Both 38 Studios and Big Huge Games worked on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Both were working on an MMO based in the Amalur universe, which was codenamed “Project Copernicus”. Both companies pretty much no longer exist and all 379 of their employees have been let go.
It’s taken us a week to get to this point; reports of 38 Studios’ flailing financial situation first arose last week Friday.
It’s scary how quickly these things can unravel. It’s also scary how unceremoniously all 379 staff members were shown the door. News website WPRI obtained the internal memo that was distributed to all staff across 38 Studios and Big Huge Games.
“The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary. These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary. This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012.”
What this means for the Rhode Island tax payers is still uncertain, but with all employees being let go, it’s likely both 38 Studios and Big Huge Games will be officially closed down. Once that happens, ownership of the Amalur IP essentially shifts to the Rhode Island public; the IP is valued at about $20 million. That will hopefully go towards the massive debt that tax payers will have to take over.