Dormant-brand vacuum THQ Nordic sucked up another surprising IP last week: Kingdoms of Amalur, the accomplished but bland fantasy role-playing game from 2012.
THQ Nordic didn't say what it was going to do with the IP but did mention wanting to get in touch with EA, the original publisher of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. And now I know why.
"EA still has the publishing rights to Reckoning," THQ Nordic told me in an email. I expect it means any potential remasters or re-releases will depend on getting EA's go-ahead first. "About any other details about the relationship between EA and 38 Studios we can't comment."
Talk about mopping up: THQ Nordic has bought the Kingdoms of Amalur IP as well as the unreleased Copernicus MMO.
Four years later and it looks like whole 38 Studios/Curt Schilling/Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning legal battle with Rhode Island state is coming to a close.
After an extensive investigation, 38 Studios - the company founded by former baseball star Curt Schilling, that made Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - has been cleared of criminal charges.
EverQuest maker Sony Online Entertainment looked more than once at buying Project Copernicus, the MMO follow-up to Kingdoms of Amalur that sunk along with the 38 Studios ship.
Everything Kingdoms of Amalur-related went to auction on 11th December.
Who would like to buy everything to do with good-actually role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning? That includes rights to the Amalur fantasy world, rights to a sequel and rights to the well-into-development Copernicus MMO that everything was building up to.
Remastered masterpieces ICO and Shadow of the Colossus top the freebies list for PlayStation Plus subscribers in June.
EA Partners, the part of EA that publishes games made by external developers, is shutting down.
Curt Schilling - the Baseball great who swung at video games and missed, taking 38 Studios and Big Huge Games down with him, plus a lot of taxpayer's money - is selling off his own stuff to raise money to pay debts.
Curt Schilling admitted that his now defunct MMO at 38 Studios, Project Copernicus, "wasn't fun."
EA "would love" to publish Kingdoms of Amalur 2.
An unfinished version of the announcement trailer for Kingdoms of Amalur MMO, Project Copernicus, has slipped onto the internet.
38 Studios - the now defunct developer - confirmed its authenticity.
The video is a mix of narrated cartoon-like illustrations and gameplay footage - the two styles blending into one another as the scenes chop and change.
Curt Schilling, the founder of failed Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios has admitted to poor behaviour in his first interview since the company's recent collapse.
38 Studios, the now-bankrupt developer of Kingdoms of Amalur, has a liquidation value "in the tens of millions of dollars".
Epic Games is planning to open a new studio in Baltimore staffed predominantly by former Big Huge Games employees.
Provocative public statements made by Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee scared away an investor which was close to bankrolling a sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur, according to Curt Schilling, boss of beleaguered developer 38 Studios.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2 was already in pre-production prior to the closure of 38 Studios, developer Big Huge Games has revealed.
There won't - "barring some sort of miracle" - be any new patches released for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, developer Big Huge Games has announced.
Lead designer Ian S. Frazier said a PC patch was in development, and would have added new difficulty modes, camera features and fixed bugs.
"But before we finished," Frazier wrote on the Kingdoms of Amalur forum, "the company collapsed."
Planned Kingdoms of Amalur MMO Project Copernicus is - or was, should 38 Studios close for good - shaping up to be something truly special, according to the game's author R. A. Salvatore.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning apparently needed to sell "in the 3 million range just to break even" - an astronomical ask of a new IP of its status.
Embattled Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios is in its death throes, according to a Polygon report.
Screenshots of what appears to be Project Copernicus, the MMO being made by troubled Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developer 38 Studios, have leaked online.
Struggling Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios has been faced with further setbacks, including the departure of several execs.
38 Studios shows it's still alive and kicking.
Beleaguered Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios seems to be in the clear - for now, at least.
It seems Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios' problems are escalating following recent loan negotiations, with news today that it's not been able to pay staff this week.
Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios is in talks with local US government officials as it struggles to stay in business.
EA has announced the second DLC for fantasy role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
Teeth of Naros includes a new race, a new city and new quests. The new play area is the titular Teeth of Naros, described as a "harsh environment named after an ancient troll god". There you'll encounter a race of giants called the Kollossae.
The new city is Idylla, which floats in the sky above the Teeth of Naros. In it are 20 side quests, dungeons and a "mysterious" new race. Expect new enemies in the five "enormous" new dungeons.
Three Assassin's Creed games launch on the EU PlayStation Store this week, including last November's Revelations, available to download for the first time. Get it quickly - after the weekend it costs £49.99.
The first major story expansion for action RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning arrives on 20th March, publisher EA has announced.
Titled The Legend of Dead Kel, it weaves "a mysterious tale of intrigue, danger and dark magic on the island of Gallows End", according to the the announcement.
Expect new sidequests, enemies and a new dungeon type called Dverga Fastings. The DLC also offers three new Twists of Fate, eight additional armour sets, eight extra shields and 18 new weapons.
EA-published role-player Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has launched top in the UK all-format charts.
The cheapest place in the UK to buy the console version of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is at Asda. The supermarket giant is charging £37.97 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game.
