Posts Tagged ‘Big-Huge-Games’

Steam Age: Rise Of Nations Extended Edition Out Now

MORE. GAMES. Even old ones.

I’ve always though that Rise Of Nations never got its due. Developed by Big Huge Games, it was a real-time strategy game which looked like Age of Empires but took inspiration from Civilization. Mainly that inspiration was that you could advance your civilizations across eight ages of history during a match, meaning that you could begin with Hoplite and end with stealth bombers just an hour later. If you missed it, or if you miss it, then there’s now a Rise of Nations: Extended Editions available on Steam.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bigger And Huger – Rise Of Nations: Extended Edition

Noooooo, my polo game!

It’s been ages since I played Rise of Nations, but my memories – admittedly not adjusted for the ye moderne days of nowe – tell me it was fantastic, beautifully expansive RTS. Back in those days, Big Huge Games a) existed and b) made brilliant strategies instead of sprawling fantasy RPGs that tried their best only to get chewed up and spat out by the ugly gears of the gaming industry. And Rhode Island. Rise of Nations: Extended Edition is being handled by Skybox, the same folks who brought us Age of Mythology: Extended Edition, which Alec liked quite well. The feature set is similar, too: better graphics, Steamworks integration, Twitch support, etc.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

THQ Big Huge Losses = Losing Big Huge Games

I thought it best to post this quickly before disappearing for the night. Following rumours earlier today THQ have confirmed that Big Huge Games are for sale. Or rather they’re going to close the studio if a sale isn’t completed in – to quote what THQ’s Julie MacMedan said to Crispy Gamer – the “near future.” This is part of their plans to cut $220 million in costs after nearly $200 million losses in Q4 last year. Creators of Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends, if this is actually the end, it’ll inevitably be a big huge loss for gaming.

Big Huge Cheques

Just crawling off to bed, and a news story arrives from Gamasutra. Rise of Nations (and Legends) developer Big Huge Games have been purchased by THQ. One quote sticks out from Big Huge Games’ Tim Train.

“We look at the world as dividing into two camps from a publisher perspective – first are the people who view game production as more of an assembly-line process, whereas THQ are a lot more focused on keeping developer culture intact — they think it’s a big engine of creativity, especially when trying to develop original IP. Because they’re not built on big, monolithic single-location studios, they’ve got a very worldwide studio system that was very attractive to us when we were talking to them.”

While they’ve an console RPG in the works, there’s also mention of another (new) game which helped seal the deal – which, from BHG, you may speculate is an RTS or strategy game of some sort. The deal’s an interesting one from a PC perspective. From my perspective, THQ have been heavily supportive of the PC as a platform in recent years (Company of Heroes. Supreme Commander. They even carried on supporting STALKER when many people presumed it was doomed). They now actively own – in the form of Relic and BHG – two of the best RTS developers on the planet. What are they thinking?

Age of Empires Now Even Ageier

I didn’t really get on with Age of Empires III – pettily, I was turned off by its fonts – so wasn’t paying huge attention to the second add-on pack. Then three things happened which changed my mind.

Strategy in real time. Whatever will they think of next?

Firstly, they released a demo of it. I’m always interested in free stuff. Secondly, Tom Chick got excited about it. When it comes to anything to do with the RTS, I’ll trust Chick a long way – especially because he wasn’t exactly enamored with the first. Thirdly – and this really shows how off my radar it was – it’s actually being primarily developed by Big Huge Games rather than Ensemble. Who, according to Tom, have been doing some really neat things. Including hotkeys, but Tom always gets excited by hotkeys. If a key’s not hot, he’s not into it.

612 Mb of Real time strategy ahoy!