The demise of 38 Studios has been a well chronicled one, but perhaps you’re interested in knowing exactly how much money the now defunct developer used prior to shuttering earlier this year. According to WPRI, that figure exceeds $133 million.
In the years between the company’s founding in 2006 and the release of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Curt Schilling & Co. shelled out over $118 million before ever making a dime. While the role-playing game sold 1.3 million copies, an impressive launch for a new IP, it wasn’t enough for the Rhode Island-based developer who had leveraged the future of the company against naive expectations of the title being an absolute blockbuster.
While Rhode Island state loans and Schilling’s personal wealth paid for the lion’s share of costs, Electronic Arts also provided an advance of $28.6 million for the development of Reckoning. Unfortunately, in order to repay the maligned publisher, sales would likely have needed to surpass 2 million.
Though famed Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter didn’t think that number was unreasonable, believing it could sell between 2 and 3 million, the disparity between expectations and reality compounded by the $104.5 million spent on research and development for Project Copernicus sent the company into a tailspin.
A continued relationship with EA cooled after Star Wars: The Old Republic received a lukewarm reception, souring the publisher on the idea of further investment in massively multiplayer titles. Attempts were made to partner with Take-Two on a Reckoning sequel, but ultimately talks fell through. Saul Kaplan, former executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, believes another $60 million would have been necessary to complete development of 38’s ethereal MMO.