Kingdoms of Amalur needed 3 million sales 'to break even,' RI governor says

At a press conference, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee called Amalur a failure, having not met its required 3 million sales require to "break even."

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One of the last tweets from Curt Schilling before his game studios, Big Huge Games and 38 Studios, collapsed talked up sales of their first title, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. "Reckoning, 38 Studios first game, has outperformed EA's projections by selling 1.2mm copies in its first 90 days," he said.

While those are impressive figures, they were not enough to keep the studio afloat. At a press conference, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee said that the game was a failure and that it would need to sell over 3 million copies "just to break even."

"The game failed, the game failed," Chafee said according to a report by Joystiq.

So, what will happen to the money owed by Schilling's company? Bankruptcy seems inevitable, given Chafee's admittance that keeping the studio afloat would be "very, very expensive," requiring an additional "tens of millions of dollars."

From The Chatty

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    May 24, 2012 6:15 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Kingdoms of Amalur needed 3 million sales 'to break even,' RI govenor says.

    At a press conference, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee called Amalur a failure, having not met its required 3 million sales require to "break even."

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      May 24, 2012 6:17 PM

      "govenor" :(

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        May 24, 2012 6:52 PM

        guvnah!

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          May 24, 2012 6:56 PM

          I loved the piano going wild at the end so much that, about ten years ago, I actually sat down and transcribed the part. I can't find the papers anymore though. :(

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      May 24, 2012 6:21 PM

      Good news though, CEO Curt Schilling was able to repay himself the 4 million dollar "loan" he had given the company. And used taxpayer money to do it!

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      May 24, 2012 6:43 PM

      Lol it's like RI is running a game business now with these reports

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      May 24, 2012 6:58 PM

      new ip, little to no advertising, and didnt it launch at $40? as much as people enjoy a good deal, some people have a negative reaction to a game that costs less than what they are expecting. i also seem to remember it launching around near the release of a lot of other good games. from the get go, this was always a steam sale purchase for 5 to 10 bucks because i already had so much going on.

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        May 24, 2012 7:03 PM

        Wasn't it released weeks before or after Skyrim?

        And also, if it hadn't been for shackers I would've never heard about this game until now.

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          May 24, 2012 7:09 PM

          No, it released February 7, 2012. But everyone was still playing Skyrim at the time.

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            May 25, 2012 7:20 AM

            That and it was only a month away from Mass Effect 3...

            Who in his right mind would launch a RPG between an Elder Scroll game like Skyrim and probably the best new RPG IP in the last decade in Mass Effect?

            And they needed to sell 3 million copies.... the same amount that Diablo 3 sold to this day after a 10 year wait...

            I really can't figure why this game failed...

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        May 25, 2012 8:49 AM

        it had a mass effect item tie in items. i think that was the extent of the marketing

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        May 25, 2012 1:24 PM

        The game was 59.99$ on all platform including PC.

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      May 24, 2012 7:05 PM

      Why would they take such a big risk, a fantasy RPG coming out within 6 months of an Elder Scrolls release is always going to come out second best

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      May 24, 2012 7:27 PM

      KOA was too average for how much they spent on it. The game was essentially a slightly better Fable. They initially promised that the combat was going to be a blend of spectacle fighters with RPG freedom.

      I think they missed both marks. RPG elements are soso, a bit below average when compared to most games true to the genre. The fighting was really stale. They needed to work on this the most.

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        May 25, 2012 1:57 AM

        Was it actually better than fable? The demo made it look like it had horrible MMO style quest structure and enemy behaviours

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          May 25, 2012 5:43 AM

          IMO at least. But that's very subjective. You're right though, the RPG elements were a bit lacking. A lot of good ideas here and there but no solid followthrough.

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          May 25, 2012 11:38 AM

          The game is definitely better than Fable but they had way too many quests for the level progression.

          Like...you could max out way too easily. :(

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      May 24, 2012 7:32 PM

      So that's it? 38 is dead and so is the MMO?

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      May 24, 2012 8:01 PM

      this is the main story on the news here in NH tonight O.o

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      May 24, 2012 8:15 PM

      Crazy:
      http://www.golocalprov.com/politics/donna-perry-taxpayers-are-owed-transparent-answers-by-the-edc/

      ...roughly $50 million of the $75 million dollar loan has already been accessed, yet the company seems unable to come up with a mere $1.1 million dollar “annual guarantee fee” that was due to the state just this past May 1st.

      Finally, it’s worth noting there are also reports this week that despite the financial problems, Schilling apparently tapped the loan to pay back himself some $ 4 million he personally invested in the company, and that high-priced creative talent, like writer R.A. Salvatore, is slated to receive over $ 5 million in royalties from the sale of the initial game, “Kingdoms of Amalur” from a revolving line of credit that was created out of the original loan...

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        May 25, 2012 8:27 AM

        No wonder this kerfuffle dragged down both companies. That's a shame.

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      May 24, 2012 8:18 PM

      no more rise of nations :(

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      May 24, 2012 8:48 PM

      So they needed diablo 3 sales numbers on their very fist game?
      Who OK's that business plan?

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        May 24, 2012 8:50 PM

        Apparently the state of Rhode Island.

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        May 25, 2012 9:10 AM

        Probably no one. It just kept getting further delayed and over budget. Sometimes you need a publisher to pull the plug, even when you know a project will eventually ship and sell fairly well.

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        May 25, 2012 10:17 AM

        they were able to talk people who know nothing about games into funding the moon, happens all the time in the game industry, gives real developers a bad name.

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      May 24, 2012 9:40 PM

      they thought it would sell 3 million? i can't believe it even sold 1 million. what a crap game.

