38 Studios is dead and gone. May the proud people that followed Curt Schilling down the rabbit hole of starting a video game company look forward a brighter future ahead. Even as the company dissolved in May though, there was at least one bright spot. Big Huge Games, the studio responsible for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, was shuttered but Epic Games opened the new studio Epic Baltimore as a result. That studio is made up of many of the 80 employees that formerly staffed Big Huge Games.
Does Kingdoms of Amalur have a future then. Could all those creators’ hard work on establishing a role-playing universe be put to good use under Epic?
Amalur publisher Electronic Arts is certainly open to it. Speaking to Game Informer (via VideoGamer.com), EA Labels president Frank Gibeau said that Electronic Arts would definitely like to see a sequel to that game. “I think it’s unfortunate how everything worked out [for 38 Studios]. At the end of the day we saw a lot of creativty and vision in the team that Curt put together. We though the game was terrific. It reviewed well,” said Gibeau, “We built a good business there and hope there’s a sequel to it someday. We’d love to be a partner for that.”
38 Studios closed in May after failing to make payments on a $75 million load made to the company by the Rhode Island Development Corporation, a state funded group that tasked with fueling job growth. The studio was originally opened in 2006 to develop a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the Kingdoms of Amalur universe created in part by author R.A. Salvatore. In 2009, after three years and development on the MMO going slowly, 38 Studios acquired Big Huge Games from publisher THQ. Big Huge Games brought a nearly finished open world single-player RPG designed by Elder Scrolls creator Ken Rolston with it. This game was repurposed by 38 Studios and it eventually became Kingdoms of Amalur.
The Kingdoms of Amalur property itself remains in the possession of 38 Studios. It’s possible that EA or Epic could purchase the property from what remains of 38 Studios for cheap as the defunct company’s debts remain unpaid. Joystiq reported in May that Big Huge Games had already started pre-production on a sequel to Reckoning when 38 Studios’ financial woes shut down the company.