38 Studios has acquired Rise of Nations developer Big Huge Games, which had been working on a hush-hush RPG for THQ under the direction of Oblivion-maker Ken Rolston.
The new owner will take control of that game now, plus all other existing IP, tools and technology linked to Big Huge Games.
One of the chief reasons for purchase will be to use the RTS/RPG engine to power MMO Copernicus, which 38 Studios is making in collaboration with Forgotten Realms author RA Salvatore and comic book artist Todd McFarlane, who is best known for his work on Spawn. Copernicus hopes to bring all kinds of entertainment together, including videogames, comics, novels, toys, films and telly shows.
"The highly regarded developers at BHG, including leading role-playing and real-time strategy design teams led by Ken Rolston, are a perfect complement to 38 Studios' staggering array of talent. Big Huge Games is a phenomenal team and, culturally, a natural fit," said Curt Shilling, founder of 38 Studios [also a former major-league baseball star and EverQuest addict - Ed.].
Big Huge Games started work on the RPG back in 2007, but we've heard little on the PC, PS3 and 360 project since. This, Ken Rolston revealed recently, was because there had been major rethinks to the concept, which was at first too complicated and then too streamlined.
Rolston was cagey about what exact form the project will now take, however, saying only that, "We went back to doing what we knew how to do."