December 22, 2013
Kingdoms Of Amalur Fails To Sell At Auction
Yikes! I had the highest hopes that Curt Shilling’s failed Kingdoms of Amalur IP would see the light of day, even after the company dissolving years ago. It looks like there is no hope for the game to exist, as it’s failed to find an investor in time for the 38 Studios auction. This news comes in spite of the Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends IPs finding a bidder for purchase. What happens to the Kingdoms of Amalur now?
The game rights will likely be dissolved until a buyer comes through and sweeps 38 Studios right off their feet, along with the million dollars that the state of Rhode Island amassed following the companies downfall. Kingdoms of Amalur started as a very ambitious project from a pitcher for the Red Sox, Curt Schilling, who wanted to make a splash into the video game world.
Schilling comes from humble roots and an entire career of wins and losses, enough to warrant the desire to have a go at developing games. This was a great ambition, but the company soon fell into disarray when key members of the developing team began noticing that there was far more attention going into company gifts and over-budgeting than into the actual game. The result? Kingdoms of Amalur was well received by critics when it released, but the sales figures failed to meet the requirements of the company’s budget.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an ambitious team lose their jobs because of a miscalculation in resources. Volition Games went through a similar hurdle with the development of Saints Row 4 when under the reins of THQ, a company that dissolved recently as well. THQ’s problem seemed to stem from a catalog of well-received games that still failed to meet projected sales figures. Without an audience to bring them out of the slums, the company vanished before Saints Row 4’s completion.
Finally, 3D Realms suffered a similar fate with the development of Duke Nukem Forever, which was regarded as one of the worst gaming disappointments of the last decade. Like THQ and 38 Studios, 3D Realms fell into the all-too-familiar void of overambitious projects with a lack of execution in reaching milestones. When they developed the first commercially successful Duke Nukem, the world was in awe at the game’s puny humor and passive dick jokes. Sadly, the company slowly bled itself dry over a decade of development trying to keep up with the technology of modern games (at the time).
Before they could execute a workable product for audiences, 3D Realms soon found that the game that they’d crafted years before wouldn’t be appealing to a changing industry.
The best of luck to you Curt Schilling. For what it’s worth, I thought Kingdoms of Amalur was a rather fantastic game as well.
Image Credit: Robert Kyllo / Shuttesrstock