Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developers Big Huge Games and their owner 38 Studios have laid off their entire staff, according to Giant Bomb. 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling announced on Twitter that the RPG needed to sell three million copies to turn a profit, but only sold 1.2 million.
The announcement of the job losses follows the revelation earlier this week that 38 Studios employees have not been paid since May 1. The Rhode Island-based studio attempted to get more funding from the state, but were declined. “I would gladly extend the life of the company if I had confidence it would lead to profitably,” said Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee during a press conference. “We were not given that confidence.” It’s a sad state of affairs for 38 Studios, who attracted big names such as writer RA Salvatore and artist Todd McFarlane to work on Kingdoms of Amalur. It was also intended to be part of a bigger story, an MMO known as Project Copernicus. The problem with Kingdoms of Amalur wasn’t that it was bad by any means, but it simply failed to provide a new or compelling experience. The fact that Skyrim was released in the same year didn’t help matters either. So long, then, 38 Studios. They tried their best to come up with a new IP from a completely new studio, both of which require bags of time, talent and money. And they can’t say that they didn’t try. It’s a damn shame that we probably won’t ever see Project Copernicus, but at least we got a little insight into what it could have been.