Following a leak, it’s been confirmed that the 2012 RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is getting a remaster later this year. The announcement came in a tweet from the original game’s Twitter account, which was utterly silent since May 23, 2012, when it tweeted about its sales performance outperforming EA’s original projections. The remastered version is being titled Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, and will include all previous DLC, as well as graphics updates.
Kingdoms of Amalur is a game with history. 38 Studios was founded in 2006 by Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling, along with six of his friends, including Spawn creator and Image co-founder Todd McFarlane, who worked in the art department. Eventually, the studio would move to Rhode Island, securing a $75 million loan guarantee thanks to the state’s quasi-public Economic Development Corporation, which was secured in 2010 as part of an agreement to bring 450 new jobs to the state over two years. In February 2012, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning hit shelves to mostly positive reviews, especially given that it came from a relatively indie studio.
Just about a month later, 38 Studios went bankrupt, making the declaration official on May 24, 2012 and subsequently laying off its entire staff. This led to police and FBI investigations, although they were not able to compile sufficient evidence to file criminal charges. Kotaku summarizes it best (and you can read further here):
“Shortly after the game released, employees at 38 Studios stopped getting paid. Having apparently squandered a $75 million loan from the state of Rhode Island and $50 million of Schilling’s own money through excessive salaries and mismanagement, the studio shut down. Employees didn’t get their final paychecks, with some now left on the hook for mortgages the company had originally promised to take care of.”
Six years later, in 2018, Darksiders studio THQ Nordic purchased the rights to the game and, apparently, began working on a remastered version. Now, questions revolve around whether or not those employees, who went unpaid and unemployed, will see any of the profit from a product they worked to create.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is set to hit shelves on August 18, 2020, at $39.99 for a standard edition and $109.99 for a special edition, including an 8.2 inch statue of the character Alyn Shir.