Kingdoms Of Amalur Creators Owe Millions, And They Can’t Pay

Kingdoms Of Amalur Creators Owe Millions, And They Can’t Pay

Yesterday, after a comment from Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee, rumours began to swirl that Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios was finding themselves with money woes.

Today, the Providence Journal reports that 38 Studios has, indeed, missed a loan payment to the state and now essentially finds itself in default.

Speaker of the Rhode Island state House, Gordon D. Fox, announced that 38 Studios had missed a $US1.125 million instalment on its roughly $US75 million loan from the state. The developer is now seeking an emergency meeting with the state agency that issued the loan, the Economic Development Corporation, which is chaired by the governor. The EDC will be meeting tomorrow morning “to address and consider an unexpected occurrence that requires immediate action to protect the public regarding the 38 Studios, LLC financing.”

Rhode Island issued the loan in July, 2010, in a bid to bring more gaming and tech jobs across the border from neighbouring state Massachusetts. At the time, 38 Studios promised the Ocean State something it needed badly: more jobs.

But on its launch earlier this year, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning faced middling sales, finding itself neither a failed game nor an overwhelming success. Although the studio keeps pumping out more DLC and has an Amalur-based MMO in progress, it seems their games can’t keep up with the original star power of the studio’s founder, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. Creating tech jobs is a laudable goal, but big-budget game development is a notoriously risky endeavour. Rhode Island taxpayers, in the end, may pay far more for Amalur than a world’s worth of gamers ever did.

R.I. Speaker Fox: 38 Studios in ‘some default’ on loan-guarantee payments [Providence Journal]


  • Can’t say this was surprising honestly. I think they launched the game at a really bad time.

    • i agree. it was bad timing. i really enjoyed it but it was a new franchise, released in the shadow of skyrim and prior to ME3 which destined it for unfair comparison and a fall into mediocrity. shame, after the intense and often frustrating moments of skyrim i enjoyed the laid back nature of KoA. much better skull caps too 😉

  • This was a game which came out of nowhere, for most people the first time they heard of it was when the demo let you get an item for Mass Effect 3.
    Why will people buy a game they don’t know about?
    I love this game and think it does a lot right, but the marketing was non-existent.
    As a new IP they should have had people speculating months beforehand, not when it was on the shelves.
    I hope the studio survives, but with this news it seems unlikely.

    • They were also developing a huge MMO in the same world. I expect that sucked up a lot of cash.

    • its not just funding, that would have gone to a lot of different aspects of business including the headquarters and so forth. this is common practise for governments, both local and federal to depreciate an area, increase incentives all in a bid to draw investment in. sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.

      • True but $75 million is extreme, You’d think they could’ve spent some of it on marketing, there was never a point that I can remember being even remotely aware of hype for this game.

    • Well, the government invested in them on the intention that they would bring in more business for the state.

  • not trying to scab but if they released an emergency sale at $20 on steam I would fork out. otherwise I just have to many games on my shame pile to justify it right now. deus ex, ffxiii2,Rayman, list goes on,

    • Don’t bother with ffxiii-2. The game has a far worse ending than ME3. It doesn’t have one, it stops right before the final chapter and says “To be continued”

  • Part of the problem is they have 400 staff. so at $25K a year that equels 10 million a bucks a year just on wages alone, creating a MMO is economic suicide for their 2nd game, more so when you consider their first game didnt exactly set the world on fire and was released to close to Skyrim and Demon Souls.

    • well since EA is owner(or investor?) it might get passed onto another studio. i hope i get another KoA. i really did enjoy it and even want more DLC for the current game

      • you’d think that if ea cared about this ip they would’ve sunk enough money into it (or at least marketed it well) for this to have not happened

    • i got both and never regretted it. saying that everyone enjoys different game types. was odd cross-shopping the two games though. i do enjoy my chakram launcher in ME3 and the cool N7 armour when starting out in KoA

  • That’s a shame. Like a lot of people I just had too much on my plate to actually play it but I loved the demo.

    • If it’s such a shame, go buy the game.
      That’s why they release demos, so you can taste of it and go empty your wallet knowing what you’re in for.
      It’s a simple problem to solve.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!