THQ Nordic has bought up the rights to 38 Studios’ Project Copernicus and Kingdoms of Amalur

    
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Finally, somebody bought the 38 Studios IPs, and that somebody is THQ Nordic.

I’m sure I don’t need to recap the 38 Studios mess to stalwart MMORPG veterans, but let me refresh your memory just in case: Baseball star and video game fan Curt Schilling created 38 Studios in 2006 to build games, including PC RPG Kingdoms of Amalur, which launched, and MMORPG Project Copernicus, which never did. That was because 38 Studios went bankrupt in 2012 in tandem with a major political scandal that rocked the government of Rhode Island and led to an SEC investigation and multiple lawsuits. It is still considered today one of the biggest messes the MMORPG genre – and gaming itself – has ever seen. The IPs had been shopped around for a while, but during the 2013 auction, nobody grabbed ’em.

Here’s the press release; it appears THQ Nordic bought both properties, though of course it’s not entirely certain that the company will actually finish Project Copernicus at all, let alone as an MMORPG.

“THQ Nordic today announced that the acquisition of the intellectual property ‘Kingdoms of Amalur’ has been finalized with 38 Studios LLC, based in Providence, RI, US. The deal also covered the acquisition of the ‘Amalur’ – based on the abandoned MMORPG project ‘Copernicus’. The acquisition itself is being handled by THQ Nordic AB, based in Karlstad, Sweden, and daily operations (sales and distribution, evaluation of sequels & new content etc.) will be done via THQ Nordic GmbH in Vienna, Austria.”

The MOP team’s pre-2015 coverage of the 38 Studios fiasco is currently on Frankengadget; 2015 and beyond is right here.

What could’ve been:

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

The Giant Bombcast had Rich Gallup on who was a producer on Project Copernicus to talk about this and he said that he thinks they’ll do a remaster or a sequel to KoA.

It’s a fascinating listen to someone who worked on that game. He was also host of The Hotspot on Gamespot years ago. https://www.giantbomb.com/podcasts/ It’s episode 549.

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Castagere Shaikura

I really hope they do a great remaster of KOA. And they fix the wonky camera. I would gladly buy it if it also includes all the dlc too.

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kalech

I hope this might mean they’ll make a sequel to KoA. I liked KoA but the area designs left much to be desired and it was obvious it was a singleplayer mmo.

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mysecretid

After all this time, I never expected to hear anything about the 38 Studios’ properties again.

Life is full of surprises …

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Jeremiah Ratican

This is such great news, I loved KoA and was so looking forward to these games. Say what you will the guys 38 studios hired read like a dream list of people I would hire to make a game.

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Denice J. Cook

Knowing how hard it is for a new dev team to pick up and run with a previous team’s outdated code, I doubt they’re rezzing Copernicus. However, building a different game based on its IP is possible.

God, I loved Reckoning, though. That game really raised the bar on single player RPGs in every way: story, graphics, and combat. You could just see the Elder Scrolls single player games dodging that very large, new shadow that was cast back in 2012. And I say that as a huge ES geek!

Big Huge Games did a fantastic job developing Reckoning, and 38 Studios briefly saved that team from going down in flames as its previous publisher was going bust. At least Big Huge’s project got revamped to follow the Amalur IP and launched successfully, instead of dying prematurely.

THQ, please dig up the old dev team from Big Huge and make a worthy PC/new gen console successor to Reckoning!

*prays in earnest*

PS/ THQ: If you’re just doing a new gen console remake of Reckoning, for the love of all that’s holy, put unlimited save points into it this time like the PC version has. :P

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agemyth ?

I wanted this game to happen real bad at the time, but nowadays I’m feeling alright about Curt Schilling losing a fortune on this (obvs never thrilled at all the people who he employed losing their jobs and the state of Rhode Island losing $150mil to him).

I would still love to see some raw footage of the MMO if it ever made it to a semi-playable state.

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Winter

OMG I hope this means it’s resurrected! :D

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donvweel

Although I would like to see a Copernicus MMO I doubt that is what they will do. Looking at their game lineup I think that they are looking to do an updated 4k rez version of Amalur for console.

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Targeter

*fist pump*
Such an underrated game. Backwards compatibility, plz? Also, if we could restart that MMO, that’d be greeeeaaaaaaaaaat.