38 Studios “Project Copernicus,” KoA IP To Be Auctioned Off
Come November, The rights to 38 Studios Project Copernicus and Kingdoms of Amalur will have a new owner.
At 9 AM ET on November 13th, Heritage Global Partners will begin a one-day auction that will be responsible for selling off everything in the 38 Studios and Big Huge Games wheelhouse. The auction includes sequel rights, existing games, and assets for games being worked on by the studios, including the “Project Copernicus’” MMORPG.
Here’s a full list of what’s up for grabs, from the HGP website (emphasis added):
- Intellectual property rights in the “Amalur” fantasy universe including:
- “Project Copernicus” an in development Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) including a 10,000 year world history, completed character “races” and playable “zones”
- Sequel rights to the critically acclaimed “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning”, including development concepts, game artwork and designs.
- Merchandise rights and revenue streams associated with the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC title “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning”
- Intellectual property rights in Big Huge Games’ properties including the classic PC strategy title “Rise of Nations” as well as “Rise of Legends” and the Xbox Live Arcade title “Catan”.
- In house developed video game technology including the “Big Huge Games Engine” and the 38 Studios’ gaming, social media and development platform codenamed “Helios”
In other words: You can buy a partially-completed MMORPG, several completed titles (and rights to their sequels), and the framework for a gaming-social media platform. If staffed with the right executives and creative talent, you have a game developer that’s ripe for the taking.
Even better: You might be buying everything detailed above at a serious discount. The Rhode Island government would love to hit the nine-figure mark with this sale — something that definitely will not happen. In fact, the sale probably won’t even net the Ocean State its original $75 million loan guarantee. MMOs are expensive and risky, so the “right price” for this auction is going to e lower than what the state wants.
I think it’s a smart buy for someone with deep pockets, however. Whoever buys the IP could shelve the MMO, use the assets (and the KoA sequel rights) to make a string of safer, smaller offline RPGs, and potentially see a sizable return on their investment.
Okay, Commenter Legion: let’s say the buyer ends up being an established game publisher or developer. Who would you like to see buy the IP, and why? Sound off below!