Report: 38 Studios Lays Off Entire Staff [UPDATED]

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Posted by alex (3512 posts) -
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UPDATE 3: According to Chafee, 38 Studios took a turn for the worse due to poor sales of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

“The game failed," said Chafee.

38 Studios founder Curt Schilling announced on Twitter yesterday that Reckoning sold 1.2 million copies. Chafee said the game needed to sell closer to three million.

The state also just published a bunch of documents related to its loan.

--

UPDATE 2: A press conference with Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee is happening now.

“It’s not a good situation,” he said. “I’m not here to share good news. I wish things were different.”

Chafee said there were discussions between 38 Studios and the state about giving more taxpayer money to the developer, but the state declined.

“I would gladly extend the life of the company if I had confidence it would lead to profitably,” said Chafee. “We were not given that confidence.”

When the state was talking to 38 Studios, there was no mention of layoffs. In the press conference, the state has not acknowledged whether there have been mass layoffs, which appears to be the case.

The state is unaware whether 38 Studios will file for bankruptcy.

--

UPDATE: According to WPRI, here's the email that was sent to 38 Studios employees today:

The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary.

These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary.

This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012.

--

Both Polygon and Joystiq are reporting based on sources familiar with the situation that 38 Studios has laid off its entire staff. This includes both the main 38 Studios office, as well as all employees at Big Huge Games, which 38 Studios owned.

Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee had commented as recently as yesterday that all attempts were being made to rescue the studio from closure. He also stated that 38 had yet to find additional outside funding. Reports coming from inside the studio stated that employees had not been paid since May 1, and that all employee health benefits ran out as of today.

Details on this situation are still being investigated. We'll update this story as soon as we know more.

Staff
Avatar image for alex
#1 Posted by alex (3512 posts) -
No Caption Provided
No Caption Provided

UPDATE 3: According to Chafee, 38 Studios took a turn for the worse due to poor sales of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

“The game failed," said Chafee.

38 Studios founder Curt Schilling announced on Twitter yesterday that Reckoning sold 1.2 million copies. Chafee said the game needed to sell closer to three million.

The state also just published a bunch of documents related to its loan.

--

UPDATE 2: A press conference with Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee is happening now.

“It’s not a good situation,” he said. “I’m not here to share good news. I wish things were different.”

Chafee said there were discussions between 38 Studios and the state about giving more taxpayer money to the developer, but the state declined.

“I would gladly extend the life of the company if I had confidence it would lead to profitably,” said Chafee. “We were not given that confidence.”

When the state was talking to 38 Studios, there was no mention of layoffs. In the press conference, the state has not acknowledged whether there have been mass layoffs, which appears to be the case.

The state is unaware whether 38 Studios will file for bankruptcy.

--

UPDATE: According to WPRI, here's the email that was sent to 38 Studios employees today:

The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary.

These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary.

This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012.

--

Both Polygon and Joystiq are reporting based on sources familiar with the situation that 38 Studios has laid off its entire staff. This includes both the main 38 Studios office, as well as all employees at Big Huge Games, which 38 Studios owned.

Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee had commented as recently as yesterday that all attempts were being made to rescue the studio from closure. He also stated that 38 had yet to find additional outside funding. Reports coming from inside the studio stated that employees had not been paid since May 1, and that all employee health benefits ran out as of today.

Details on this situation are still being investigated. We'll update this story as soon as we know more.

Staff
Avatar image for supercubedude
#2 Edited by supercubedude (568 posts) -

Oh christ. I thought they'd last longer.

Avatar image for brettrick
#3 Posted by Brettrick (5 posts) -

:O

Avatar image for spartanambrose
#4 Edited by SpartanAmbrose (842 posts) -

Shit. Terrible news.

Avatar image for excast
#5 Posted by excast (1374 posts) -

I guess Curt Schilling is a bit better pitcher than he is a businessman. 

Avatar image for jareda
#6 Posted by JaredA (853 posts) -

Fuck. This sucks.

Avatar image for cyrisaurus
#7 Edited by Cyrisaurus (465 posts) -

God damnit

Avatar image for blair
#8 Posted by Blair (2586 posts) -

Pour one out for Rich...

Avatar image for ghostiet
#9 Posted by Ghostiet (5832 posts) -

That's depressing.

