Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios is no more. The employees have been let go, its projects have been shelved. What’s left in the wake of this grand disaster is tales of personal tragedy and assets like this leaked launch trailer, an echo of a dream that died.
We’ve seen a world fly-through video and character screens of Project Copernicus previously. This trailer, which would have been used to announce the game to the world, animates those characters in that world, giving us a glimpse at what it might have been like to wander about those gorgeous landscapes in the form of a hulking brute, diminutive dwarf, slender elf or stalwart human.
“The circle is still turning” speaks the (placeholder) narrator, words that no doubt ring hollow in the hearts of the men and women that spent four years working on the ambitious project, just as PC gamers feel the sting every time they open Origin and see Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning languishing there.
Project Copernicus, referred to in this video as simply Kingdoms of Amalur, had a great deal of potential. Players got a taste of the world in Reckoning and many were hungry for more. It’s colourful cartoon style brings to mind Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, a game that I believe owes a large portion of its success to its art direction; it’s just so easily approachable. With the backing of Electronic Arts Kingdoms of Amalur might have been a force to be reckoned with in the MMO market.
So here we are, watching the culmination of four years of development, sent to Kotaku by someone that felt the hard work of the people at 38 Studios and Big Huge Games that worked on the doomed project should be celebrated. I agree wholeheartedly.