An auction to sell off the assets of shuttered game developer 38 Studios found no buyers for either its unfinished MMO—known as Project Copernicus—or the rights to RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, according to a report in the Providence Journal. The Wednesday auction was part of an ongoing effort to recover funds following the bankruptcy and closure of the Rhode Island developer in 2012.
Big Huge Games
It all begins so peacefully. A vast field of inky darkness, with just one point of light in the middle. Within it, a library stands tall and proud, but with many shelves left empty. Next to it, a few fields are tended by villagers, and a woodcutters’ camp stands in a clearing nearby. A scout sits and strokes his pet dog. In the middle of it all stands the town centre, its homes packed with children, waiting to come of age and leave a legacy unmatched by any other civilisation on Earth.
Rise of Nations attempts something quite audacious: fitting the entire span of human history into your lunch hour. It’s real-time, as in ‘real-time strategy’, but it accelerates that supposedly ‘real’ time to ludicrous levels, packing the scope of a game of Civilization into an hour without compromising on the detail. You might send a group of hoplites into battle with bronze spears and have them arrive armed with muskets. Imagine the aforementioned Civilization blended with Age of Empires, the Total War series and Red Alert and you’re getting close, but Rise of Nations has a few tricks of its own.
Well this is awful. You might recall that, around eight months ago, Epic Games snapped up many of the developers left jobless after the collapse of Kingdom of Amalar's 38 Studios and Big Huge Games. This new company, Impossible Studios, seemed like the light at the end of a particularly dark tunnel - but it's just a few months later and the developers have been fired all over again. Epic founder Tim Sweeney made the announcement on their community site, stating that "ultimately it wasn't working out for Epic."
There's a light at the end of the tunnel for a few of those left jobless by the closure of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developers Big Huge Games, thanks to Unreal Engine chiefs Epic Games.
Epic President Dr. Mike Capps - who, I now realise, has one of the most dramatic titles in the industry - has revealed in a blog post that the developer will be setting up a new studio in Baltimore to house a number of ex-Big Huge Games staff.
Things took a downward turn for the Kingdoms of Amalur studio this month when they failed to make a big repayment to the state of Rhode Island. They soon managed to foot the bill, but missed payroll and lost their CEO shortly after. Now Gamasutra report that everyone at 38 Studios and Big Huge Games has been laid off with this email.
38 Studios, Big Huge Games, and EA have announced that a new Kingdoms of Amalur expansion, Teeth of Naros, will be released on Steam on April 17. This is the second DLC expansion for the game, and will include the floating city of Idylla, which contains over 20 side quests and "a mysterious new race," five "enormous new dungeons," three new Twists of Fate, nine new armor sets, six new shields, and 18 new weapons. As with the previous expansion, Legend of Dead Kel, Teeth of Naros will be priced at $10 or £7.
Kingdoms of Amalur will have a complex, chromatic score played by huge orchestras of 90+ people, but no farting Gorillas, sadly. See the orchestra doing its thing over shots of Amalur's massive locations, and hear audio director, Grant Kirkhope describe what it's like to write big music for a big game. You can step into the Kingdom of Amalur to absorb the musical ambience and hit things in the demo, available now on Steam. It's out on February 7 in the US and February 10 in Europe.
Looking for a big new fantasy RPG to play? Kingdoms of Amalur might just fit the bill. A new demo is now available on Steam, giving everyone a chance to dive in and fight the various things that live in artist Todd McFarlene's head. There's a "destiny" system that lets you switch between combat styles in the middle of a ruck, and there should be plenty of mad weapons to mess with. Completing the demo should unlock some bonus items for Mass Effect 3 as well.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - if you don’t know - is a totally new RPG franchise developed by 38 Studios and Big Huge Games. It’s the brainchild of former Boston Red Sox pitcher (we think that has something to do with rounders) Curt Schilling, it also employs the talents of designer Ken Rolston (Oblivion), fantasy author R. A. Salvatore (The DemonWars Saga) and comic book artist and writer Todd McFarlane (Spawn) onboard.
More breaking news from the EA conference, Kingdoms of Amalur has just had a release date announced, it'll be with us on 10th of February 2012, just in time for the new year. Interested? Check out our preview.
Blimey, that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning trailer flew past didn't it? I was expect some more info on the game but they got hurried off the stage to make way for the next guy. If you'd like a second chance to catch the thing, take a look.