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124 Comments

38 Studios Possibly in Financial Trouble

State of Rhode Island working with the studio on solving "different issues."

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning didn't exactly set the world on fire, but it wasn't bad, either.

38 Studios may be in financial trouble, according to a report out of NBC 10 in Rhode Island.

"We're always working to keep Rhode Island companies solvent, and that's what we're doing with 38 Studios," said Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee to the local NBC affiliate.

The state made a $75 million loan guarantee in 2010 to initially bring 38 Studios to Rhode Island, a move now under scrutiny.

It’s only been a few months since 38 Studios released its first game, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. We’ve seen nothing of the long discussed MMO set in the same universe, codenamed Copernicus.

Chafee has not yet divulged specifics, only saying it's meeting with 38 Studios on “different issues.”

The studio has not yet responded to my request for comment.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
124 Comments
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Posted by EXTomar

I thought Amalur sold well too but this maybe a case where the cost of production outstripped the success they generated.

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Posted by thisisdell

I wanna give them money! They should do a kick starter, or would that not be appropriate sense they have already started?

Posted by Ariketh

RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICH!!!!!!!

Edited by Sword5

What a bad day for scrum...how will they ungulate now?

btw I have a better title

ONE BUTTON JUNK

State of Rhode Island working with the studio on solving "different issues."

Posted by Sporkbane

That sucks. Although I really feel like 38 should have seen this coming. Another cartoonish MMO style game? The only one we need already ha 10 million subscribers and they're not all that interested in switching to new stuff as every other MMO has proven thus far

Posted by UberExplodey

RIP Rich Gallup

Posted by BenderUnit22

Don't show the game you're supposedly making for years? They should've seen this coming.

Posted by Kohe321

Is this thing going to go full circle now, with Rich back at giantbomb under Cnet? Haha that would be epic.

Then we'd just need Greg Kasavin to get his ass back as well.

Posted by ArsenalFan

Is anyone really shocked that Curt Schilling might not know how to manage a video game developer?

Posted by Grixxel

I'll pay some more for my GB sub if it means we can bring in Rich and give him a good home~

Posted by JesterPC238

The biggest issue with KoA for me was that I felt no ownership of the world, and it didn't feel lived in in my opinion. I love the Elder Scrolls so much because the stories and the characters seem to truly exist in that world. It makes the game more immersive. KoA has phenomenal combat, and a pretty good (if very MMO-esque) leveling system, but if just doesn't hold my interest the way other RPGs do. I really hope their financial stuff works out though, it was still a very solid first effort.

Posted by MonkeyKing1969

@thisisdell said:

I wanna give them money! They should do a kick starter, or would that not be appropriate sense they have already started?

Buy their game NEW, and tell your friends to buy their game NEW. That is what will help them.

Posted by MonkeyKing1969

My perspective from living in Southeastern Mass is that...well Rhode Island is run by mafia crime families. Anyone living is Southern New England knows that is just a FACT. Want to know why Rhode Island is talking to 38 Studios all of a sudden? Because Peter "chief crazy horse" Limone wants his cut.

Posted by masterpaperlink

pull out rich before the ship sinks

Posted by swat200

Rich Gallup soon to be the newest member of the giant bomb crew lol

Posted by Ravenlight

@Vonocourt said:

@North6 said:

1 million copies sold at $60 each. $75 million dollar loan.

:/

Don't know exactly what you're trying to get at there?

That's million bucks!

Posted by blacklab

@ZombiePie said:

The article should mention how the state loan of $75-million (60% of the state's high tech loan budget at the time) to 38 Studios came with the promise that 38 Studios would bring 450 jobs to the state by the end of 2012. The promise was nonbinding but probably set expectations for the state. Now that it is 2012 my guess is that 38 Studios is far from that promise and the state is re-examing their loan, which the studio is reliant on to keep it active. Hence the rumors of financial trouble.

Makes a bit more sense with that info.

