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Kingdoms Of Amalur's escape from limbo with THQ Nordic may require EA's blessing

A plucky knight battles a big flaming demonosaurus, not at all analogous to this rights dispute.

The cruel legal realities of this world threaten once more to crush John’s gentle heart. Despite reports last week that THQ Nordic had snapped up the intellectual property rights to his much-loved Kingdoms Of Amalur from defunct developers 38 Studios, those wanting to play a re-launch shouldn’t hold their breath.

Any remaster or re-release of Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning will likely need authorisation from EA, who still hold publishing rights to the original game as confirmed by Eurogamer in an email exchange with THQ Nordic. Still, a re-release isn’t THQ’s only option.

In their exchange with Eurogamer, THQ Nordic had this to say:

“EA still has the publishing rights to Reckoning, about any other details about the relationship between EA and 38 Studios we can’t comment.
At this stage we ‘only’ acquired the intellectual property. Given our track record, we know what the burning questions (remaster, remake, port to current-gen systems etc.) are, but we decided do not answer those specifically as we tend to put our heads together first and then do our homework, and only start to talk about anything once we feel confident and very familiar with the franchise.”

It’s worth noting that while the publishing rights for Reckoning are held by EA, the possibility remains for THQ Nordic to produce a sequel, a reboot or a spinoff game and publish it under its own banner. That would likely be a riskier move than a re-release of the original game to test the waters – after all these years, Amalur is known for little more than being the one game 38 Studios produced before they fell apart. In the meantime, THQ Nordic and their studios seem busy with other revivals like Darksiders 3 and Jagged Alliance: Rage, both due out by year’s end.

Despite being what most would consider a ‘solid 7/10’ sorta game (John was more enthusistic), 38 Studios had high hopes and grand ambitious for the Kingdoms Of Amalur setting. The studio disbanded after a messy legal battle with the Rhode Island government. Among the secondary casualties was an in-development MMO based on the setting, early work on a Reckoning sequel and a major patch for the first game. If nothing else, I’d like to see that update released, even if a full re-launch isn’t on the cards.

For those wanting to play Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning as-is, you can still find it on Steam, albeit at a surprising £35/€40/$40 on Steam for the complete edition. The base game is cheaper on Origin at £8, but the DLC is surprisingly expensive for a lesser-known six year old game.

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