Today in Depressing Auctions: Want to Own the Last Remaining Assets of 38 Studios? [UPDATED]

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Posted by Alex (1934 posts) -

UPDATE: Joystiq grabbed a quote from Microsoft, and SURPRISE, they aren't exactly stoked about their property showing up in this auction.

"Xbox 360 Development Kits (XDK) are the property of Microsoft and are only licensed to authorized studios and may not be assigned or sold to any third party without the written consent of Microsoft," the company told Joystiq in a prepared statement. "We will be contacting the appropriate parties involved in the auction of 38 Studios' assets to remove the XDK units from the auction listing and to secure the return of the consoles to Microsoft."

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For sale: One video game developer, gently used.

It's been a while since we heard much about the 38 Studios debacle, mostly because there's hardly anything left of 38 Studios to even talk about. Developers have moved onto new studios and projects, Curt Schilling has seemingly holed himself up in a as-yet-undiscovered anti-press bunker, and the state of Rhode Island has been culling through the whole mess, looking for ways to make its money back on the ill-conceived loan the state gave the studio.

One way is to apparently auction off the entire inventory of computers, desks, audio equipment, and consoles, among other things, that once belonged to 38. Auction site SJ Corio Company lists the entire kit and caboodle as going up in two separate auctions--one in Maryland and one in Rhode Island--on October 12 and October 23, respectively.

Most of the items up for auction are the typical stuff you'd find in an office auction. Lots of TVs, conference equipment, phones, security equipment, and whatnot. However, one odd little detail in the Maryland auction is the apparent inclusion of Xbox 360 XDK units. In case you were wondering, those are Xbox 360 development kits, which, uh, I don't think you're supposed to sell? My understanding had always been that, technically, those units are licensed to developers, but aren't actually owned by the developer. So that might be a slight issue.

Otherwise, this is just kind of a fitting, sad, bizarre end to what has been one of the more depressing stories in our industry over the last few years. I wish I had some funny, off-color remark to bring the mood up a bit here, but I don't. I'm just sad now. Sigh...

Staff
#1 Posted by Alex (1934 posts) -

UPDATE: Joystiq grabbed a quote from Microsoft, and SURPRISE, they aren't exactly stoked about their property showing up in this auction.

"Xbox 360 Development Kits (XDK) are the property of Microsoft and are only licensed to authorized studios and may not be assigned or sold to any third party without the written consent of Microsoft," the company told Joystiq in a prepared statement. "We will be contacting the appropriate parties involved in the auction of 38 Studios' assets to remove the XDK units from the auction listing and to secure the return of the consoles to Microsoft."

-----

For sale: One video game developer, gently used.

It's been a while since we heard much about the 38 Studios debacle, mostly because there's hardly anything left of 38 Studios to even talk about. Developers have moved onto new studios and projects, Curt Schilling has seemingly holed himself up in a as-yet-undiscovered anti-press bunker, and the state of Rhode Island has been culling through the whole mess, looking for ways to make its money back on the ill-conceived loan the state gave the studio.

One way is to apparently auction off the entire inventory of computers, desks, audio equipment, and consoles, among other things, that once belonged to 38. Auction site SJ Corio Company lists the entire kit and caboodle as going up in two separate auctions--one in Maryland and one in Rhode Island--on October 12 and October 23, respectively.

Most of the items up for auction are the typical stuff you'd find in an office auction. Lots of TVs, conference equipment, phones, security equipment, and whatnot. However, one odd little detail in the Maryland auction is the apparent inclusion of Xbox 360 XDK units. In case you were wondering, those are Xbox 360 development kits, which, uh, I don't think you're supposed to sell? My understanding had always been that, technically, those units are licensed to developers, but aren't actually owned by the developer. So that might be a slight issue.

Otherwise, this is just kind of a fitting, sad, bizarre end to what has been one of the more depressing stories in our industry over the last few years. I wish I had some funny, off-color remark to bring the mood up a bit here, but I don't. I'm just sad now. Sigh...

Staff
#2 Edited by falling_fast (2180 posts) -

I have been looking for a new computer...

#3 Posted by Epidehl (284 posts) -

Man, that's a hell off a thing.

#4 Posted by august (3824 posts) -

I'm bidding on 7 pounds of hubris. It's a great deal!

#5 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (305 posts) -

That is a kick in the teeth.

And I enjoyed Amalur, quite a bit. Ah well.

#6 Edited by dvorak (1496 posts) -

I want to buy Curt Schilling's betrayal.

#7 Posted by Video_Game_King (35800 posts) -

SOLD to Bart Simpson for one dollar.

