Kingdoms of Amalur Could Fall to Rhode Island

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Kingdoms of Amalur Could Fall to Rhode Island


The state of Rhode Island could soon find itself in the videogame business.

Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios is in trouble [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/117266-Kingdoms-of-Amalur-Studio-Struggling-to-Survive]. How much trouble isn't clear yet, although government types are starting to sweat a bit over the fact that the state could be on the hook for over $100 million if things fall apart completely. That's a lot of coin, especially for a deal with a single business that's less than two years old, but on the upside, it could mean that Rhode Island might end up owning the Kingdoms of Amalur IP as well as that of the unannounced "Project Copernicus" MMO.

Attorney and Joystiq [http://lawofthegame.blogspot.com/] that based on the information he's seen, the state's loan to 38 Studios was secured by the company's assets, including all its intellectual property. "That would include all the rights to Kingdoms of Amalur and any other games they may have in development, even if no information about those titles has ever reached the light of day," he said.

"If they default on their obligations to the RIEDC [Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation ], then the RIEDC can turn around and take possession of as much of that as is necessary to pay off the debts owed," he continued. "The RIEDC could then sell the rights in all of the Kingdoms of Amalur to another developer to offset the millions owed by 38 Studios, and this sale would typically be an auction-style sale to the highest bidder."

Methenitis added that if the sale of 38 Studios' IP brings in more than the money owed to the state, "the RIEDC will theoretically owe those funds back to 38 Studios," even though we all know there's no way that'll ever happen. It would be cool to see Activision drop some big bucks to snag Kingdoms of Amalur just to mess with EA, though.

No, that's not much of an upside.


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PrinceOfShapeir

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Mar 27, 2011
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Damn, and here I was hoping the Government would become a major publisher. They can't be any worse than EA or Activision, right?
 

Zeckt

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Nov 10, 2010
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Thats bad news, so much for new IP's. I really liked this game and its 2 good long dlc's, sucks to hear they are not doing so well. I guess the only new IP's are going to come from independent developers.
 

shrekfan246

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Zeckt said:
Thats bad news, so much for new IP's. I really liked this game and its 2 good long dlc's, sucks to hear they are not doing so well. I guess the only new IP's are going to come from independent developers.
This right here. And people wonder why studios and publishers are afraid of starting new IPs...

I pre-ordered Kingdoms of Amalur and I've been having a ton of fun with it. The only other person I regularly associate with did the same. He's purchased both of the DLCs as soon as they came out, he's purchased a few of the "Evil EA Day-One DLC" bundles too, he's spent something like $95 on this game and played it for over 100 hours without even getting halfway through the world map, and says that it's been well worth the money he's paid for it.

It's sad to hear that their studio might go under.
 

Meight08

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Feb 16, 2011
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A new ip dies and black ops 2 is the most pre ordered game in history.*sigh
Anybody who keeps buying cod:Rehash number 99 and complains about a lack of originality in games really needs to shut up.
 

Terminal Blue

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To be fair, it seems like 38 studios sunk a lot of money into trying to build yet another MMO, which strikes me as the business equivalent of dipping your balls into a nuclear reactor to see what will happen. Sure, you might develop superpowers, but probably not.

It is a pity though. I enjoyed Amalur a lot, and it would have been nice to have seen a sequel with the same design ethos.
 

evilneko

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Jun 16, 2011
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Zeckt said:
Thats bad news, so much for new IP's. I really liked this game and its 2 good long dlc's, sucks to hear they are not doing so well. I guess the only new IP's are going to come from independent developers.
But the new IP did reasonably well. It wasn't earth-shattering, but that's a bit much to expect. 38 is failing because they're stupidly throwing money at an MMO that'll likely never see the light of day.
 

The Artificially Prolonged

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PrinceOfShapeir said:
Damn, and here I was hoping the Government would become a major publisher. They can't be any worse than EA or Activision, right?
At least we could vote out the government if it tries day one dlc and drm :p
 

pure.Wasted

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evilthecat said:
To be fair, it seems like 38 studios sunk a lot of money into trying to build yet another MMO, which strikes me as the business equivalent of dipping your balls into a nuclear reactor to see what will happen. Sure, you might develop superpowers, but probably not.
Hahahahaha...

Well, sucks for these guys. I wasn't as big a fan of KoA as everyone else in this thread, it was more generic than DAO (which is saying something) and at times felt like a single-player version of WoW.

But it wasn't bad. If anyone is to blame for its mediocrity, it's the big names that were brought in to help with the writing. RA Salvatore, was it? I've heard the gameplay is quite good once you get into the swing of things, and the gameplay was 38's work more than anything.
 

UnderGlass

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What a colossal fucking snafu.

After all that effort and ridiculous overproduction, the game actually came out against powerful opposition and was really rather good. Better than decent. By most counts that's a fantastic result for a new studio, under inexperienced direction, with a shiny (if somewhat generic) new IP.

Someone needs to man (or woman) up and take the responsibility for this. I wasn't a rabid fan of the game but this news is incredibly disappointing.
 

Sucal

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Dec 23, 2009
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Tenmar said:
Wait....I thought that game sold well and was backed by a former MLB player? How the hell can it be in debt?
The game was basically a glorified world building Demo, for the MMO they are currently working on and took the Loan to make in the first place.

Unfortunately, as a new studio, their cash filled eyes wrote a check that the rest of them couldn't cash, and no matter how much cash their shiny new IP brings in, it won't cover the all devouring void the MMO has already created.
 

Azuaron

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Mar 17, 2010
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Ah, speculation. The only people who really know what's going on at 38 Studios are the managers of 38 Studios.

I'll tell you what one of them tells me when I see him in a couple of weeks.
 

Andy Chalk

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According to reports, most (or perhaps all) of that $75 million is going to fund the development of Project Copernicus, and while the successful launch of Amalur would presumably leave the studio in a position to at least make the payments on the loan, a lot of that comes down to the terms of the deal it signed with EA. It's quite possible that 38 Studios just took too much, too fast, and is now in over its head. There are a number of possibilities here and while it is all largely speculative, I don't think anyone would say that 38 Studios has behaved cautiously or even prudently since its founding.
 

Epona

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Having a weird title doesn't help. Everytime I go to look up information about the game, I have to check the spelling because I simply can't seem to remember the correct spelling for Amalur. Probably due to it not being a real word.
 

Something Amyss

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PrinceOfShapeir said:
Damn, and here I was hoping the Government would become a major publisher. They can't be any worse than EA or Activision, right?
Socialist video games! Do you really want your kids learning that government intervention is good?