All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.
Last night, 38 Studios uploaded a fly-through video of its still-in-development massively multiplayer online game titled Project Copernicus. The footage reveals a fantasy world with lush landscapes and intricately decorated fortresses. Project Copernicus shares the land of Amalur with the company’s recently published role-playing game, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
This video follows closely after Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee revealed the release date of Project Copernicus (June 2013) against the wishes of 38 Studios. A source familiar with the events told GamesBeat that everyone at the developer was shocked when they saw Governor Chafee announce their MMO’s delay on television, which is a piece of information that was buried deep within the confidential financial information 38 Studios presented to the state.
Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.
Troubles began for the company when it missed a May 1 payment of $1.125 million owed to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. According to the terms of the loan, 38 Studios has agreed to pay an “annual guarantee fee” on May 1 of each year that amounts to 1.5 percent of the average outstanding debt. That led to a private hearing between the top figures of the EDC and the developer in which the studio’s chairman, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, asked for government assistance in paying back the loan.
“It’s a balance of making sure that 38 Studios is successful so that we can recoup our huge investment and not getting further exposed if the company, ultimately, is not gonna make it,” Governor Chafee said in a press conference. “That’s a tough balance.”
If Schilling’s firm does collapse, the state would be forced to pay back the loan. After interest, that would cost tax payers $90 million.
On Friday, 38 Studios successfully made the overdue payment. Earlier that day, the developer attempted to pass a check to the EDC that it said would bounce. That check wasn’t accepted. Eventually, the company wired $1.025 million and provided a $100,000 check for the rest of the balance. According to Providence news station WPRI, the firm did not make payroll for its employees this week.
We’ve contacted 38 Studios to find out more about its new game and its financial status. No one from the Providence-based business is commenting at this time.
GamesBeatGamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
- Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
- The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
- Networking opportunities
- Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
- Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
- And maybe even a fun prize or two
- Introductions to like-minded parties