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.