Avatar image for mariachimacabre
#10 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7097 posts) -

Shit sucks. Hope they all find jobs as quickly as possible.

Avatar image for wmwa
#12 Posted by WMWA (1223 posts) -

Damn

Avatar image for dyram
#13 Posted by dyram (154 posts) -

Well... that's real bad. Not that something like this wasn't already seen coming, but damn. Here's to hoping that the skilled folk out of jobs find themselves someone else willing (and able) to pay them and soon.

Avatar image for awcko
#14 Posted by Awcko (54 posts) -

I hope Rich makes it out ok!

Avatar image for napalm
#15 Posted by Napalm (9230 posts) -

HO-LY SHIT.

Avatar image for jace
#16 Edited by Jace (1154 posts) -

CBS, please go grab Rich. GB needs a decent east coast correspondent. Most of the GB community already loves the guy, he would be a great fit.

Avatar image for dallas_raines
#17 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2269 posts) -

I wonder who's gonna try to buy that IP from Rhode Island.

Avatar image for gla55jaw
#18 Posted by gla55jAw (2776 posts) -

Wow, that sucks.

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#19 Posted by Humanity (16552 posts) -

I wonder how hard it is to transition into a new gamer job after something like this happens?

Avatar image for make_me_mad
#20 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3227 posts) -

Damn, that happened much faster than I was expecting.

Avatar image for mrcraggle
#21 Posted by mrcraggle (2932 posts) -

Didn't they move to RI in the first place to create more jobs? This is pretty bad but it's all that keeps happening lately. HP are firing 27,000 of its staff. Soon enough the only tech and gaming companies will be MS, Google, Apple and Activision.

Avatar image for alternate
#22 Posted by alternate (2823 posts) -

That sucks.

On a lighter note. Rich Gallup and his entire staff get laid off and it is Joystiq that gets the scoop? FFS Rich, could you not throw your old pals a bone? How soon they forget. :D

Avatar image for digthedoug
#23 Posted by DigTheDoug (192 posts) -

@Jace said:

...We need a decent East Coast correspondent...

Wow, and you even said that on an article Alex himself wrote... poor Alex :(

Avatar image for fox01313
#24 Posted by fox01313 (5229 posts) -

Sucks to hear that, at least Rich knows that he has a home at GiantBomb. Best of luck to all who were involved with the 2 studios.

Avatar image for olemarthin
#25 Posted by OleMarthin (353 posts) -

@Jace said:

CBS, please go grab Rich. GB needs a decent east coast correspondent. Most of the GB community already loves the guy, he would be a great fit.

this

Avatar image for hankrazorbeard
#26 Posted by hankrazorbeard (95 posts) -

Fuck. Good luck to those guys, I'd hate to see this happen to anyone.

Avatar image for greenshoes
#27 Posted by Greenshoes (325 posts) -

That is just sad.

Avatar image for sgtpierceface
#28 Posted by Sgtpierceface (735 posts) -

Well, shit...

Avatar image for excast
#29 Posted by excast (1374 posts) -

I like how Curt Schilling was linking to his own forums just 3 hours ago and hyping an MMO that is now effectively dead.
 
And the most hilarious part is that this guy is a huge Republican who is supposedly for lower taxes and personal responsibility, yet his company is now going belly up only a few months after they released their first game...with tens of millions owed to the state of Rhode Island.

Avatar image for cornbredx
#30 Posted by CornBREDX (7219 posts) -

Damn. That really sucks. This all went down hill really fast.

Avatar image for softcoredave
#31 Posted by SoftCoreDave (176 posts) -

Rich on the podcast asap

Avatar image for jace
#32 Edited by Jace (1154 posts) -

@DigTheDoug said:

@Jace said:

...We need a decent East Coast correspondent...

Wow, and you even said that on an article Alex himself wrote... poor Alex :(

By "decent" I meant well-liked by the majority of members. Personally, I have no problem with Alex's stories, but it's no secret that the community is divided on him.

Avatar image for lucien21
#33 Posted by Lucien21 (138 posts) -

I though Reckoning did ok, sales wise. They were nobbled by a MMO cash sink.

Avatar image for gremmel
#34 Posted by Gremmel (46 posts) -

@Jace:

That's @Jace said:

CBS, please go grab Rich. GB needs a decent east coast correspondent. Most of the GB community already loves the guy, he would be a great fit.