Posted by BigDaveisCheap

Rhode Island trying to become the next Georgia?

Edited by Slag

After reading all the different news stories, I would say 38 is definitely in big trouble. No E3 booth, seeking Bridge financing and missing loan payments with the state ain't good. Since Patrick's story it has come out that they missed a $1.12 million payment to Rhode Island this week.

plus PriceWaterhouseCooper issued a "going concern" warning for them last year, accounting firms only do that when there is a very strong probability a company will not stay solvent without a major positive change in finances for the next twelve months.

If they don't secure new financing or get restructure their loans they are probably toast.

EDIT: Apparently the payment was due on May 1 and 38 studios is now technically in default on their loan.

http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/providence/gov-ri-working-to-keep-schilling-company-38-studios-viable?2

Rhode Island EDC is having an emergency meeting tomorrow morning, so there could be more news on this sometime tomorrow afternoon about how bad or not bad this really is. Yikes

Edited by spazmaster666

I'm not getting the Skyrim comparisons since to me KoA: Reckoning felt nothing like Skyrim. With Skyrim, the world was actually very engaging whereas with KoA Reckoning, neither the world nor the characters were in any way engaging IMO. I ended up basically just following the golden quest circle the entire game, finishing side quests that I had no interest in, skipping through the majority of the dialogue. If it weren't for the combat (which after 80 hours gets pretty tedious as well), I would have stopped playing long ago. All in all I don't think I spent more than two or three hours at a time playing it since it just got dull if you spent too much time with it at once (whereas with Skyrim, I often played it in 8+ hours chunks at the onset).

Skyrim had a great world to explore and was a game that didn't require a structured quest system to enjoy (though it certainly had a very good quest system). Whereas with Reckoning, exploring the world isn't interesting at all. Anyway, I wish 38 Studios luck but I hope their next game is more engaging when it comes to the world they create.

Posted by Jackel2072

@Slag: yikes is right.

Posted by 71Ranchero

@MonkeyKing1969 said:

My perspective from living in Southeastern Mass is that...well Rhode Island is run by mafia crime families. Anyone living is Southern New England knows that is just a FACT. Want to know why Rhode Island is talking to 38 Studios all of a sudden? Because Peter "chief crazy horse" Limone wants his cut.

I actually lived across the street from the Manocchio's for a good ten years. State always had nondescript vans parked all over, true story.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/11/ex-ne-mob-boss-to-be-sentenced-in-strip-club-plot/

Posted by DriftSPace

@spazmaster666:

I fully agree; the world of Amalur was totally shallow and uninteresting. Some of the area designs were really neat, but because of the perspective and lack of a first person "look" mode it was hard to really take-in those designs. This game really could have used a more flexible camera system, but even with the current camera mechanics it could have been vastly more engaging.

The side quests were a huge waste of time. This is certainly not the kind of game which rewards exploration and inquisition; I took a lengthy detour from the plot (about a third-of-the-way-through the game) to explore areas, and basically found a lot of useless junk guarded by enemies that quickly became so easy to battle that encounters were more of a hassle and a waste of time than anything else. (This was on the highest difficulty setting.) I wish I had just followed the plot quest and faction quests; my character quickly became very wealthy and so powerful that subsequent encounters just blurred together. I would rather have a few epic fights than a thousand throw-away battles any day; I wish 38 Studios had learned something about poignant enemy encounters from Demon's/Dark Souls.

This is definitely nothing like Skyrim, and I'm certainly not interested in purchasing any of the DLC.

Posted by Slag

Well the news didn't get any better today, as it has been revealed their CEO has been on a "leave of absence" since mid March (reason unspecified other than purportedly not being related to current events).

the word out of their camp is essentially no comment. While the state isn't really saying anything new other than they asked tough questions.

it certainly could have been worse for 38, but the odds of their MMO ever coming out are looking increasingly slim by the day. For their sake I hope 38 does something positive very soon to kill the story as this story has major legs given the public financing.