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Amalur faces Reckoning

TGBarighmTGBarighm MemberFull Members
edited August 2012 in Role Playing Games
Best way to get back on our feet is to jump right back into gaming discussion, methinks. Here's the first article: Amalur dev go splat and fails.
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Comments

  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    THis doesn't overly surprise me. I think the ambition to make an MMO as their first game and then do Amular to try and recoupe some costs was a very bad business decision. That former baseball player had no real idea going in just how much MMO's cost.
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  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    It's a real shame. He had enough money to make a good single-player RPG, but no, he had to jump head first into MMORPG development. I don't think this will be the end of Amalur though. I can see someone buying the assets/license.
  • TheDoomhammerTheDoomhammer Prod with the Prod Full Members
    edited May 2012
    Apparently Amalur needed to sell 3 million copies just to break even or something.

    Looking further into things suggests the most likely explanation for all this is Curt Schilling has a deep-seated, unexplained hatred for Rhode island and all who live there. Also that he's a massive hypocrite.
  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    At least he didn't string his employees along for months without paying them like some publishers do. A few weeks into May they decide to let everyone go. That's not all that bad. I've had far worse employers who refused to pay but still expected me to report into work months later.

    I figure he decided it wasn't worth digging very deep into his own pockets to finish development of an MMO that has a tiny chance of succeeding while paying off a $75 million loan. Better to stop the bleeding and fire everyone, take the money from Amalur, and use it to pay off as much of the loan as possible.

    Or it could be as simple as his wife, assuming he's married, threatening to divorce him if he didn't stop wasting the family's money on this stupid venture, heh.
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    I know some people will feel like blaming him, others won't. All I can say is the dream was ambititous from the start. Though on top of that their is the possibility he hired some wrong people to do cewrtain jobs too. Not like the programmers and such but more the physical running of the company.
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  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    He definitely should have started a little smaller and built up some clout before such a massive undertaking. That much is clear.
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    What a colossal failure!

    How shocking that a mediocre new RPG IP doesn't sell as many copies as Battlefield!!

    The fiscal mismanagement of both the State and the developer is truly astounding!

    Laughing out loud! XD
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  • TyphoTypho Knight Errant Full Members
    edited May 2012
    How shocking that a mediocre new RPG IP doesn't sell as many copies as Battlefield!!

    I was shaking my head at the article that called KoA a "failure." Oh, so selling 1.2 million copies in the first 3 months is considered a failure now? I would be infuriated if I was a developer at BHG.

    EDIT: The article (realized it wasn't here, must have read it in a separate thread) http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/24/kingdoms-of-amalur-reckoning-had-to-sell-3m-just-to-break-even/
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    Typho wrote: »
    I was shaking my head at the article that called KoA a "failure." Oh, so selling 1.2 million copies in the first 3 months is considered a failure now? I would be infuriated if I was a developer at BHG.

    EDIT: The article (realized it wasn't here, must have read it in a separate thread) http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/24/kingdoms-of-amalur-reckoning-had-to-sell-3m-just-to-break-even/

    It is a failure though. By the Numbers when you sell 1.22 and need 3.00 that's a failure. It's relative. A movie that need to make 3Million in sales and only made 1.22 million in sales the movie would be called a failure. Even if that movie was the best movie ever it would still be deemed a failure.

    This isn't even a case of the oh we expected it to sell X copies and it sold Y copies and thus a failure. This is a case of it NEEDING to sell X copies and because it sold Y copies it failed. And that was on;y to break even. People understand that 1.22 Million in sales for a new IP is HUGE but at the same time it failed to make any money and there by es it's a failure. No matter what our personal views may be.

    To put it in business terms. When you make something you have to sell more or at minimum equal to cost of item to be deemed a success. If that doesn't happen it's a failure. And by Business standards ... Amalur failed.
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  • SavorienSavorien Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    I'm going to preface this by saying that it's really unfortunate that the studios closed down. It's always stressful for people to suddenly and unexpectedly lose their job. But it should be noted that these developers aren't just going to lay down and die. It's time to freshen up the resume and start looking for exciting new work. There were a number of talented people working on Amalur, and they will undoubtedly get jobs at other studios we already know and love.

    Having said that, I'm kind of glad this studio got shuttered. Not because of any ill will I have towards the developers but rather that this project of theirs, Amalur, didn't resonate with me in the least. I can't quite put my finger on why, because it has a number of elements I enjoy in other games I play. But the game as a whole product just didn't work for me - I didn't enjoy it. It wasn't getting me excited about their future projects either. So while it's a bummer that all of those people will be temporarily out of work, I do look forward to what they will bring to the existing studios that hire them.

    And, you know, gauging from my wife's company, I'm sure some of those developers will exit the industry and go into real estate. Or something. Good luck to those folks as well.
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  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited May 2012
    What a colossal failure!

    How shocking that a mediocre new RPG IP doesn't sell as many copies as Battlefield!!

    The fiscal mismanagement of both the State and the developer is truly astounding!

    Laughing out loud! XD

    I'm laughing as well, but only because I'm not in Rhode Island. I imagine were I Rhode Islander, this would be less funny.

    Thankfully, at least, the industry seems to be rallying behind the employees and trying to help 'em find new work.

    Gamespot article on various twitter responses.
    #38Jobs on Twitter.
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  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    You know I gotta say that twitter thread is the best thing to come out of this.

    oh and this
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b8Gf2wud3OB_IgcypevqNF4MENhivccu2lKWceO-cUI/preview?sle=true&pli=1

    It's a VERY comprehensive list of companies and their job postings ... I am keeping a copy for future links when I finish my IT schooling.
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  • RebochanRebochan Who needs Rinoa anyway? Full Members
    edited May 2012
    I'm not too surprised to see them band together...this is a small industry, we look out for our own.

