Kingdoms of Amalur Could Fall to Rhode Island

Kingdoms of Amalur Could Fall to Rhode Island

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

Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios is in trouble. 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 Law of the Game editor Mark Methenitis told Joystiq 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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Damn, and here I was hoping the Government would become a major publisher. They can't be any worse than EA or Activision, right?

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.

so how long before Kickstarter pick up Amalur 2?

Zeckt:
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.

Andy Chalk:
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.

Maybe by your Reckoning.

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.

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.

Zeckt:
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.

PrinceOfShapeir:
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

evilthecat:
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.

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.

Wait....I thought that game sold well and was backed by a former MLB player? How the hell can it be in debt?

Tenmar:
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.

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.

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.

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.

PrinceOfShapeir:
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?

KoA was just a 100% bore-fest to me.

AC10:
KoA was just a 100% bore-fest to me.

Another offline MMO is the impression the demo gave me.

I love how people complain about seaquels, but dont go out of their way to pick up new IP's

Oh. Well, here I was hoping for some Rhode Island propaganda interspersed in their next projects, but this isn't quite as fun. I liked Skyrim Lite, was impressed that it was a first attempt, though, admittedly, I only played it for about 30 hours before my attention was diverted by my friend suggesting a consecutive run through of all the God of War games.

UnderGlass:
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.

Inexperienced direction? Wasn't the lead designer from Oblivion behind KoA? Shitty direction, maybe.

Vault101:
I love how people complain about seaquels, but dont go out of their way to pick up new IP's

It'd be more defensible if it wasn't so meh. I will defend something like Bastion like a rabid fucking dog, but I will also talk about what MW3 does right.

Just because it's new doesn't mean it doesn't deserve to get booed into The Elder Scrolls IV. A pile of shit is still a pile of shit whether it's freshly laid or put back into the microwave once the stank has worn off.

pure.Wasted:

evilthecat:
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.

Its like a really good sandwich. The ingrediants aren't unique by any stretch, and it doesn't look too much different to most others you've eaten but the person who made it is a clever bastard. He's swapped out the standard ham with smoked salmon, instead of mayo there's spicy ranch dressing, and intead of plain jane tomato and onion its spanish onion and sundried tomato on a greek roll instead of white bread.

Its true that it looks like WoW, plays like Fable and its tale is hardly ground breaking but it isn't as self obsessed with its own grittiness like Dragon Age was and being a mage doesn't make you a fucking lightning rod for satanic pranks and trolls.

It was fun, and I really need to get the two DLC packs next week.

Freechoice:

UnderGlass:
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.

Inexperienced direction? Wasn't the lead designer from Oblivion behind KoA? Shitty direction, maybe.

Actually I was referring to Curt Schilling but also the general "newness" of the composite team of 38 studios and BHG. There were certainly some competent and experienced people employed there. The game's relative quality is testament to that despite the radical change in direction part-way through development.

It would be cool to see Activision drop some big bucks to snag Kingdoms of Amalur just to mess with EA, though.

It EA really wants the Kingdoms of Amalur IP, they could probably write a check to 38 Studios today. Might not be a bad idea, either... it would help the studio pay off its debts and maybe stay in business. The State of Rhode Island certainly doesn't want to wind up owning the assets of the Studio; in the event it happened they'd turn around and sell them at fire sale prices anyways.

UnderGlass:

Freechoice:

UnderGlass:
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.

Inexperienced direction? Wasn't the lead designer from Oblivion behind KoA? Shitty direction, maybe.

Actually I was referring to Curt Schilling but also the general "newness" of the composite team of 38 studios and BHG. There were certainly some competent and experienced people employed there. The game's relative quality is testament to that despite the radical change in direction part-way through development.

Well that's where you and I disagree. I only cared to play the demo because I was bored shitless. First, an overly long exposition dump, then some more uninteresting character designs (Hmm, Imperial, Redguard, Altmer or Dunmer... HOW FUCKING INTERESTING) then, to quote the great Nahtzee, an introduction to "baby's first Skyrim."

If the game wasn't bad, it was so meh that it doesn't deserve a sequel, let alone an MMO.

I really wish game companies would stopping wasting their time, investor's money and player hype on stupid pointless MMOs. I am getting sick of these things cropping up like 'Whack-A-MMO'.

It is getting very tiring when I would rather play solo or co-op than join an 'online world' which is more 'online static scenario with jumps in time'.

