THQ Nordic Acquires Former 38 Studios' Amalur IP, Including Copernicus MMO

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor September 6, 2018
Share:

It's a day for big acquisitions, apparently -- if you can call the acquisition of an intellectual property that never really got off the ground "big." Today, THQ Nordic announced that it has acquired the IP for Kingdoms of Amalur from 38 Studios, including both the one game that was released and the unreleased would-have-been-free-to-play MMO codenamed Copernicus.

A little backstory: 38 Studios was founded in 2006 by Major League Baseball player Curt Schilling, who was also a rabid gamer, and EverQuest player in particular. His company's crowning jewel was to be an MMO that was codenamed "Copernicus" and set in Amalur, a world created by noted fantasy author R.A. Salvator and Spawn creator Todd McFarlane. The company did launch a single-player RPG, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning that met with middling success, in February 2012. In May of that year, however, 38 Studios declared bankruptcy and the company ceased operations.

The messier part of it all is that Schilling relocated the company from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, mostly due to a $75 million loan from the state of Rhode Island. It proved unable to repay that money, due in part to Reckoning's tepid sales. Many years of legal action followed, and the IPs for Reckoning and Copernicus languished, not even drawing a buyer when they were auctioned off in December 2013. Today, that changed

The press release from THQ Nordic doesn't state any specific plans for the IP, though it does mention that "evaluation of sequels & new content" will be handled by its office in Austria. You can still buy Reckoning on Steam, and it's got an 87% positive rating, so presumably Valve will be sending checks to THQ for any future purchases. (Which makes one wonder: Where were they sending money for its sales before? Direct to the state of Rhode Island?)

As for the future of the Amalur IP: who knows? While it was news mostly for the big names attached to it, Project Copernicus did have some neat ideas, but those were six years ago, when big AAA MMORPGs were still considering "the thing to do." Nowadays, with MMORPGs trending downward and other game types ascendant, there may not be room for a "triple-A, hundred-million-dollar-plus, free-to-play, micro-transaction-based MMO," as Schilling once described Copernicus.

Share:
Got a news tip? Contact us directly here!

In this article: Copernicus, 38 Studios, THQ Nordic.

About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (1)

Patrick Meador 4 years ago
IMO-I've always felt that Wizards of the Coast had a lot to do behind the scenes with the changing of development in Neverwinter and Amalur. Both games were supposed to be the opposite of what they are now. Amalur being a MMO and Neverwinter a single player/multiplayer game. With R.A. Salvatore writing the Neverwinter book and series that went with it, along with Amalur being his own personal fantasy created world. Wizards of the Coast couldn't have Amalur do better then Neverwinter, especially when they were starting to heavily invest in the Forgotten Realms world.
Hopefully maybe now we will finally get a MMO or maybe an ARPG in the Amalur world. THQ Nordic did recently develop Titan Quest Ragnarok. So maybe we could get an ARPG based off Amalur that would be exciting.


You May Enjoy

The Sixth Beta Event For Guild Wars 2’s WvW Restructuring Is Under Way

The Sixth Beta Event For Guild Wars 2’s WvW Restructuring Is Under Way

Participate and earn achievements.

By QuintLyn Bowers - 3 days ago
World Of Tanks Reveals Holiday Ops 2023: Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Milla Jovovich, And Holiday Village

World Of Tanks Reveals Holiday Ops 2023: Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Milla Jovovich, And Holiday Village

Another year, another round of resources to collect and rewards to get.

By Anthony Jones - 1 week ago
Lua’s Prey Unleashes New Co-Op Survival Missions And More To Warframe On All Platforms

Lua’s Prey Unleashes New Co-Op Survival Missions And More To Warframe On All Platforms

Prepping for the Duviri Paradox begins and the 51st frame is released.

By QuintLyn Bowers - 5 days ago
Daily Free Game Season Is Nearly Upon Us At The Epic Games Store

Daily Free Game Season Is Nearly Upon Us At The Epic Games Store

At least, that’s what the rumors are...and they’re probably right.

By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 week ago
Lost Ark's December Update Plans Revealed, And There's Still Events Running To Help Prep For The Climactic Raid Coming

Lost Ark's December Update Plans Revealed, And There's Still Events Running To Help Prep For The Climactic Raid Coming

The Brelshaza Legion Raid sees you facing off against the Commander of the Phantom Legion.

By Michael Byrne - 6 days ago
Marvel Snap's Card Nerfs To Onslaught And Others May Happen To Black Panther Due To Busted 600,000 Power Combo

Marvel Snap's Card Nerfs To Onslaught And Others May Happen To Black Panther Due To Busted 600,000 Power Combo

Besides taking forever, the combo accrues an absurdly high power level with the right cards in place.

By Anthony Jones - 3 days ago