Timonium-Based Big Huge Games Shuttered
Rhode Island-based 38 Studios, the developer's owner, encountered financial troubles.
As its owner finds itself struggling to make loan payments, Timonium-based video game developer Big Huge Games has been shuttered.
Owner 38 Studios, the Rhode Island-based company founded by retired baseball pitcher Curt Schilling, laid off its roughly 400 employees, the Boston Globe reports. A Big Huge Games employee confirmed the layoff affected all Timonium employees as well.
Earlier this month, the company failed to make a scheduled $1.125 million payment on a $75 million loan from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. The loan was part of a 2010 deal to move 38 Studios to Rhode Island.
Gamasutra reports that the payment was made last week, but that the company was unable to make payroll and had to lay some employees off. Two top 38 Studios executives have apparently left the company this week, the website reports.
Big Huge Games, best known for the "Rise of Nations" series and "Catan," was founded in 2000 by former staffers from Hunt Valley-based Firaxis Games. The studio was bought by THQ in 2008 then a year later by 38 Studios.
The studio's most recent project is "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning," released in February for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Joystiq reported in March the game sold 330,000 copies in its first month on the market.
A new massively-multiplayer online game called "Copernicus" is still scheduled for release next year.
Scott Kirsner, a Boston Globe columnist, suggested that one possible scenario could see Big Huge Games get sold to another company, like Electronic Arts, which published "Kingdoms" earlier this year.