Freechoice:

UnderGlass:

Freechoice:

Inexperienced direction? Wasn't the lead designer from Oblivion behind KoA? Shitty direction, maybe.

Actually I was referring to Curt Schilling but also the general "newness" of the composite team of 38 studios and BHG. There were certainly some competent and experienced people employed there. The game's relative quality is testament to that despite the radical change in direction part-way through development.

Well that's where you and I disagree. I only cared to play the demo because I was bored shitless. First, an overly long exposition dump, then some more uninteresting character designs (Hmm, Imperial, Redguard, Altmer or Dunmer... HOW FUCKING INTERESTING) then, to quote the great Nahtzee, an introduction to "baby's first Skyrim."

If the game wasn't bad, it was so meh that it doesn't deserve a sequel, let alone an MMO.

Not so different actually. Like I said, relative, as in the context of the challenges they faced to ship it. 'Inspired'? No-way. 'Unique'? Nope, not even particularly memorable. Competent would be the best adjective I could find, even if that sounds a bit like a back-handed compliment. Yeah the demo was a bit ropey but the finished build was much more polished. Honestly, for such an ambitious game, they really delivered what they were claiming to deliver. A mostly bug-free, 'epic' fantasy role-playing game, with bombastic action-game combat. Being bored by it I can totally understand, I never finished it either although I gave it a good turn for 20+ hours. It's hard to condemn it for being a bad game though. You could argue that it implemented this hybrid better than peers like DA2, and it was certainly bigger and more diverse.

The thing which really upsets me here isn't the potential loss of a second KoA, although with better writing this could actually be cool. It's the stupidity of mismanagement when just about everything you could hope to go right for you goes right. It's the thought that an independent studio made a big budget, big scope rpg based on a wholly new IP and made a reasonable success out of it. That's the sort of thing you can normally build on.

Captcha: carpe diem, kind of ironic :/

UnderGlass:

The thing which really upsets me here isn't the potential loss of a second KoA, although with better writing this could actually be cool. It's the stupidity of mismanagement when just about everything you could hope to go right for you goes right. It's the thought that an independent studio made a big budget, big scope rpg based on a wholly new IP and made a reasonable success out of it. That's the sort of thing you can normally build on.

Captcha: carpe diem, kind of ironic :/

It's funny that you mention that. They had a big name fantasy sasquatch that got a degree in dry humping JRR Tolkien's leg write a fair chunk of the game and it was still pretty shitty.

Well if you want contextual grandeur, then 8monkey Labs (the guys behind Darkest of Days) are probably the kings of it. Yeah, their game was mediocre at best, but the context was the exact opposite of 38 Studios. They had a shoestring budget, a shoestring staff, nobody important working on it and they had something that was truly unique the same year Modern Warfare and ODST were coming out. Yeah, the game sucked, but it was playable and interesting enough for Nahtzee to want a sequel.

Given what Amalur had, they should have done MUCH better, but they didn't. It was mediocrity in its fullest and they deserve to lose their IP for fucking it up so bad.

Carpe diem noctem vincere

Freechoice:

UnderGlass:

The thing which really upsets me here isn't the potential loss of a second KoA, although with better writing this could actually be cool. It's the stupidity of mismanagement when just about everything you could hope to go right for you goes right. It's the thought that an independent studio made a big budget, big scope rpg based on a wholly new IP and made a reasonable success out of it. That's the sort of thing you can normally build on.

Captcha: carpe diem, kind of ironic :/

It's funny that you mention that. They had a big name fantasy sasquatch that got a degree in dry humping JRR Tolkien's leg write a fair chunk of the game and it was still pretty shitty.

Well if you want contextual grandeur, then 8monkey Labs (the guys behind Darkest of Days) are probably the kings of it. Yeah, their game was mediocre at best, but the context was the exact opposite of 38 Studios. They had a shoestring budget, a shoestring staff, nobody important working on it and they had something that was truly unique the same year Modern Warfare and ODST were coming out. Yeah, the game sucked, but it was playable and interesting enough for Nahtzee to want a sequel.

Given what Amalur had, they should have done MUCH better, but they didn't. It was mediocrity in its fullest and they deserve to lose their IP for fucking it up so bad.

Carpe diem noctem vincere

Maybe people are tired of offline MMO's with WOW-like graphics. I know that I am and I know that's why I am waiting for a major price drop after playing the demo. I am sure there is a major price drop coming too.

 

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