Kingdoms of Amalur dev in deep financial trouble

1 min read

Sad news folks: despite coming up with one of the better new IPs in recent times, the fine folks behind Kingdoms of Amalur, 38 Studios, is struggling financially.

According to this report the company has missed payroll for its nearly 400 employees and failed to make a $1.125 million loan repayment this month.

While the studio isn’t shutting up shop just yet, it goes without saying this is a serious problem for the company. No doubt the fact Kingdoms of Amalur was a commercial bomb didn’t help.

Oh well. Guess that’s what happens when you invest in making a new IP.

This is the bio under which all legacy articles are published (as in the 12,000-odd, before we moved to the new Website and platform). This is not a member of the DDNet Team. Please see the article's text for byline attribution.

  • I didn't realize the company had 400 employees, though I was familiar with them before the game released.
    This sounds like a "put all the eggs in one basket" situation, and the basket dropped.

  • Howdy Coffee!

    I agree it was a case of all the eggs going in one basket, but I think that is reflective of a bigger problem in the games industry – it takes 400 people to make a game now of the kind of size and scope of Amalur. What other choice does a startup have but to take out a loan and hope the first game sells well enough to balance out the balance sheet?

  • Start out smaller. No need to have 400 people working on a game, that MIGHT do well, or might not.

    You can't really blame the market, when the decision was made at the company to do something not financially sound.

    Also, they could have gone with a more rounded approach, and had some of those 400 people perhaps working on other types of games, like…DIGITALLY DOWNLOADED WiiWare and PSN type games, to create a small cashflow.

    It seems like they just went all out though…

    I feel terrible for the employees, and really do hope they can somehow work this out.

  • They're good points, Coffee. 

    To be fair to 38 Games though, they had the backing of EA and some major talent behind the project. It's relatively easy to stand out as a big developer, too, given that there's a few thousand if not million small indies out there. 

    In itself setting up a studio to make big games is not a bad commercial idea. What needs to happen though is that first game needs to be a success. Which it wasn't in this instance, unfortunately. 

    I think they could have benefited from having a small team of 10 or 20 people working on supplementary iOS/ Facebook games though to get an income stream happening. That much was an oversight, IMO. 

  • So, last night we were over here having this discussion…then I went and read the recent review by Chalgyr for Puzzle Kingdom…which was developed/published by ZOO Games.

    ZOO Games is probably the very type of developer/published I would imagine a startup to be, lots and lots and LOTS of shovelware games, just to create a cashflow, even if it's small…not sure how well ZOO Games is doing now, but they're still around from what I could tell on their site.

    You can see the comment about how many games on Chalgyr's review:

  • That's really disappointing.  I enjoyed the game, it seemed to sell decently and there was some solid critical reception.  I think both Coffee & Matt make good points – but I think in the end it was perhaps just a matter of putting too much of everything into this one title, which as I recall reading, nearly got scuttled one or two other times in the past in early development.  A real shame too as I enjoyed the game quite a bit and they had some interesting plans for the series going forward I believe.

  • Previous Story

    Five great alternatives to Diablo III this generation

    Next Story

    Interesting development: STALKER-inspired Crysis mod looses mod status

    Latest Articles