38 Studios has sold it’s action role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning to THQ Nordic.
THQ Nordic is the studio behind the Darksiders franchise as well as Titan Quest as well as a plethora of other games including Disneyland Adventures, RUSH: A Disney PIXAR Adventure, Recore, Pillars of Eternity, and more.
In a press release THQ Nordic announced they not only acquired the intellectual property of Kingdoms of Amalur, but also “Amalur” which is based on the abandoned MMORPG project “Copernicus.” THQ announced the acquisition will be handled by THQ Nordic AB based in Karlstad, Sweden with daily operations including sales and distribution, evalution of sequels and new content being handled by THQ Nordic GmbH in Vienna, Austria. T
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning had a star roster of storytellers and designers behind it. It included New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore as the brain behind the game’s universe and lore. Spawn creator Todd McFarlane handled artwork duties. Grant Kirkhope composed the score, and Ken Rolston, The Elder Scrolls IV: Obilivion lead designer, served as the game’s executive designer.
Todd McFarlane was behind the initial concept of the game’s story, along with influencing much of the monster designs as he acted as the Executive Art Director. Below is an interview with McFarlane talking about Kingdoms of Amalur as well as his relationship with company founder Curt Shilling.
While R.A. Salvatore acted as the backbone behind the story of Kingdoms of Amalur. Below is an interview with the author from Comic-Con 2010. He goes into detail of the process for building up the world that housed Kingdoms of Amalur.
Kingdoms of Amalur released in 2012 and reportedly sold 1.2 million copies by the 90-day mark according to Curt Schilling.
Reckoning, 38 Studios first game, has outperformed EA’s projections by selling 1.2mm copies in its first 90 days
— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) May 24, 2012
However, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee said the game needed to sell over over 3 million to copies to break even. “The game failed, the game failed,” Chafee said.
The game received decent Metacritic scores with a 74/100 for the PC, 82/100 on PlayStation 3, and 81/100 on Xbox 360. I remember back in 2012, I bought my own copy of the game for the PlayStation 3 and it kept me off of World of Warcraft for some time.
Even though great minds came together to create Kingdoms of Amalur, fortunes soon soured for the studio. Without being able to break even, 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy. While attempting to make a loan payment to the Economic Development Corporation of Rhode Island, they defaulted a $1.125 million loan payment and their check bounced. However, they were able to make the payment 17 days later, but were unable to make payroll. The studio declared bankruptcy on May 24, 2012. The FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Officer, and the Rhode Island State Police all launched investigations into the company.
The studio eventually settled in civil court
Assets of the defunct studio were auctioned off in December of 2013. However, no one was willing to purchase Copernicus until THQ Nordic.
With this acquisition, we might see THQ attempt to revive the larger than life world of Kingdoms of Amalur. It was no secret that Reconking was supposed to be the first part of multiple titled projects associated with the IP. With Copernicus also under THQ’s control, we might see their push into the MMORPG realm for the Austria based studio, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the IP make the jump to a mobile gaming platform.
Are you excited to see what THQ Nordiq has planned for Kingdoms of Amalur?