a single-player action RPG set in Project Copernacus’ universe. BHG also created the award-winning Rise of Nations RTS franchise and later worked on an Age of Empires expansion, The Asian Dynasties. The layoffs currently include the employees at BHG.

The report starts off with the most damning statement possible: “Curt Schilling’s video game company could be out of business by the weekend.” This coming from a Joystiq source.

This layoffs mean an estimated 350+ people are now out of work. If 38 Studios cannot maintain payments on the ~$50 million it still owes the state of Rhode Island, then the state will win a second prize of the Amalur IP, worth an estimated $20 million.

Considering Curt Schilling was seen exiting the parking lot with a box of his stuff in the backseat, it appears that the underdog has lost.


  1. I think people realised that Copernicus was likely more than a year away from launch… But taking on WoW et al with only a $100m war chest was a bit ambitious, given that EA spent $1bn or so developing Star Wars: The Old Republic according to all reports.

    Sad story. One wonders what would have happened if they’d done something more innovative, more growable, smaller and quicker to market.

  2. Personally, Big Huge Games did some amazing work with Rise of Nations it’s the RTS that really inspired me in the genre. It’s upsetting that the lost so many.

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