Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2 was in "pre-production" when 38 Studios was closed, and that most of the $75M that was granted to 38 Studios by Rhode Island was funneled into developing the studio's MMO, codenamed Project Copernicus.
Several unnamed employees also claimed that Big Huge Games was in "advanced talks" with an unspecified publisher about developing the Amalur sequel, which is somewhat dubious since the IP and all of the tech and code was and is owned by 38 Studios. Electronic Arts reportedly passed on publishing a sequel, despite the new IP selling 1.2M units worldwide.
While all property of 38 Studios will soon be owned by Rhode Island, the assets for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning are reportedly too high for the former members of Big Huge Games to purchase.
Perhaps the biggest revelation was that 38 Studios did almost no work on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and that $50M of the $75M grant was used on the MMO, while Big Huge Games worked on Amalur almost exclusively and alone. A former employee of Big Huge Games stated, "Reckoning was developed with EA publishing money, NOT Rhode Island tax dollars. It had nothing to do with the $50 million dollars from RI. That money went directly to the MMO project."
Big Huge Games remains grateful to 38 Studios for acquiring them in 2009, however, since the studio was on the verge of dissolution at the time. 38 Studios had been working on Project Copernicus since 2006, and it was believed that the MMO would be released before Reckoning. The MMO's release date was eventually pushed to June 2013.
Source: Kingdoms of Amalur funded by EA, not Rhode Island money
28 May 2012 | By JonahFalcon