"By Alex Navarro"

soooo mean.....

Avatar image for redroach
#35 Posted by RedRoach (1401 posts) -

Holy fuck. That really sucks. I think this is the first time a studio closure hit home, just because Rich is there, whom I followed all the way through the GS days. Put a face to the company and you realize how fucked up everything is.

Avatar image for shivoa
#36 Posted by Shivoa (1564 posts) -

I wonder if the people brought in to close it down will find someone to buy the assets or if they'll be destroyed rather than given away (because they have value, even if they fail to find a buyer for them). Speaking of which, I wonder how long Valve will continue to sell the non-EA edition (Steam achievements, published by 38 Studios) of KoA: Reckoning; you have to assume that any money coming in is a positive and so it'll continue until the final books are closed and all people owed money are told they're out of luck (speaking of which, does anyone familiar with the US system know what happens the the revenue from EA? Do the administrators maintain operations until that money dries up, funnelling it to people who are owed money (assuming the EA Partners contract has some revenue split clause)?)

Bad news, especially for BHG. Hope everyone lands on their feet and maybe a core of BHG reforms and starts something new with publisher (or community) backing.

Avatar image for zombiepie
#37 Posted by ZombiePie (6942 posts) -

Best of luck to everyone who lost their job. The studio and its ideas showed great promise.

Moderator
Avatar image for warchief
#38 Posted by Warchief (672 posts) -

This is what happens when you try to run a company like its a .com from the early 2000's.

Avatar image for leebmx
#39 Edited by leebmx (2345 posts) -

@Jace said:

CBS, please go grab Rich. GB needs a decent east coast correspondent. Most of the GB community already loves the guy, he would be a great fit.

Not sure if that's an intentional dis to the writer of this story or not........

EDIT: Having read the rest of the comments I can conclusively say it is.

Avatar image for redroach
#40 Posted by RedRoach (1401 posts) -

@mrcraggle said:

Didn't they move to RI in the first place to create more jobs? This is pretty bad but it's all that keeps happening lately. HP are firing 27,000 of its staff. Soon enough the only tech and gaming companies will be MS, Google, Apple and Activision.

From what I remember, RI gave them that loan as incentive to move there and create jobs.

Avatar image for bane122
#41 Posted by Bane122 (964 posts) -

Real sorry to see this, there's clearly a lot of talent a BHG.

Also, Alex is fine and it's a real dick move to claim GB needs a "decent east coast correspondent" on one of his articles.

Avatar image for cloudenvy
#42 Posted by Cloudenvy (5893 posts) -

Man, that's rough.

Avatar image for dallas_raines
#43 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2269 posts) -

@Excast said:

I like how Curt Schilling was linking to his own forums just 3 hours ago and hyping an MMO that is now effectively dead. And the most hilarious part is that this guy is a huge Republican who is supposedly for lower taxes and personal responsibility, yet his company is now going belly up only a few months after they released their first game...with tens of millions owed to the state of Rhode Island.

Yeah, the dude's a jackass.

Avatar image for therealminime
#44 Posted by therealminime (285 posts) -

Damn, that really sucks. Best of luck to everyone.

Avatar image for jrock3x8
#45 Posted by JRock3x8 (305 posts) -

I wonder what would have happened if they had tried to pay their employees instead of make that loan payment.

Avatar image for redbullet685
#46 Posted by Redbullet685 (6455 posts) -

On the good side of this, Rich Gallup confirmed for upcoming Bombcast.

Avatar image for veektarius
#47 Posted by Veektarius (6156 posts) -

Did Kingdoms of Amalur undersell versus expectations?

Avatar image for portis
#48 Posted by Portis (1295 posts) -

Holy shit. That was QUICK, I thought they'd probably get to the end of the year.

Rich, come home buddy.

Avatar image for seannao
#49 Posted by seannao (287 posts) -

Is there any truth to the rumor that Valve is directly hiring, skipping the normal application process, for some of the artists from 38 Studios?

Avatar image for robot_moses
#50 Posted by Robot_Moses (113 posts) -

What if the text from Rich Gallup that Jeff got during the PixelJunk 4am Quick Look was about this? CONSPIRACY!

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