Rumour: 38 Studios Shutting Down Big Huge Games

Rumour: 38 Studios Shutting Down Big Huge Games

Reports are circulating that Kingdoms of Amalur creators 38 Studios has shut down Big Huge Games, the developers who helped build the hit action RPG that came out earlier this year. If this is true, the shuttering of an entire studio would be the biggest bit of fallout yet from the 38 Studio/Rode Island financial imbroglio.

Big Huge Games dodged death once before two years ago after they were acquired by 38 Studios, which was started by all-star Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was the first game in a planned multiplatform universe and the first glimpses of 38’s in-development online game Copernicus surfaced rececently, even as the outcry surrounding the controversial loans Rhode Island issued to the company swells. The Maryland-based developer also made the Rise of Nations games and the Settlers of Catan adaptation for Xbox Live.

Kotaku has reached out to 38 Studios for comment and will update this story once we hear back.

Update: Further reports indicate that it’s not just Big Huge Games that’s shutting down but all of 38 Studios. An anonymous source formerly employed at 38 sent Kotaku the following details:

38 Studios just laid off its entire staff, both Providence and BHG studios are being shuttered.

We have not received a paycheck since April 30th.

On May 15th, we found out we were not getting paid when our checks did not hit our accounts.

Our medical insurance runs out tonight at midnight.

We found this out when an employee’s pregnant wife was told by her doctor, this was on Tuesday 22nd May this week.

The company has not communicated anything concrete to the team throughout this process, leaving team members to figure out insurance stop-gaps (where people could afford it), etc. on their own.

We’ll keep updating this story as we hear more details.


  • This ripped my heart out I loved kingdoms of amular was hoping 38 studios and bhg would make it through this scrape.

  • This is what sucks about the industry right now, someone makes and game and has to bet everything on it, and then if the game is not the BEST SELLING GAME EVER the studio shuts down.This all-or-nothing approach to game development is not healthy for this industry or anyone else.

    • That’s because games like these are treated like big blockbuster movie releases. The gaming industry should know better than to treat gamers like movie-goers with mass marketing and stupid trailers. Gamers tend to be more invested and cautious when purchasing games, and for a $60-$90 game they’d have to be really convinced it is a good game. Unfortunately word of mouth got around and many gamers felt the game did not live up to the hype purported by the mass-marketing, and the demo was pretty boring . I also think from a number of people I’ve talked to that the bad rap EA is getting may have caused a substantial number of people to ignore this game.

  • I do think that a major problem with this was the lack of promotion for Reckoning. Personally, the first I heard of it was during the KoA / Mass Effect demo crossover.
    I mean, EA put so much time, effort & money into promoting Mass Effect 3, they seem to have forgotten to get the word out about the new IP the were responsible for.
    Which is a shame, coz I really like KoA 🙁

    • Yeah. KoA:R was quite an enjoyable … so much so, I grabbed all the DLC. I hope the staff land new jobs.

  • It’s been confirmed… the Rhode Island governor just held a press conference.

    I hope Microsoft pick up their combat guys… I’d love those mechanics in a Fable game.

  • I think Curt has a lot of explaining to do. Where did all that money go? There will be an investigation into this. In my opinion, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was foul play at hand…Either embezzlement or misappropriation of government funds! And now due to shady business practices, RI has to boot the bill. Thanks Curt! ;P Not telling your employees your health insurance is up? I don’t know the laws there, but in where I am from, an employer has 30 days to notify you of a cease of insurance, or change of insurance companies. You’d figure with a company like this, they would have the decency of letting you know. If I was employed there, I’d be suing Curt for unpaid wages. You have to pay your employees! It is the law! Also not notifying your employees that you aren’t getting paid? How shady is that? Curt wanted to be better than that! I guess he did take some business practices from EA “laughs”

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