Once upon a time, there was a magical place called 38 Studios. When they were given a 75 million dollar loan from the state of Rhode Island, they did what any of us would do: threw their hands up in the air, realized they had no idea what to do, and hired the fine and wonderful people of Big Huge Games to create some kind of new IP for them, to rival the Biowares and Bethesdas of the world. However, BHG was run by an evil, stupid former baseball player with no business sense. And lo, did these people somehow still go forth and create an entertaining yet overly lengthy and generally forgettable dungeon crawler called Kingdoms Of Amalur. It was ok. But it did not sell as well as expected, and 38 Studios was forced to declare bankruptcy. Thus screwing all their employees out of their pay and benefits, and forcing the taxpayers of RI to pick up the tab for the loan, now at $112 million with interest.
But all was not lost! Over the hills come the heralds for the generally-thought-to-be-evil peoples of Electronic Arts. Drawn by the scent of lingering money, they pledge interest in publishing a KOA sequel, saying:
“At the end of the day we saw a lot of creativity and vision in the team that Curt [Schilling] put together. We thought the game was terrific. It reviewed well.
“We built a good business there and hope there’s a sequel to it someday. We’d love to be a partner for that.”
However, the rights to the KOA IP now belong solely to the sovereign empire of Rhode Island, its fate yet to be determined. So though the future looks grim for the remaining peoples of Big Huge and 38, there could be an (evil, glowing, red) light on the horizon in the form of EA and their willingness to continue the vision of Amalur whilst sucking the figurative marrow from the bones of the casual fan and consumer. Or something. I’m running out of clever wordplay here.
That’s the news, whattaya think?