    Sadly, getting stabbed in the back by your employer is a really common occurrence. Though the "second mortgage" twist is a new one. Even the implosion at UTV Ignition wasn't THAT tragic.
    "One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited May 2012
    Rebochan wrote: »
    Even the implosion at UTV Ignition wasn't THAT tragic.

    Yeah, it's amazing that. I still can't believe that happened. Really puts the 38 studios management and ownership in a very negative light.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
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  • flamethrowerflamethrower Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    Was it overbudget? Game companies get around half the money you pay for a new game (the rest goes to platform owners and retailers). If they needed to sell 3M copies, their budget was 90 million? They had around 400 employes, so I guess it's not unreasonable. Still, that is a huge team!

    It might be harder for others to take a risk on new IP in light of this.
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    It's budget was more because they tried running for what 4 - 5 years with out releasing anything so they had no revenue coming in at all. Most other game companies have some budget coming in due to other titles
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  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited May 2012
    http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/28/technology/38-studios/index.htm

    Puts into perspective the moeny needed to make and keep an MMO going.
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  • RebochanRebochan Who needs Rinoa anyway? Full Members
    edited June 2012
    Epic just pulled a saving throw on a bunch of the ex-Big Huge Games staff.

    http://epicgames.com/community/2012/06/big-problems-need-huge-solutions/

    No word on if it will be another RPG like Amalur, but this is still a really nice move from Epic.

    Wasn't sure this needed to go in the other news thread, so I'm putting it here for now.
    "One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited June 2012
    Thats good news for at least the BHG people. Not sure how this will effect the 38 Studios people though
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    28 years of gaming and still going strong
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  • Damien256Damien256 New Member Full Members
    edited June 2012
    Great news that Epic is helping out BHG! Kingdoms of amalur was a huge game for me, being the first RPG in probably close to a decade that I couldn't stop playing, maxed out everything, like 250 quests in 250 hours. I admit it was quite easy (ok insanely easy at the end) and the story a bit bland, but there was just something about the pacing of the quests where you could finish each area completely and then move on to the next, and the art style of the world was fantastic, I couldn't get enough of staring off into the distance. It really created a completionist out of me, I'd always get lost and disoriented in elder scrolls games but this game I always knew what needed to be done.

    I also loved the fact that the 'BIG HUGE ENGINE' ran great on ps3, that to me is an amazing accomplishment seeing as how bethesda has been trying to tweak their multiplatform RPG engine for years and has largely failed (im still consdering buying an xbox360 to play skyrim properly.. ), to see BHG nail it on the first try with no patches (due to their situation) is quite a feat.

    I'll definitely be following Epic games now to see where this leads, never really have in the past they being more of a shooter game studio although I'm sure I've played games using their unreal engine not realizing it. Never tried infinity blade either, Ive never really saw eye to eye with apple products.
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  • LordKaiserLordKaiser Gaming Freedom Full Members
    edited June 2012
    No mater how good developers a company have. If the CEO and executives are dumb and do bad decisions the business will fail. At this point I'll wait for the game to fall of in price.
    Never buy a game published by D3 Publisher that is not WKCII. They cheated on their fans by releasing a game that they didn't support not even for a year and they released a rushed translation.
  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    edited July 2012
    We finally get a semi-clear picture of what went down at 38 Studios: http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/nesi/schillings-38-studios-spent-over-133m?3

    Long story short, nothing really shady, just a whole lot of senseless overspending.
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited July 2012
    Pretty much as I had thought. Some of things I even realize were stupid from the word. Like the projected income ... those numbers make my face hurt.
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  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2012
    I worked on site for a client based in Rhode Island once, and parts of it are very... cheap looking? Like, store prices are low and you'd think the houses would be free. Like, I told the rental car clerk I needed directions to Woonsocket and she handed me pre-printed directions to CVS Caremark without asking, saying (no joke) "The only things in Rhode Island are crack and CVS Caremark, and people buying crack don't fly in through the airport."

    It sounds to me like 38 was paying Boston-level salaries to RI employees, and would still be in business if it had adjusted the salaries to the cost of living. That's the only point I think those interviewed in the article missed. $100 mil spent on people making an MMO in California is reasonable. It isn't in Rhode Island. The benefits sound like they were absurd too.

    Otherwise, yeah, it confirms what we all thought. Nothing evil or shady; just ignorant ineptitude and an embarrassing inability to budget appropriately.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited July 2012
    Save for possibly the issues with the moving companies and mortgage companies, that could be considered shady.
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  • RyumoauRyumoau Member Full Members
    edited August 2012
    I really enjoyed Amalor. Even more than Skyrim. I really hope some one pics up the IP and makes a more polished sequel.
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  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    edited August 2012
    There have been some rumours about Epic's new RPG project being exactly that, but they're weak and I doubt it. I'm sure it's possible, but Epic doesn't seem like the kind of dev. to pick up another company's trash when they're so adept at creating their own worlds. I mean, come on, can you imagine Gears' art team working on a fantasy RPG? That's a heck of a lot more appetizing than a sequel to Amalur.
  • FrozenbabylonFrozenbabylon POW! Full Members
    edited August 2012
    TG Barighm wrote: »
    I mean, come on, can you imagine Gears' art team working on a fantasy RPG? That's a heck of a lot more appetizing than a sequel to Amalur.
    Basically this.
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