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Old 28th May 2012, 15:43   #1
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Kingdoms of Alumar dev shut down

38 Studios has closed its doors, taking Kingdoms of Alumar dev shop Big Huge Games with it.

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/...r-dev-closed/1
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Old 28th May 2012, 16:20   #2
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Kingdoms of *Amalur.
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Old 28th May 2012, 18:45   #3
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Kingdoms of *Amalur.
Bah - that's the trouble with made-up words: you get it wrong once and tell the dictionary to add it, and every other time you blindly accept its 'correction'... Fixed everywhere I can, ta.
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Old 28th May 2012, 19:56   #4
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Sales of 1.2 million - a figure claimed by company head Curt Schilling on Twitter - in 90 days is, apparently, no longer a success
This is a sad reality of the AAA game industry today, but not for the reasons that might first come to mind. 1.2 million copies of a game is a lot of copies, even spread across three platforms, but if Amalur's budget was anything like other recent AAA titles, anything less than a home run would spell big trouble for the company.

So, is the problem that Amalur did not sell well? I would argue that it isn't, because I would be ecstatic about 1.2 million people playing my game. Rather, the problem is developers (let's lump publishers in there as well) thinking that the only definition of success is breaking sales records and reaping profits many times more than what was invested. It's a problem that I believe was a major cause of the recent financial crises, and it seems a less that even today has yet to be learned. Making sound investments, with solid returns is infinitely more sustainable than always needing a massive return in the shortest time possible. The successes may not be as sweet, but the failures are much less likely to result in the downfall of the company, and the loss of hundreds of jobs.
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Old 28th May 2012, 22:02   #5
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Originally Posted by fallenphoenix View Post
This is a sad reality of the AAA game industry today, but not for the reasons that might first come to mind. 1.2 million copies of a game is a lot of copies, even spread across three platforms, but if Amalur's budget was anything like other recent AAA titles, anything less than a home run would spell big trouble for the company.

So, is the problem that Amalur did not sell well? I would argue that it isn't, because I would be ecstatic about 1.2 million people playing my game. Rather, the problem is developers (let's lump publishers in there as well) thinking that the only definition of success is breaking sales records and reaping profits many times more than what was invested. It's a problem that I believe was a major cause of the recent financial crises, and it seems a less that even today has yet to be learned. Making sound investments, with solid returns is infinitely more sustainable than always needing a massive return in the shortest time possible. The successes may not be as sweet, but the failures are much less likely to result in the downfall of the company, and the loss of hundreds of jobs.
Well that's a matter of a constantly expanding industry. It was the same in the past, where ambition got ahead of the developers and made huge costly flops. This isn't just relegated to just the gaming business though it's everywhere and it's rather inherent in capitalism. As they say the larger the risk the larger the payout, that is if there is a payout. In this case it's a company that moved a respectable amount of units, but didn't have the proper amount of infrastructure to support the investment they made. Shame.
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Old 29th May 2012, 00:20   #6
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I agree fallenphoenix. I think in the past they would have made an RPG similar to this but with less budget on presentation, and 1 million sales would have been plenty. But nowdays they need to have very good graphics or a lot of people aren't interested, and to make graphics comparable to the big games, it costs a fortune. And then add in top sound/music people and the cost is even higher.

Although this story is actually far more complicated behind the scenes. For those in the hardcore MMO community, there has been a great big drama unfolding the last few weeks with this company. It's possible that their two games were unrelated but I doubt it. And either way, there is a lot more to this story anyway. It's a brand new company (with almost a dream team hired to run it), so purchasing an entire other company and their game, and then needing to sell 3 million copies just to make it worthwhile, seems suspicious or crazy, or something. The truth will hopefully come out eventually though. It's a shame.
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Old 29th May 2012, 04:39   #7
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Maybe if that moron Schilling hadn't been lured to RI by the moron RI legislature, this wouldn't have happened. It's one thing to collapse your own vanity game studio, but to take down a real studio (BHG) with you? Stupid, greedy assholes. Maybe it should have told him something that private investory apparently wouldn't touch 38 Studios. You think the RI legislature has some secret insight into making a retired baseball player into a visionary studio head?
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Old 29th May 2012, 09:08   #8
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Wow - if this is true, then the developers are in bigger trouble than just losing their jobs: Former relocated Studio 38 employees stuck with second mortgages (Gamasutra).
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Old 29th May 2012, 16:29   #9
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They had started work on Kingdoms of Amalur 2 as well. What a sad end for them.

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Old 29th May 2012, 18:30   #10
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Kotaku has made several posts detailing this fiasco ... it was way more than just "1 game not selling enough copies" ... sad, as the demo I played it seemed like a great game.. I'm just hoping there's a fire sale soon and I can still get the game in some form
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Old 1st Jun 2012, 07:09   #11
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I agree fallenphoenix. I think in the past they would have made an RPG similar to this but with less budget on presentation, and 1 million sales would have been plenty. But nowdays they need to have very good graphics or a lot of people aren't interested, and to make graphics comparable to the big games, it costs a fortune. And then add in top sound/music people and the cost is even higher.

Although this story is actually far more complicated behind the scenes. For those in the hardcore MMO community, there has been a great big drama unfolding the last few weeks with this company. It's possible that their two games were unrelated but I doubt it. And either way, there is a lot more to this story anyway. It's a brand new company (with almost a dream team hired to run it), so purchasing an entire other company and their game, and then needing to sell 3 million copies just to make it worthwhile, seems suspicious or crazy, or something. The truth will hopefully come out eventually though. It's a shame.
I don't think that the game budget was the issue here. Sure Amalur was the new kid on the block, but I for one was really excited to play it, and I think that heaps of others felt the same way. And honestly, you look, there have been heaps of games that have had far larger budgets and still been successful and made huge profits: Top 10 Most Expensive Video game Budgets

The issue here was that 38 studios had absolutely no income other than investors and loans, and when you spend a couple of years developing a game while falling into debt you know it can't really end well.
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