Posts Tagged ‘38 Studios’

Nobody Wants Poor Old Kingdoms Of Amalur – Sniff

This is too sad. Kingdoms Of Amalur, the basis for one of the best RPGs in years, has failed to sell in 38 Studios’ assets auction. As reported by Polygon, no one was prepared to put up what current owners Heritage Global Partners were willing to take, despite another $320,000 being raised for other sales, including the Rise Of titles. But poor old Amalur remains on the shelf of the money-eating firm, unloved, and undeveloped.

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Finished Rise Of Nations Game Found Among Big Huge Files

Brian Reynolds now works at Zynga :(((

Update: Reader Chris Ross writes to let us know that Rise of Nations: Tactics is most likely an iOS game, not a Mac game, as confirmed via a tweet by one of the game’s designers. That makes more sense, but I dared to hope.

Original story:

Rise of Nations never got its due. It was a real-time strategy game that tried to fit the major landmarks of human civilization into a single hour of frantic war. Your units would level up through the ages as you marched across the battlefield, blending Civilization with Total War with Command & Conquer. It was designed by Brian Reynolds, of Alpha Centauri, and built by Big Huge Games.

A less satisfying fantasy sequel, Rise of Legends, was released in 2006, but now it seems that another game might exist. As part of the auction of all Big Huge Games and 38 Studios assets, following their collapse last year, a finished, Mac-only game called Rise of Nations: Tactics has been discovered.
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Why Didn’t Everyone Play Kingdoms Of Amalur?!

There’s a game you probably didn’t play. It came out last year, it’s a genuine epic, a vast, elaborate RPG with a sprawling story and vast numbers of sidequests. It features superbly in-depth combat, has huge variety in character design and levelling, and lets you instantly wander from the main plot and explore its enormous world to your own entertainment. It’s Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning.

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Aww: Epic Make Moves To Hire Big Hugers


The collapse of 38 Studios and Big Huge Games, after the commercial failure of Kingdoms Of Amalur, left a lot of game developers completely out of work. Which is not a good situation to be in. But all is not lost, thanks to the need for Epic to expand. In a letter written by Mike Capps, the company explains that they need lots of talent, and consequently they’re jumping right in with both feet and hiring a bunch of Big Huge Games folk: “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.”

So that’s a new Epic studio in Baltimore, working on something owned by Epic, starting, well, right now.

Things You Will Not Get: Amalur Patch, Reckoning 2

That troll actually went on to nab a modelling career by using the ugliness of this whole situation as a comparison.
The saga of 38 Studios continues to be an eternally springing font of sad. A wrenching 379 layoffs are, of course, the centerpiece of this Shakespearean tragedy, but further fallout has revealed incredibly sketchy mortgage practices for relocated employees, and now, Joystiq‘s reporting that Reckoning 2 was in pre-production before Curt Schilling’s money Titanic collided with an iceberg that was also the apocalypse. And, to make matters – in retrospect – worse, it sounded fairly promising.

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38 Studios And Big Huge Games Lay Off All Staff

: (

In incredibly bad news, it’s been announced tonight that 38 Studios, and its wholly owned subsidiary Big Huge Games (Age Of Empires III, Rise Of Nations), are laying off their entire workforce. The Curt Schilling-owned enterprise was in a noticeably shaky state earlier this month when it was unable to make a repayment for a massive $75m loan it had taken from Rhode Island state in 2010, despite decent sales of Kingdoms Of Amular, and great promises of an MMO to come. Having just managed to make this repayment, staff began to notice that something was still up as paychecks failed to arrive in bank accounts, and health insurances were running out. And now, in a rather unpleasantly brisk email, they’ve learned that all 379 of them are immediately out of a job.

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Saving Throw: Amalur Dev Pays Gov, Pegs MMO For 2013

Dear whoever this reanimated skeleton belongs to, we've taken him hostage. Please send $75 million to the PO box below, or we will hit him with this giant hammer. Signed, 38 Studios.

Generally, the weekend is life’s pause button. But occasionally, things happen. Strange things. Vile things. Things involving incessant backstabbery and good people falling on impossibly hard times. Oh, wait, I’m just describing yesterday’s Game of Thrones (wasn’t it great?). No, no, the real world weekend actually yielded a bloom-lit bounty of good news. In short, Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios (and subsidiary Big Huge Games) managed to at least temporarily ward off the Grim Reaper using that $1.125 million it wasn’t able to previously muster. Even so, this is just the beginning, and – somewhat terrifyingly – 38 still plans to plug the gaping wound in its bank account with an MMO. I’ve heard those things aren’t exactly cheap.

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Bottom Of The Ninth: 38 Can’t Pay State Or Employees

So, uh, Kickstarter?
When we last glanced in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developer 38 Studios’ direction, trouble was afoot – but it was tiptoeing, perhaps while disguised as some form of shrubbery. Now, though, things have taken a whiplash-inducing turn for the worst. In short, Joystiq reports that former baseball star Curt Schilling’s unlikely venture has borrowed a total of $75 million from the state of Rhode Island – with a $1.125 million payment due on May 1. 38 – possibly now named after the amount of money in its bank account – couldn’t pay. Today, however, the company gave it a go anyway. Unsurprisingly, that didn’t end well.

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Time For A Reckoning: 38 Studios In Trouble?


Kingdoms of Amalur creators 38 Studios, who are based in Providence, Rhode Island, are apparently in talks with that state about their financial difficulties, as reported by this Providence newspaper. Superbly-named governor Lincoln Chafee said: “We’re always working to keep Rhode Island companies solvent, and that’s what we’re doing with 38 Studios.”

