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Thread: Fate of Amalur MMO Teetering

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    News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff Severin Mira's Avatar
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    Fate of Amalur MMO Teetering

    As the fate of Curt Schilling's team at 38 Studios hangs in the balance, the first real media from the company's MMO has been revealed. Will this be the first and last we ever see of Project Copernicus?

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    In case anyone missed it, after this post all employees from both companies were laid off.
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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    This sucks

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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Damn. That's a pretty ignoble end to it all. They started in 2008, didn't they?

    EDIT: Here's a fun bit from Giant Bomb.

    UPDATE 3: According to Chafee, 38 Studios took a turn for the worse due to poor sales of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

    “The game failed," said Chafee.

    38 Studios founder Curt Schilling announced on Twitter yesterday that Reckoning sold 1.2 million copies. Chafee said the game needed to sell closer to three million.

    The state also just published a bunch of documents related to its loan.
    You know that the industry's bonkers when 1.2 million is a failure.
    Last edited by MasterChief; 05-25-2012 at 10:43 AM.

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    Damn. That's a pretty ignoble end to it all. They started in 2008, didn't they?

    EDIT: Here's a fun bit from Giant Bomb.

    You know that the industry's bonkers when 1.2 million is a failure.
    Yeah, the whole "it failed" thing is all about context. The fact that the game needed to sell 3 million to break even had to be because of all the other funds being funneled into the development of the money-draining MMO.
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    Member lolwhoops's Avatar
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    I would have been happy with no MMO and just a more refined Amalur game, perhaps a series that would continue to grow and refine itself. I liked Reckoning too much to want to see it die forever.

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    Member TheAnimeMan's Avatar
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    As I've mentioned on a few other places if the company had done more none MMO games first with the idea of MMO later and had not started with the MMO first we'd probabyl see one of hte most currently profitable companies.
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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimeMan View Post
    As I've mentioned on a few other places if the company had done more none MMO games first with the idea of MMO later and had not started with the MMO first we'd probably see one of the most currently profitable companies.
    Yeah, Runic Games' decision to hold off on the Torchlight MMO and focus on T2 makes a whole ton more sense now. 38 Studios should have been releasing several games under the Amalur name, build the brand some before sinking all this money into an MMO in such a volatile market.

    Quote Originally Posted by Macstorm
    Yeah, the whole "it failed" thing is all about context. The fact that the game needed to sell 3 million to break even had to be because of all the other funds being funneled into the development of the money-draining MMO.
    Yeah, there's that I guess. Still, it's pretty astounding to hear "million-selling failure" and really highlights that the failure was in 38 studios' business model.

    I feel horrible for RI citizens, though. That's a lot of money to float over to a company that goes insolvent like that. Wonder how much of that is going to end up actually getting paid back...

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  9. #9
    That RI loan of 75m only paid out 45m at this daye and 38S had already made the state over 20m in revinue since they moved there.

    That RI gov did some real shady stuff also which helped kill off 38s in the end. Sure, 38s had horrible people in their finance dept. that missmanaged their funds but that RI gov screwed the game studio sidways.

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    Member TheAnimeMan's Avatar
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    and could bring up specifics as to what he did that screwed them over sideways.

    Please back up a statement like that so that we all can read it
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    BEARSONA Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    Plus, someone can feel free to correct this, but I was under the impression they did not make 20m revenue, but that the IP was considered worth 20m.

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    Member TheAnimeMan's Avatar
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    http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/28/tech...dios/index.htm

    Thought I'd toss this up as it has some numbers in it and is a decent read for information
    I am bad and that is good, I will never be good and that's not bad, there's no one I'd rather be than me - Wreck-it-Ralph

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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    That article definitely does a good job outlining the basics. What makes the situation particularly unfortunate is that the loans themselves didn't come from the government, but from private investors. Rhode Island basically co-signed the loans with 38 Studios. That's why the RI taxpayers are on the hook for the loans... the government didn't directly give taxpayer money to 38, but it's contractually obligated to use taxpayer money to pay off the loans now that 38 went kaput.

    I feel bad for the former 38/BHG employees and the Rhode Island taxpayers.

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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paws View Post
    Plus, someone can feel free to correct this, but I was under the impression they did not make 20m revenue, but that the IP was considered worth 20m.
    Unfortunately, I doubt that RI's gonna get 20 million out of the sale of those IPs. Any game company worth its salt would see the situation RI's in and try to bid as far down as possible. It's not like RI's going to be making a game, and I doubt there's a lot of bidders for Amalur.

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Amalur's not worth anything without the team behind it. Only going off of Reckoning, which I really enjoyed, the soul of that game was the Big Huge Games team, not Schilling, Salvatore, McFarlane, or most of 38 Studios. They are gone now, and for me, so is Amalur.
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  16. #16
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    Unfortunately, I doubt that RI's gonna get 20 million out of the sale of those IPs. Any game company worth its salt would see the situation RI's in and try to bid as far down as possible. It's not like RI's going to be making a game, and I doubt there's a lot of bidders for Amalur.
    Yeah, that 20 million valuation was made by Michael Pachter, an analyst who is... frequently incorrect. Other analysts have since chimed in saying they doubt the IP will go for anything close to that. It's a brand-new IP that doesn't really have any currency with fans as of yet (while Reckoning was fun, there was little love for the setting, which most folks said had a few interesting ideas in it but was overall rather generic).

    What would be maximally awesome would be for Bethesda to hire the folks who designed Reckoning's combat system. And some writers.

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
    What would be maximally awesome would be for Bethesda to hire the folks who designed Reckoning's combat system. And some writers.
    That would be Joe Quadara, and I agree completely.
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  18. #18
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macstorm View Post
    Amalur's not worth anything without the team behind it. Only going off of Reckoning, which I really enjoyed, the soul of that game was the Big Huge Games team, not Schilling, Salvatore, McFarlane, or most of 38 Studios. They are gone now, and for me, so is Amalur.
    Pretty much. If BHG hadn't been shuttered, maybe, but without those guys, RI's gonna be lucky to get anything of value. The whole thing's just a huge cluster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocelot
    Yeah, that 20 million valuation was made by Michael Pachter, an analyst who is... frequently incorrect. Other analysts have since chimed in saying they doubt the IP will go for anything close to that. It's a brand-new IP that doesn't really have any currency with fans as of yet (while Reckoning was fun, there was little love for the setting, which most folks said had a few interesting ideas in it but was overall rather generic).
    Indeed. You don't get the big bucks for an IP that has only one game and very little cache with the community. Most game companies will simply be content to hire the guys behind Reckoning and have them work on something else, assuming the BHG crew doesn't end up rebranding. There's just no way RI gets off the hook for this massive political failure.

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  19. #19
    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Just a side note, the Reckoning combat designer DID get picked up by someone already. He's going to work for Ready at Dawn, the devs behind the PSP God of War games. They've been hiring for a third-person action-adventure game for a "next generation home console game system" since earlier in the year. Hmm?
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    Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff Fowl Sorcerous's Avatar
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    I cast summon editorialist to explain what this all means.

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