July 24, 2012
38 Studios Full on Fail
The developer of Kingdoms of Amalur 38 Studios is in a world of hurt. Earlier this year the company went bankrupt and laid off its entire work force via e-mail after they couldnt repay a loan to the state of Rhode Island. This came as a bit of a shock as the game Kingdoms of Amalur sold more than enough copies to make back the development costs and even get ahead. The situation is currently being investigated but I think it may be safe to assume that the fall of 38 Studios has management to blame, and the fact that they have sunk more than 6 years into the Kingdoms of Amalur MMO, code named “Project Copernicus”, with nothing to show for it.
Curt Schilling the head of 38 Studios has even acknowledged his disappointment with the game saying
“It was my biggest gripe for probably the past eight to 12 months.” “Visually, Copernicus was stunning, but the actual things you could do in the game weren’t engaging enough. The combat aspects especially lagged.”
The MMO has turned into a money pit that is continuously growing hole, 38 Studios had made attempts to sign on with partners to invest in the game and help with development but nothing was worked out and no outside entities signed on with the project.
Outside of the MMO Kingdoms of Amalur may have a sequel on the way, it was leaked/rumored that Take Two Interactive was in the process of acquiring rights to the sequel just before the Governor of Rhode Island started making statements about 38 Studio’s financial troubles. A spokes man for Take Two made the announcement that he was not aware of any deals or negotiating between Take Two and 38. It would appear that any future for Kingdoms of Amalur is bleak if not completely dead, which is a shame as the game was decent and showed potential for being a good IP capable of a decent revenue stream.
The saddest part of this tale however is the effect it is having on its now laid off employees. The employees of 38 Studios had not been paid in over a month and were still working diligently to get ahead when the news came that they no longer had a job. Some had even been contacted by the company responsible for selling their homes after relocating that their homes hadn’t sold yet and they were still responsible for the mortgage payment. Others were contacted by other companies, such as Atlas Van Lines, and told they were responsible for bills that management hadn’t paid.
What are your thoughts on 38 Studios?