#8 Posted by falserelic (5270 posts) -

#9 Posted by leejunfan83 (948 posts) -

Damn Rich Gallup

#10 Posted by Milkman (16481 posts) -

How much is Curt Shilling's bloody sock?

#11 Posted by Gamer_152 (14049 posts) -

Wow, this is sad. Also, it is nuts that they're letting console development kits just be auctioned off, those are generally things that the console manufacturers do everything they can to make sure they never end up in the hands of someone who isn't a development studio.

Moderator
#12 Posted by kerse (2098 posts) -

damn

#13 Posted by ckeats (489 posts) -

I'd buy that sign.

#14 Posted by Chtasm (443 posts) -

If anything, they had a sick-ass logo.

#15 Posted by Karkarov (2942 posts) -

I have to wonder why it went this badly? Amalaur didn't sell that poorly did it? I can't help but think the business was just massively miss managed.

#16 Posted by porr (178 posts) -

@august said:

I'm bidding on 7 pounds of hubris. It's a great deal!

I lold

#17 Posted by JRock3x8 (236 posts) -

pretty sure curt has been on espn since this all went down

#18 Posted by AndrewB (7438 posts) -

I really wish I could go to that auction. Some great stuff probably cheap. I was also surprised about the 360 development kit. Not sure they realize what they're trying to sell with that one.

#19 Posted by iceman228433 (572 posts) -

yea Curt is on ESPN working the baseball coverage, so he is fine.

#20 Posted by xMEGADETHxSLY (446 posts) -

STARTING BID 1 GODAMN DOLLAR

#21 Posted by Phatmac (5720 posts) -

:(

#22 Posted by brownsfantb (389 posts) -

Man, I'd love to get my hands on a 360 dev kit. I wonder if Microsoft will step in and stop them selling them.

#23 Posted by Daveyo520 (6651 posts) -

Maybe I'll stop by and check it out.

#24 Posted by PopeShabooda (46 posts) -

Hm. The Rhode Island auction is a half mile from my house, and I've been considering buying a new PC. Guess I know what I'm doing the 23rd...

#25 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -

Remember when Interplay exploded and Bethesda bought the rights for Fallout for a song?

#26 Edited by Frootsnax (73 posts) -

Do you know where we can get details on these auctions? I currently live 20 minutes from where Big Huge was, and I wondering if they might have anything an IT guy would want.

#27 Posted by nohthink (1223 posts) -

Well... that sucks

#28 Posted by Alex (1934 posts) -

@Frootsnax: Click on the link in the story, the one hyperlinked to the auction company's name. That has the full listings for the auctions.

Staff
#29 Posted by Frootsnax (73 posts) -

@Alex said:

@Frootsnax: Click on the link in the story, the one hyperlinked to the auction company's name. That has the full listings for the auctions.

You da man!

#30 Posted by MeatSim (10734 posts) -

I do need a better computer chair but I am not going all the way to Rhode Island to get one.

#31 Posted by iAmJohn (6107 posts) -
@Karkarov

I have to wonder why it went this badly? Amalaur didn't sell that poorly did it? I can't help but think the business was just massively miss managed.

Reckoning has sold about 1.4 million units last I heard. Not great, but good enough for a new IP and was apparently good enough for EA to greenlight the sequel (though allegedly they pulled out after Rhode Island's governor started talking all that mess about the company).

They're a company that hired hundreds of employees and bought another studio while being unable to ship or secure outside funding for their game because Schilling and his money men were tied to the idea of this multimillion dollar making WoW-killer and unable to switch courses once it had become clear that this type of MMO barely has a market anymore. It's hubris at its finest.
#32 Posted by Twisted_Scot (1174 posts) -

Rekon the sign is a single piece or could I just by large metallic "S" "T" "U" "D" letters? Need something for the wall.

#33 Posted by Karkarov (2942 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

Reckoning has sold about 1.4 million units last I heard. Not great, but good enough for a new IP and was apparently good enough for EA to greenlight the sequel (though allegedly they pulled out after Rhode Island's governor started talking all that mess about the company). They're a company that hired hundreds of employees and bought another studio while being unable to ship or secure outside funding for their game because Schilling and his money men were tied to the idea of this multimillion dollar making WoW-killer and unable to switch courses once it had become clear that this type of MMO barely has a market anymore. It's hubris at its finest.

1.4 million is fine, period. People can't shut up about Dark Souls and From Software only agreed to make it after they saw the fan demand for another Demon's Souls. Demon's Souls itself only sold around 500k copies, if not less. Like you said, the company was just managed like shit. It is a shame, Amalaur had potential to move on and spawn a solid series instead it goes down in burning flames.

