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Kingdoms Of Amalur Developer In Trouble?

By Pete Haas 2012-05-15 11:30:40 discussion comments
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38 Studios, the company responsible for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, may be going through a rough patch. A new report out of Rhode Island says that state officials are meeting with the Providence-based studio to ensure it stays afloat.

"We're always working to keep Rhode Island companies solvent, and that's what we're doing with 38 Studios," Governor Lincoln Chafee told NBC10. He added that they were helping the company with "different issues."

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling founded 38 Studios in 2006. It was originally located in Massachusetts but Rhode Island was able to convince the company to relocate in 2010. Rhode Island offered the company a $75 million loan guarantee to seal the deal.

Rhode Island made the offer to 38 Studios because they hope the company will be a boon for the state's economy. A loan guarantee isn't without its risks, though. If 38 Studios defaults, the state assumes their debt.

38 has sunk a lot of money into developing the Amalur universe. Since 2007, they've been creating an MMO dubbed Project Copernicus that takes place in that world. They enlisted high-profile talent, such as including Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and fantasy author R.A. Salvatore, for the project. In 2009 they bought Big Huge Games, a development studio making a single-player RPG, and had Big Huge rework the game into Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It wouldn't surprise me, then, if the company's a bit light on cash.

Reckoning was intended to set the stage for the MMO's eventual release. It would introduce the setting to players and perhaps create an appetite for Copernicus in the process. The game sold 330,000 copies in its first month, which seems decent but it's profitability obviously depends on the production costs. We'll have to wait and see whether the sales were enough to keep the company going until they can release the MMO.
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