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Copernicus MMO 'wasn't fun,' studio head reveals

A new feature at Boston Magazine examines the demise of 38 Studios, talking with founder Curt Schilling and other ex-employees. In an honest appraisal, Schilling admits that the company's MMO Copernicus "wasn't fun."

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Many questions remained after the demise of 38 Studios, the troubled gaming company founded by baseball legend Kurt Schilling. The developer had an incredibly ambitious MMO in the works, codenamed Copernicus. But why was so little of it ever shown before the company's closure?

It could be that the game, simply put, wasn't meeting Schilling's standards. "The game wasn't fun," the former studio head admitted. "It was my biggest gripe for probably the past eight to 12 months."

Speaking to Boston Magazine, Schilling admitted that the game was "stunning" visually, but "the actual things you could do in the game weren't engaging enough." While the MMO was "improving," it wasn't what he had wanted--especially after six years of development.

The magazine offers a poignant example of the game's lackluster quality: "When Schilling walked around during lunch hour, he says, nobody was playing Copernicus's internal demos. They were all on some other game."

According to Boston Magazine, Schilling desperately tried to save his company, even attempting talks with Take-Two and Nexon. Of course, no deal ever coalesced, and all we have left of Copernicus is this trailer.

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    July 24, 2012 2:00 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Copernicus MMO 'wasn't fun,' studio head reveals.

    A new feature at Boston Magazine examines the demise of 38 Studios, talking with founder Curt Schilling and other ex-employees. In an honest appraisal, Schilling admits that the company's MMO Copernicus "wasn't fun."

    • reply
      July 24, 2012 3:31 PM

      Not being fun would sorta put a damper on things.

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      July 24, 2012 4:05 PM

      This is surprisingly candid.

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      July 25, 2012 3:25 AM

      Explains why the rare trailers released had no game play shown.

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      July 25, 2012 3:39 AM

      There is no definition of fun. Its very subjective. Most games are not fun, but rather boring or mundane.

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        July 25, 2012 3:43 AM

        Most? You're on a site focused on the boring and mundane hobby of video games? Are you playing the right games? Are you depressed? Was 1998 the last good year of PC gaming?

        Man. I loves me some video games.

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          July 25, 2012 4:59 AM

          Perhaps he meant MMOs in particular, which many "regular" gamers consider boring.

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      July 25, 2012 5:02 AM

      It's obvious he never worked in games and was incredibly naive. For instance about the "they didn't play my game at lunch" comment- people I know who worked on games (specifically on MMOs, in fact) always played other games during their downtime. They explained that partly this is because a game doesn't get fun until near the end of development, and partly it's because when you work on a game for 12 hours a day you're kind of done with it, thanks. Plus, if you don't play other games, you're missing out on a huge experience of what is and isn't fun.

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      July 25, 2012 6:26 AM

      so like every other mmo

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      July 25, 2012 9:17 AM

      The problem was they were making another WOW clone. If they wanted it to be fun they should have adapted the combat system of the rpg.

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      July 30, 2012 7:27 AM

      did the employee get paid in the end?

      I remember kotaku has a story about how badly some of the employee got impacted by the closure.