Epic Saves Big Huge Games From Insolvency

Big Huge Games, the development team behind Kingdoms of Amalur has been saved from insolvency by Epic. "There’s been a big storm in Baltimore," said Mike Capps, from Epic, "and we’re taking in a few of the refugees."

Epic's plan is to start up a new Epic studio in Baltimore, but concrete plans, in terms of staff and the project that team will be working on, are thin on the ground.

"On Wednesday, the ex-BHG leadership team contacted us," explained Mike Capps, President of Epic Games. "They wanted to start a new company and keep together some of the key talent displaced by the layoff, and hoped that they could use an Epic IP as a starting point for a new game. We loved that they all wanted to keep working together, but it was pretty clear they’d have trouble building a demo and securing funding before their personal savings ran out.

"In one of life’s coincidences, Epic’s directors had spent the morning discussing how we’d love to build even more successful projects with our growing team, but that we’d need a dramatic infusion of top talent to do so. Which, we all knew, was impossible.

"So now we’re planning to start an impossible studio in Baltimore."

Epic hopes to have more details soon.

"It’ll take a while to find space, set up desks and PCs, purchase sufficient Nerf weaponry and Dr. Pepper, etc," continued Capps. "But some of these folks have been going too long without a paycheck to wait for that. So, as soon as we can, we’re going to try to get people working down here at Epic headquarters in Cary, NC as contractors.

"There’s a million things to work out. How many of the team can we hire? What will it be called? What will they be working on? We don’t know all the answers yet. Please give us some time to figure it out; we hope to have more to share soon."


Comments

    That gives them a massive pool of talent in RPG gaming, and open world design, which coupled with their Unreal Engine 4 development team, could see impressive things come from the collarboration.

    Should have let them go under. Amalur was a terrible game.

      I wouldn't say it was terrible. It was just directionless. It kind of turned out like a MMORPG (with all the things that come with it) without the Massive, Multilayer part.

        Off memory Amalur was just an intro into the Amalur universe, the big picture was to develop an MMORPG, but instead of just creating it, they decided to make a single player RPG, get people into it, then launch the MMORPG.

      Well I loved the game. It was admittedly a little grindy (as per CaptnAverage's comment), but one of the most solid game frameworks ive played.

        I haven't had that much fun with combat in a game in a long time. Loved it too.

      I enjoyed Kingdoms of Amalur a lot more than I've enjoyed some other big releases over the last 12 months. While the lore did seem a little silly and muddled, and the quests were a bit boring, the combat was so much fun. There was clearly a lot of talent that worked on the game, and I'm glad they've been able to find another great company to go on with.

      It wasn't incredible but it was pretty solid. Their Rise of Nations games were reasonable too. More importantly they have a whole ton of talented staff working there, for example Brian Reynolds was one of the lead designers for Civilization, Civ II and Alpha Centauri, and Ken Rolston was lead on Morrowind and Oblivion.

      It's a pretty strong move for Epic as well. A lot of their expertise is in a very specific genre, where Big Huge (I'm hoping they change their name to Epic Huge now) have expertise in very different sorts of games. Diversification.

    Epic sure knows how to get good publicity. Here's hoping that we see an amazing RPG coming from them in a few years.

    Given how much Cliffy B loved Skyrim ("This interview is cutting into my Skyrim time", "I liked Skyrim so much I convinced the guys at Epic to start making something more like Skyrim"), it wouldn't surprise me if we see them launch their own Skyrim competitor in a few years.

    Mark: Any news on what happens to the IP of KoA?

      I think that defaults to the Rhode Island government.

    Impossible Studios is a great name.
    Good work Epic.

    Not to burst the Epic bubble, cos good on them for doing it, but Ubisoft Toronto offered to pickup as many of the BigHuge people as they could a week or more ago too! I think it's great to see the big players putting offers out there to try and right some of these terrible wrongs!

    Wow, it's wierd to see good news in gaming these days, I played Amalur for a while and it was fun if a little bland, I can't remember the name of a single npc, but the combat was solid and it was fairly pretty in a cartoonish way. The first expansion was apparently a lot better than the main game though, dunno about the second.

    But they really could have released a patch for pc to fix some crap.

      Actually, they wanted to but couldn't:
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/05/29/things-you-will-not-get-amalur-patch-reckoning-2/

    I was rather surprised by the misleading title considering the article was by Mark - not the standard I'm used to from him.

    Epic are in no way saving Big Huge Games, which would mean something such as buying the studio from 38 Studios or coming to some sort of funding/IP purchase agreement. This sounds like simply a case of employing a decent chunk of the out of work ex-employees of BHG.

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