In sad news, 38 Studios, the team behind Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, has been closed with around 400 staff now without a job. The studio, as well as Big Huge Games, went under because they failed to make a payment of $1.125 million on its $75 million loan from the state of Rhode Island. Despite the success of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning employees of 38 Studios recieved this notice on May 24th:
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 adds insult to injury is that 38 Studios were in the process of developing an MMO known only by its codename “Project Copernicus“. There are literally no details as of yet about Project Copernicus apart from a short video showing off the various environments. However Curt Schilling, the founder of 38 Studios, uploaded some screen shots of the mysterious MMO on his Facebook fan page. The five screen shots show off how, potentially, this game could have been utterly stunning with a very refreshing art style (think if Skyrim was produced by Pixar).