Reportedly, the game sold 410,000 copies across all formats – a figure which cast doubt on the future of the proposed MMO based on the world.

Wot I Think: Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning

There's a lot of this.
Having poured many fevered hours into the release version of Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning I can now ask you not to judge it entirely on its weak, wonky demo. Have a read of my review, and then mix the two experiences together to create a potion of critical insight +3.

Here’s wot I think.
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Kingdoms of Amalur’s Fantasy World Tour


We’ve already had a taste of Kingdoms’ blank stares and fighting-game type combat in the demo, but a new trailer shows much more of the world, and rather fancy it looks, too. It shows how the stories are told, as well as showing off some of the more impressive locations. There’s some emphasis on the side-quests, and it promises “secrets” scattered across the landscape, presumably to remind folks that this is an open-ended RPG like those other ones.

The game is out February 7th in North America and February 10th for the Kingdoms Of Europea.
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Kingdoms Of Amalamadingdongdemo

BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

38 Studios/Big Huge Games’ promising but awkwardly-named RPG Kingdoms of Ham Sandwich: Baconing is only three weeks away now, and you can treat your EYES and EARS and FINGERS and WHATEVER OTHER ORGANS YOU USE TO PLAY GAMES WITH to a fairly sizeable Amalur demo from the Steams right now. So far it’s content I already played for a preview a while back, but it’s well worth a look yourself, to grasp the tone of the game (exposition-heavy fantasy wibbling, I fear, but generously the cutscenes are skippable), the look and the slightly weird-feeling controls, as well as exploring the different playable races, the beard-tastic character customiser and the first touches of combat/skill specialisation.
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Kingdoms Of Amalur’s Non-Combat Bits

Smell the glove

It’s yet another Kingdoms of Amalur video. There have been so many that I almost skipped straight past this one, continuing on my way through the internets in search of something more succulent. An unfathomable urge caused me to linger, however, and to watch. I’m glad I did because it’s the first time any footage of the game has managed to convince me there’ll be more to do than stabbing, skewering and spellocide. Sneaking, robbing, persuading, charming and exploring. Those are the kinds of things heroes get up to when they’re not committing murders. Take a look-see and then stick around for news of an imminent demo.

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Kingdoms of Amalur’s Handsome Combat

Fight fight fight!
What I presume will be the final 2011 “insider” video for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning focuses on its action-RPGness, which means talking about the combat and the stuff that articulates the combat, the art and animation. It’s quite an interesting angle to take, actually, looking at how the animators have to try and portray the fight ’em up mechanics that the designers are trying to put into it. And it looks good. There’s no doubt that Kingdoms will be quite a light Swords & Conversation sort of a game, and I’m certainly interested to see exactly where they take it, particular in terms of how open their open world actually is.
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Hands On: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Lemon fresh!
We sent Agent Smee to have a good long play of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Below is his detailed report on the colourful open-world fantasy ’em up where atheism gives you an XP boost.
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Fate Fight: Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning

Science-destiny-magic: You kill monsters and steal their fate which makes your weapons glow  and cut through flesh as if it were butter

Footage of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning makes it clear that the fateless hero will spend a great deal of time ending the destinies of almost everything he comes across. As Alec’s hands-on experience taught him, having an open world doesn’t mean an RPG has to be about exploring and collecting vegetables. It can also be mostly about killing things, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To that end, here’s a video showing a variety of things being killed in a variety of ways. It doesn’t make me care a jot about the no doubt lore-laden terminology describing elaborate special attacks, but it does make me want to try them out.

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Kingdoms Of Amalur: The “Hero’s Guide”

Cave trolls are much more interesting than internet trolls.
Pleasingly-looking RPG Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning (which Alec got to have a look at in detail recently and will be writing about soon) has a new trailer, with a lot more detail about what’s going on in the world, and what you can expect to see and do a “hero” of that world. Go take a look, below. (Via Blue.)
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Koboldy: Kingdoms of Amalur Due Feb 2012

Kobolds vs Wizards, yesterday.
38 Studios’ fantasy RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will be swooshing its magical weapons in our direction on Feb 7th 2012, according to today’s announcements from its publisher, Electronic Arts. What does that mean? Well, it means ‘epic’ fantasy action, much of which will involve hitting monsters in the face with the aforementioned tools of chopping. 38’s bossman Curt Schilling apparently claims that the game will be an experience half way between God Of War and Oblivion. That sounds like quite the marriage.

I can also confirm that it has kobolds in, because they’re picture above. A trailer, meanwhile, is below.
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Betrailed: Kingdoms Of Amalamalamalamur

you'll put your back out standing like that, man

Kingdoms Of Amalur: The Reckoning hasn’t been seen all that often, and if it’s not something you’ve heard of you should probably expect to. 38 Studios, a team headed up by former baseball bloke Curt Schilling, took an enormous loan from Rhode Island to move their offices over there, which means Amalur’s kingdom is a cash-rich one. As demonstrated by the below…
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Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning Looks Good

Has that monster grown a reading light?

I’m still a touch nervous about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning after the developers announced it’s the precursor to an MMO set in the same universe, but EA’s just released the game’s PAX demo online and the game does look like fun. The action seems weighty and robust, and the attack effects are explosively pretty without getting in the way of things (click here to see some explosive prettiness getting in the way of things). The world looks oddly empty, too, but never mind that. See for yourself after the jump.
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