38 Studios: What Went Wrong?

Due to underwhelming sales, and unsuccessful business plans, 38 Studios is no more. Owner Curt Schilling, better known for his 3 World Series pennants, recently delivered this heavy news to the employees for 38 Studios. As it stands, the 400 employees of 38 Studios and Big Huge Games are facing immediate layoff, unless the unlikely scenario occurs where someone wishes to purchase or invest. This seems unlikely given the amount of funds required to sustain and maintain the group. When a champion like Schilling decides to throw in the towel, salvaging anything seems beyond reach. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Kickstarter campaign strong enough to pull the employees at 38 Studios from the depths of this Rhode Island tragedy.

38 Studios recently produced Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning which was considered a decent fantasy/adventure game by most gamers. It would have seemed with the wealth of lore created by New York Times Best Selling author R.A. Salvatore, and if given enough time, KoA had potential to generate a pipeline that would sustain a decent margin of profitability. Perhaps players were still too busy in the peak of Skyrim’s popularity to focus on another fantasy game so soon?

Before the flame of 38 Studios dies, it might be fun to play the ‘what if’ game. While the initial investment might look unimpressive, future projects could generate revenue after KoA and 38 Studios develops a bit more steam. At this point, given the funds required to keep the development team afloat, the risk is far too high. What if someone did sweep in and save the remaining employees?

Finally, with the shutting doors of 38 Studios, another important question opens up. What’s going to happen with Project Copernicus?