In a world dominated by money, greed and power, it was hard to imagine that there was a single publisher or developer out there that really cared about the financial difficulties that 38 Studios and Big Huge Games, developers of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, a great fantasy RPG, found themselves. Just a few weeks ago, 38 Studios announced its closure, and with them it’s subsidiary Big Huge Games. That’s a lot of people losing their jobs, and for us gamers it meant the closure of a promising partnership with a bright future.
But now Epic Games have announced a plan……an impossible plan. The news comes courtesy of Michael Capps, president of Epic, who published a post on the Epic Games website saying:
“Our heart goes out to the people affected by the unfortunate events surrounding 38 Studios and its subsidiary in Baltimore, Big Huge Games. Through it all, the team stayed together in a way that’s been really heartwarming to see. The team kept working, hoping that there’d be a way to secure last-minute funding and save the company. People brought extra food into the office to help those unable to pay their bills. And last week, in bittersweet irony, Big Huge Games was named to Game Developer’s Top 30 studios in the world list.
You may be wondering why I’m writing all this – and it’s because Epic is going to do something to help them, and we want people to understand why we think it’s the right thing to do.
On Wednesday, the ex-BHG leadership team contacted us. They wanted to start a new company and keep together some of the key talent displaced by the layoff, and hoped that they could use an Epic IP as a starting point for a new game. We loved that they all wanted to keep working together, but it was pretty clear they’d have trouble building a demo and securing funding before their personal savings ran out.
In one of life’s coincidences, Epic’s directors had spent the morning discussing how we’d love to build even more successful projects with our growing team, but that we’d need a dramatic infusion of top talent to do so. Which, we all knew, was impossible.
So now we’re planning to start an impossible studio in Baltimore.”
So, if you didn’t get it from those wonderful words, Epic Games will be starting up a brand new studio in Baltimore where they’ll be taking on as many of the core Big Huge Game’s team as they can. Until they can get the new studio actually up and running, Micheal Capps has also revealed that they’ll be bringing as many people down to work at Epic’s headquarters as they can to work as contractors, because otherwise these people would have to wait too long without a paycheck. Don’t you just love Epic, now?
“There’s a million things to work out. How many of the team can we hire? What will it be called? What will they be working on? We don’t know all the answers yet. Please give us some time to figure it out; we hope to have more to share soon.” said Micheal Capps. “It’ll take a while to find space, set up desks and PCs, purchase sufficient Nerf weaponry and Dr. Pepper, etc”
This is truly fantastic news! The only downside is that the rights to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning now belong to the state of Rhode Island, so we won’t be seeing them working on a sequel to that, or at least, not yet.
congratulations, Epic, you’re awesome.