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      May 24, 2012 10:12 PM

      "tens of millions of dollars."?

      Drop your expectations and start a Kickstarter, duh? Thats what all the cool kids do now that Tim Schafer did it so well. Make a payment of $40 get you the game and pimp out some good looking screen shots, and BAM. Money.

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      May 25, 2012 1:51 AM

      I'm surprised it did as well as it did. It was a good game but not perfect. Your game needs to be pretty much perfect or Minecraft/Angry Birds if you're going to hit 3 million+.

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      May 25, 2012 2:17 AM

      I thought Big Huge Games went under already? They didn't really make anything since Rise of Legends and that was years ago. Still a good game btw, I still play it with friends.

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        May 25, 2012 5:58 AM

        Big Huge Games had been purchased by THQ in early 2008, then was sold to 38 Studios in 2009.

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      May 25, 2012 3:29 AM

      In a related optimistic response, Chafee said he believes 38 Studios will be able to hit its payment benchmarks, banking on the "emotional attachment" of gamers to the Amalur universe.

      Er, good luck with that.

      http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/24/the-politics-of-making-games-disconnect-between-38-studios-and/

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      May 25, 2012 3:31 AM

      $5 dollars and I will pick up Kingdoms of Amalur on Steam, probably just to have it.

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      May 25, 2012 6:11 AM

      I'm sure that there are quite a few indies that would love 1.2m sales.

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        May 25, 2012 6:48 AM

        And also none who have 300+ staff

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          May 25, 2012 9:43 AM

          ...that have R.A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane on their payroll.

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            May 25, 2012 10:04 AM

            Should have made it a Drizzt related game. Fanboys would have come out of the woodwork.

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              May 25, 2012 3:55 PM

              Spawn RPG. But Spawn is the VILLAIN in the game.

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            May 25, 2012 10:37 AM

            When have either of them made jack shit difference to a game? Such a pointless decision.

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      May 25, 2012 6:17 AM

      a steam sale would work wonders. Can't forget future sales -_-

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      May 25, 2012 7:06 AM

      See, here's the thing. You don't announce things like "the game failed" unless you want to stop getting any money whatsoever from it. People eschew failure. They stay away from "death". Just ask any MMO with big population drops after the free month.

      Chafee is not stupid, but he is a weathervane. He's realized it's time to get away from this as quickly as possible, and is rushing the failure along while assuming a posture of scandalized disappointment. Since he probably greenlighted the loan in the first place, he's got his work cut out for him. I'm not even saying that it's the wrong call. The wrong call was backstopping what was effectively a $100mm loan to a gaming company in the first place. It's sort of like driving drunk and calling the decision to run over the little old lady instead of hitting the telephone pole your first bad decision. You'd be in waaay better shape if you didn't make the first dipshit move in the first place.

      I slept horribly last night but I think that last analogy makes at least half an ounce of sense.

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        May 25, 2012 8:23 AM

        The loan happened before Chafee took office as governor.

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          May 25, 2012 8:27 AM

          This is why one should not talk unless they do more than skim the headlines. It makes more sense why he thinks speaking so strongly will work to his benefit. Thank you for the correction.

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      May 25, 2012 8:18 AM

      I'm assuming 3 million FULL PRICE sales, correct? Not sales at deep discounts that will come later.

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        May 25, 2012 10:19 AM

        Games sold on sale might as well have never been sold, in publisher accounting terms.

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          May 25, 2012 10:34 AM

          Explain this for me. Their development costs are already in the can, and if they're sold online the delivery expense is negligible. Selling at a discount still generates revenue.

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      May 25, 2012 9:44 AM

      this is news to me. why is the governor involved? did the company get bailed out by the state?

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        May 25, 2012 10:11 AM

        I think the state gave the company like a $70million dollar loan to make the game. The loan is going into default I'm assuming meaning the tax payers get hosed.

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          May 25, 2012 11:00 AM

          so was this bailout money? or initial state investment money? what's the history of this company's finances?

          that is some amazingly incredible jedi mind trickery on the part of the company. I guess if you can hoodwink politicians into paying for private projects, go for it.

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            May 25, 2012 12:13 PM

            Initial investments if I've read things correctly, the state gave the investment so the company would move to Rhode Island since their unemployment was so high. Created like 450 jobs to make the game there, and now *poof*.

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      May 25, 2012 10:00 AM

      Fuck it I'm going to buy this game today, lol.

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      May 25, 2012 10:26 AM

      Was that to pay back all of the investment? Wasn't a lot of that development supposedly going to be rolled over into their MMO?

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      May 25, 2012 10:35 AM

      For a first release of a new IP without a GTA/CoD/Halo style marketing blitz that's pretty fucking ambitious.

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        May 25, 2012 12:19 PM

        Very ambitious, especially when it doesn't hold up to stuff like Skyrim or Diablo 3 remotely in quality and those are the sales figures they needed.

        I did buy and play it for a good while but can't recommend it with the plethora of games of the open world style out there that are better.

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          May 25, 2012 1:30 PM

          Seriously the game was very much enjoyable, hell i put in at least 115 hrs with one of the dlc, but dragged on near the end, it should have been shorter, or maybe they should have put the lvl cap higher than 40 and made some new monsters, cause fighting the same 20 enemies for 80Hrs ++ got boring after a while.

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            May 25, 2012 2:16 PM

            115 hours?! i spent 25 on it total before abandoning it. how did it manage to hold your attention for that long?

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      May 25, 2012 2:01 PM

      Depending on who you believe, the plot thickens:

      http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1593225&postcount=100

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      May 26, 2012 11:11 AM

      so the million dollar question; when the game goes on "sale" because of all this ... worth picking up?