Ding-dong! Ding-dong! It's time for the troops to shuffle into a side-room as we ring the bell for another Eurogamer Podcast in this, the 99th instalment of our irregular vowel movements. We're moving dangerously close to our 100th episode (and as you rightly pointed out last week it's not quite a centenary, but well.... It's felt like 100 years) and to celebrate we're talking about two recent high-profile RPG offerings.
Will there be a Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2? Co-developer Big Huge Games would love to make it, but it needs enough sales of the first game to convince a publisher to fund it.
EA has outlined Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning's controversial day-one DLC, House of Valor.
In the fantasy world of Amalur, everyone believes in fate - in a predestined path that they are bound to tread, with a predestined end. An elven race called the Fae believes so strongly in the immutable power of destiny that they re-enact their songs and stories, over and over.
You, however, are the Fateless One, a unique being with an unwritten destiny that is yours to control. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning begins with your death and subsequent resurrection with no memory - and, according to the seers, no fate. Not only can you be who you want to be (rogue, warrior or sorcerer), you alone in Amalur can change the way things are.
It's a convenient plot device for a role-playing game, of course. But to give creator 38 Studios its due, it's also a pretty elegant metaphor for the promise that makers of Western RPGs love to make. While a Zelda or Final Fantasy is about ensuring the time-honoured legend reaches its foregone conclusion, the American role-playing dream is to hand you a complex world and let you bend it to your will.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It's an instantly forgettable title. And it's not just meaningless and profoundly generic, it's saddled (like Dragon Age: Origins before it) with the exhausting suggestion that this isn't the birth of an exciting fantasy universe so much as the launch of a new franchising opportunity.
Having spent 15 hours or so in the company of a near-finished preview build of 38 Studios' brisk role-player - out next week - I can confirm that it deserves much better than this limp nomenclature. And yet, it's true that the title fits it like a glove.
'Kingdoms of Amalur': the game's universe is exactly the derivative mishmash of worn high fantasy tropes that you expect after reading those three words. It's been rubber-stamped by some big-name creatives (fantasy author RA Salvatore and comic and toy king Todd MacFarlane), and I suppose it's possible that "every building, tree and creature has a clear and defined history within this immersive world," as the literature claims. But this land of elves (sorry, Fae), dwarves and men initially offers nothing to distinguish itself beyond a similarity to Blizzard's Warcraft that's not so much striking as actionable. (I could swear that I met the Night Elf druid from the original WOW trailer. She even had the same clothes on.)
The content unlocked by the controversial Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Online Pass is day one DLC, one of its creators has said.
Forthcoming EA action RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning sees the next evolutionary step of the online pass, with second hand purchasers locked out of single player content until they cough up for the required passcode.
The biggest concern at Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developer Big Huge Games right now is you're still playing Skyrim.
Bugs players have found in the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo won't be in the final game, one of its creators has vowed.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim and upcoming role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning have "a lot in common", reckons lead Reckoning designer Ken Rolston.
Playing the upcoming demos of Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will unlock player skins and weaponry themed upon each other's games, publisher EA has revealed.
PS3, Xbox 360 role-player gets crafty.
EA has released the recommended system requirements for the PC version of upcoming fantasy RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
EA's Skyrim rival out next year.
Pre-order Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the promising EA RPG-with-a-comic-book-bent, and you'll get useful in-game items, weapons or armour.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will be released on 10th February 2012, EA has announced.
The North American date is 7th February.
The date spilled from the energetic mouth of the game's lead designer Ken Rolston at gamescom. He was also the lead designer of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Oblivion designer's new role player.
Elder Scrolls lead designer's new title shown.
Do you believe in fate? And perhaps that's not up to you anyway, eh? Well, 38 Studios - founded by ex baseball pro Curt Schilling - is staffed by the likes of Ken Rolston (Morrowind, Oblivion), Todd McFarlane (Spawn) and RA Salvatore (loads of nerdy fiction), and whether or not those guys believe in fate, it was certainly mathematically improbable that a game they worked on together would be anything other than a high-fantasy role-playing game set in an open world.
Curt Schilling's Big Huge Games comes out fighting.
EA has taken the lid off of 38 Studios' PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 RPG Project Mercury, and confirmed it's final title is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
One of 38 Studios' upcoming projects will be unveiled at the San Diego Comic-Con later this month.
EA has announced plans to publish 38 Studios' single-player RPG Project Mercury on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
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.
Oblivion and Morrowind lead designers Ken Rolston and Mark Nelson have opened up and talked about their current RPG project in development at Rise of Nations studio Big Huge Games.
The plan initially, the pair said, was to do a massive-scale game with lots of genre-bending mechanics, playing to Big Huge Games' strategy background. But they soon ran into problems and had to have a rethink.
"We were trying to make an RPG that was going to have some strategy in it because Big Huge Games was founded on RTS, and had some of this Dynasty Warriors big battle simulation going on," said Nelson, according to IGN.
THQ has declined to comment on rumours that it is the publisher behind The Crucible: Evil Within, which hit the headlines recently after footage was leaked.
THQ has decided to bring Big Huge Games in-house, after signing its big RPG project last May.
Big Huge Games is working on a role-playing game for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.