38 Studios and Big Huge Games, creators and developers of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, are no more. After a well publicized run-in with the state of Rhode Island over a missed loan payment, it was announced today that all employees of both companies, 379 in total, have been laid off. No employees have received a pay cheque since April 30th.
Of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the Governor of the state of Rhode Island, Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, said:
“The game failed,” he said. “The game failed. That was integral to the success of the company.”
He told reporters that experts told them it would have had to sell 3 million copies to break even. Schilling has said that the game sold about 1.2 million copies in its first 90 days.
“Companies fail over night,” Chafee said, in response to a question about the sudden closure.
Now, calling it a failure is something of a misnomer. To “break even” Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning had to sell 3 million units. It’s being speculated that where the failure lies isn’t so much with the performance of Reckoning, but with the studios projects and their reliance on its performance to fund the ongoing development of “Project Copernicus,” a long-in-the-making MMORPG. 1.2 million copies in a month-and-a-half is a decent number, even for a game as large as Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. A more conservative estimate in sales and budget might have saved the studio (though this is, of course, speculation on my part.)