#34 Edited by BrianP (386 posts) -

Damn, they're selling Cat5 cables. Did they rip the copper out of the walls too?

#35 Posted by Sevenout (71 posts) -

Hey Timonium is just down the road from Baltimore, maybe I'll try to pick up a PS3 for 50 bucks. I always enjoy profiting off the misery of others.

#36 Posted by thatdutchguy (1267 posts) -

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP !  
 
  

#37 Posted by Shaanyboi (1255 posts) -

@Karkarov said:

I have to wonder why it went this badly? Amalaur didn't sell that poorly did it? I can't help but think the business was just massively miss managed.

My impression is that it sold well for a new brand, but for what the studio was spending on the MMO, it didn't sell enough. Though honestly, as much fun as I had with Amalur (over 100 hours... jesus christ...), there was so much 'extra dialogue' etc., pointless filler quests that they could've cut to save money on. I wouldn't say that about a Fallout, or a Dragon Age, or a Mass Effect, but the lore/dialogue in Amalur just not worth looking into any of that stuff... To me, anyways.

#39 Posted by iAmJohn (6107 posts) -
@rebgav

@Karkarov said:

1.4 million is fine, period. People can't shut up about Dark Souls and From Software only agreed to make it after they saw the fan demand for another Demon's Souls.

Dogshit, they began development on Dark Souls before Demon's even got its international release. They did get a nice increase in budget and dev time from the unexpected success of Demon's Souls but your statement is total nonsense.

"Dark Souls Development started after some time has passed with Demon's Souls development. Back then Demon's Souls wasn't praised in Japan yet or Globally, that happened later. The world wide release happened later as well. The reviews were getting out around the end of the year and got some awards but the development for Dark Souls was already started. At first it was more about the developers wanted to make a sequel, and as cost efficient because we were not expecting that much sales." ~ Miyazaki Hidetaka, Game No Shokutaku #191

Not to mention the whole "different studios, different expectations" thing. KoAR sold enough that EA would've bankrolled the sequel but it didn't make money; that's an unarguable fact. Whereas I'm sure both Demon's and Dark Souls were at least able to break even, being designed towards a niche audience.
#40 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7613 posts) -

@Karkarov: 1.4 million isn't exactly bad in terms of sales, but it didn't come close to making up for the development costs and just look at the amount of advertising and hype there was before release.

They clearly expected it to be the next Mass Effect/Dragon Age, but the game universe and lore weren't particularly appealing and the writing was woefully subpar. Plus they'd already committed to making an MMO, novels and a sequel, before the first game was even released. It was a disaster waiting to happen. I agree that the series might have gone somewhere, but they banked too much on it, too early.

#41 Posted by sthusby (382 posts) -

@ZZoMBiE13: That's gotta hurt.

The kick in the teeth, I mean.

#42 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (305 posts) -

@sthusby said:

@ZZoMBiE13: That's gotta hurt.

The kick in the teeth, I mean.

You better believe it did buddy! :P

#43 Edited by Aetheldod (3495 posts) -

The money should go to the people/workers who were screwed over first than the state , after all the heads up of 38 studios left them in avery dire economic cituation , the state wont starve but these people will :(

#44 Posted by JoeyRavn (4946 posts) -

I would gladly contribute with my copy of Kingdoms of Amalur. Actually, I'll pay anyone who makes me forget that I've ever played that game.

(Not making fun of the people who lost their jobs, don't get me wrong. I just happen to loathe KoA.)

#45 Posted by notha (239 posts) -

@Aetheldod said:

The money should go to the people/workers who were screwed over first than the state , after all the heads up of 38 studios left them in avery dire economic cituation , the state wont starve but these people will :(

ironically enough, if they do starve, the state will assist them with food stamps.

#46 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

I'm calling it: Rhode Island Kickstater.

#47 Posted by rentfn (1276 posts) -

@thatdutchguy: That is the first thing I thought of!!!!!

#48 Posted by CharAznable (773 posts) -

Man, I'm just bummed out every time I'm reminded of the fate of this studio. I keep thinking back to Rich Gallup excitedly teasing Project Copernicus on the Bombcast and being super excited about the company. It's hard not to root for that guy.

#49 Posted by nohthink (1223 posts) -

I bet Microsoft would have "removed" XDK if nobody wrote an article about it... Thanks Alex :p

#50 Posted by titan04 (15 posts) -

If they are licensed to the studio wouldn't you think that upon the studios closure they would have contacted the state of Rhode Island when the studio went bankrupt?

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