Earlier this month terrible news rocked the gaming world as 38 Studios declared bankruptcy and closed its’ doors for good.
The studio failed to make a big repayment to the state of Rhode Island and when they were finally able to pay the bill the studio was no longer able to make payroll and lost their CEO thereafter. Gamasutra reported that everyone at 38 Studios and Big Huge Games were laid off with the following email.
“The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary.
These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary.
This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012.”
The Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee stated in a press conference that 38 Studios collapsed because Kingdoms of Amalur “failed,” he said that the studio needed to sell 3 million copies to break-even but failed to do so. This terrible statement is something that will surely only aggravate the situation, hundreds of employees lost their jobs, and hundreds of gamers lost worlds that would surely have spanned another generation.
All is not lost however, out of the ashes like a flaming phoenix Big Huge Games may yet return, Epic Games the developer of the Gears of War franchise and the highly popular Unreal Engine technology, is closing a deal to re-house the recently closed Kingdoms of Amalur studio, Big Huge Games.
On the same morning that Big Huge Games’ senior staff had made contact with Epic Games, looking to keep their crew alive and together, Epic’s directors had been trying to figure out how to expand their own company.
Epic Games president Mike Capps said on the company website
“The way we see it, there’s been a big storm in Baltimore, and we’re taking in a few of the refugees – as are the awesome folks at Zynga East, Zenimax Online, and other southeastern studios. Epic’s in a situation where we can do this and it very clearly fits with our company values, so we’re going to give it a whirl.”
Epic is currently working on a new game engine, the Unreal Engine 4, designed for high-end PCs and the next generation game consoles, and has Gears of War: Judgment underway.
Let us all hope that Big Huge Games survives in their Epic new home to continue developing awesome games into the future.
Below is a link to the vid showing Amalur in the now deceased Copernicus project that Big Huge Games was working on, it looked awesome!