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Company News 38 Studios Entire Staff Laid Off, Amalur Needed 3mil Sold To Break Even

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Crooked Bee, May 25, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Tags: 38 Studios; Big Huge Games; Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

    In the biggest industry news of the day, Curt Schilling's 38 Studios has laid off its entire staff, including that of Big Huge Games, the Amalur co-developer, due to financial problems. That means 379 employees out of job now, who learned about their layoff via the following small memo:

    The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary.

    These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary.

    This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012.​

    Another "funny" thing is, despite the recent government loan of $75 mil, the government knew nothing of the layoffs, informs Destructoid:

    Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee held a press conference earlier today in which he said experts told him that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, 38 Studios' first game, needed to sell "in the 3 million range" in order to break even. According to studio founder Curt Schilling, Reckoning sold 1.2 million copies in its first three months of release. To Chafee and Rhode Island, that means "the game failed."

    Governor Chafee's office had been in contact with Schilling yesterday, and others at 38 as recently as today, yet had no idea that the studio had laid off its entire staff shortly before the press conference. He heard the news during the press conference when journalists raised questions about the layoffs. 38 itself has still released no official comment; it is unclear if the company is planning to declare bankruptcy. If it does go under, ownership of all of 38 Studios' IP would transfer to Rhode Island's taxpayers.​

    Joystiq has some quotes from the press conference. In any case, whatever Curt Schilling is up to with the sudden radical layoffs, now we know 3 million copies were needed for Kingdoms of Amalur to break even, but the game "only" sold 1.2 million.
     
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  2. FrancoTAU Liturgist

    FrancoTAU
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    How the hell does a developer even spend $75M in a couple years? Only the government could look at this business model and think yeah the ex baseball player could make this work.
     
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  3. Zed Codex Staff Patron

    Zed
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    Codex USB, 2014
    New IP, multiplatform ARPG, relatively unknown developer/publisher... "needed to sell in the 3 million range".
    They should hire me. I could do thinking for them.
     
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  4. OldSkoolKamikaze Arcane Patron

    OldSkoolKamikaze
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Sucks to be Rhode Island taxpayers. Hopefully they have an election coming up.
     
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  5. Whisky The Solution

    Whisky
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera
    They required 3 million copies sold to break even? Were they on drugs when they planned out their budget?
     
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  6. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    Rhode Island Taxpayers, a 90% off Steam sale will fix this stat!
     
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  7. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
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    That dude who wrote Forgotten Realm and contributed to their lore took home 5 mil when the game shipped. What do you think?
     
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  8. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    Kingdoms of Amalur wasn't made in a second world country where the employees are paid 6-7 times lower.
     
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  9. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    It's sad Ian got caught up in such a terrible studio.
     
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  10. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
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    Former Baseball Star vs Former Astronaut: Which is better at game dev and why?
     
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  11. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Actually the previous governor was the one responsible.
     
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  12. tiagocc0 Arcane

    tiagocc0
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    Damned, my AI Mentor worked there..
     
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  13. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    If Schilling had any decency he'd personally ensure these people at the very least had health coverage until they found another job.
     
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  14. Country_Gravy Arcane Patron

    Country_Gravy
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    Wasteland 2
    Seriously? That's crazy.
     
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  15. Executer Phrenologist

    Executer
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    That's insanity, they could of gotten a team of writers for a fraction of that money.

    What was the state thinking when they backed this business plan?
     
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  16. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
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    They could've gotten Wasteland 2 and banner saga.
     
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  17. circ Arcane

    circ
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    Not only a team of writers, but a team of writers that's not considered a hack even amongst hacks.
     
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  18. DarkUnderlord Bringing that old Raptor magic.

    DarkUnderlord
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    Guys, I've got this great idea for a game!!

    You gives me the $75M naow plz?
     
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  19. Executer Phrenologist

    Executer
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    Need to read your BG2 fanfiction before I can judge your credentials and commit.
     
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  20. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
     
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  21. Excommunicator Arcane

    Excommunicator
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    This is probably the most disastrous story in the game industry to date. The worst part is certainly the way Big Huge Games is absorbed into their ridiculous plan and then the entire team loses their jobs. This stuff should be illegal.
     
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  22. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    Wow.
    Somebody's got to put this into perspective for me. "$75 mil" would mean 75 thousand in German since "mio" would be the short for million. But I guess they really mean million.
    Why, for fucks sake, would a government even consider giving that kind of money to a game development studio?!? Isn't that the US? Home of the free market?
    Did they at least work on more titles than KoA? Or does KoA really seem like a $75 mio game to anyone?
     
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  23. Morkar illiterate

    Morkar
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    When you consider how much politicians in Germany put into shady themepark investments (Nürburgring)...
     
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  24. Executer Phrenologist

    Executer
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    How much money has Ewe Boll gotten from the German Govt to make his movies?
     
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  25. Has anyone heard of Hollywood accounting? Can someone who has and has some info make an argument if that's what's going on?
     
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