38 Studios and Big Huge Games, the minds behind Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and the just recently announced MMO Project Copernicus have been in the spotlight as of late for their recent financial troubles. At first, all eyes were on them for missing a payment of $1.25 million to the state of Rhode Island in which they eventually paid, but things have since escalated.
News of 38 Studios’ continued financial woes broke yesterday on Kotaku with an update following from The Verge than a subsequent one from Kotaku, but its official that 38 Studios has let go their entire staff of almost 400 employees and closed their Maryland based subsidiary Big Huge Games. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning had to sell 3 million copies for the company to break even on the project and sold only a reported 1.2 million copies according to the studios founder, Curt Schilling.
Rhode Island’s governor, Lincoln Chafee, dubbed the project as a “failure” and also went on to say that “companies fail overnight” in response to the studios closure.
This memo was issued to all employees yesterday (via Gamasutra and WPRI):
The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a company wide 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.
This truly saddening news and we wish the best for the staff of 38 Studios and Big Huge Games. IGN posted up a Google Doc with industry job postings and we will do the same, here is the link. Stay tuned for updates regarding this story here at HeyUGuys Gaming.