When Kindgoms of Amalur: Reckoning released this February, reviews, like our own, were fondly receptive of the fantasy-action RPG. Reinforced by sales exceeding 1.2 million copies, the specious state of developer 38 Studios‘ well-being lead to the company kickstarting pre-production of Kingdoms of Amalur 2.
But we all know what happened next: One of the more disheartening downfalls in the industry’s recent memory saw 38 Studios defaulting on millions in loan dues to the state of Rhode Island, its founder, Curt Schilling, left to pick the pieces after abolishing the company and laying off his entire staff. The studio’s assets becoming property of the state, the sequel – along with the 38′s upcoming MMO, Project Copernicus - was squandered.
Now, though, new support for Kingdoms of Amalur 2 has been expressed by EA Labels president Frank Gibeau. Videogamer reports that Gibeau spoke to Game Informer about the beleaguered state of 38, and demonstrated hopes that the KoA sequel would someday find its way into development. He even intimated that EA would be an eager partner – the company was the publisher of the original Amalur:
“I think it’s unfortunate how everything worked out [for 38 Studios]. At the end of the day we saw a lot of creativity and vision in the team that Curt [Schilling] put together. We thought the game was terrific. It reviewed well.
“We built a good business there and hope there’s a sequel to it someday. We’d love to be a partner for that.”
Initially, Gibeau’s well wishes might come across as, well, wishful; how would Kingdoms of Amalur 2 possibly find life when the IP remains in the ownership of 38 Studios – a hypothetical 38 Studios?
The answer may lie with 38 subsidiary Big Huge Games. Much of the talent behind Kingdoms of Amalur – the animators, the programmers, the principle design vision of Ken Rolston – fell to Big Huge, and that cohesion was preserved when the company was acquired this June by Epic Games and re-branded as Epic Baltimore. It’s entirely possible – as Kingdoms of Amalur demonstrated, its design being a product of an unfinished Big Huge RPG with THQ – that Epic Baltimore could combine the resources at their new digs with the knowledge from their old gigs and create a Kingdoms of Amalur 2 in spirit.
The colorful art style would keep its sheen. The expansive mythos would feel instantly familiar. Maybe our character’s shield will still only appear out of thin air upon being summoned into combat. OK, we kid about the last one; we wish for nothing but the best from Epic Baltimore’s first outing. And if it just so happens to be oddly reminiscent of the Faelands fable we enjoyed this year, it might even see EA slap one familiar logo back on the box (for better or worse).
Ranters, how intrigued are you by the idea of Kingdoms of Amalur 2 – either in name or in gaming effigy? Could the comments from Frank Gibeau hint at some behind-the-scenes chatter between Epic Games and Electronic Arts?
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is currently available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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