38 Studios shuts down operations, full staff laid off

We usually steer clear of industry news here on GTD, but this is about as big as it gets. After monetary issues were publicly revealed last week, Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios, developers behind Kingdom’s of Amalur: Reckoning and the forthcoming “Project Copernicus” MMO, has laid off its full staff, including that of subsidiary Big Huge Games.

The news and failure of the studio has made a huge impact with 379 full-time employees losing their jobs, and the state of Rhode Island out $75 million in tax payer-backed funding. During a press conference held last night, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee attributed the sudden disastrous closure of the studio to the “failure” of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. The Big Huge Games developed 3rd-person open-world RPG sold through 1.2 million copies, but needed to move more than 3 million for the studio to break even.

In the wake of the lay-offs, the industry at large has rallied around those impacted with developers from every corner of the industry extending word of open positions at other studios. Hash tag #38jobs has reached “trending topic” status on Twitter, and freelance games journo Alex Rubens has compiled a comprehensive Google Doc containing a large number of the currently open positions throughout the industry.

Little is known about what this means for Project Copernicus and the Amalur franchise on the whole. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter estimates the Amalur brand to be worth $20 million.

Source: JoystiqPolygonGoogle Doc