Spending money on new IP (intellectual property) is risky business. Take developer 38 Studios’ Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, for example. The EA published action/RPG had a lot of hype leading up to its release and sold a decent 330,000 copies in its first month, according to NPD data. That wasn’t good enough, however, especially since the state of Rhode Island loaned the developer $75 million back in 2010. In order to begin paying off the developer’s debt to Rhode Island, 38 Studios skipped payroll for some of its employees.
Things have become even worse for 38 Studios, as the developer had to layoff an unspecified number of employees. At this rate, things aren’t looking good for 38 Studios’ next game, an MMO codenamed “Project Copernicus” that is supposed to release in June of 2013.
-Nick’s take: Reckoning is a really good game, but its sales weren’t fantastic enough to save 38 Studios. The developer isn’t out of business yet, but unfortunately, things aren’t looking good. I wish everyone at 38 Studios–and the taxpayers in Rhode Island who will have to foot the bill for the loan should the studio close–the best of luck.