We're finally getting some good news in what has been an extremely difficult past few weeks for many in the gaming industry. Gears of War studio Epic Games has announced plans to work with Big Huge Games, the developer of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and the studio that also went under with Curt Schilling's 38 Studios.
Citing Big Huge Games' heartwarming teamwork and its Game Developer's Top 30 studios ranking, Epic Games president Michael Capps explained how the idea of a new studio came to fruition.
"On Wednesday, the ex-BHG leadership team contacted us. They wanted to start a new company and keep together some of the key talent displaced by the layoff, and hoped that they could use an Epic IP as a starting point for a new game," Capps explained in a blog post today. "We loved that they all wanted to keep working together, but it was pretty clear they’d have trouble building a demo and securing funding before their personal savings ran out."
"In one of life’s coincidences, Epic’s directors had spent the morning discussing how we’d love to build even more successful projects with our growing team, but that we’d need a dramatic infusion of top talent to do so. Which, we all knew, was impossible."
The result is a new studio forming in Baltimore. Capps explained that it will take some time to work out the kinks in the deal, like how many of the Big Huge Games studio they can hire, what the new studio will be called, what they will work on, etc. In the meantime, Epic Games will "try to get people working" at the Epic headquarters as soon as possible while they sort out the details.
"The way we see it, there’s been a big storm in Baltimore, and we’re taking in a few of the refugees — as are the awesome folks at Zynga East, Zenimax Online, and other southeastern studios. Epic’s in a situation where we can do this, and it very clearly fits with our company values, so we’re going to give it a whirl," Capps concluded.
Well, there you have it. Right now, I tip my hat to the folks at Epic Games. It may or may not be the smartest move, but right now it's the right move. In these trying times we must stick together and watch each other's back. I hope it works out for everyone involved.