38 Studios Lays Off Entire Staff at RI and MD Studios

According to this Joystiq report 38 Studios has laid off its entire staff across both its Providence, Rhode Island studio and its Bug Huge Games studio in Baltimore, Maryland. An internal memo obtained by news station WPRI reveals the details of the layoff and how employees received the news. The memo reads:

"The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary. These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary. This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012."

Big Huge Games and 38 Studios had a staff of 379 full-time employees as of March 15, according to the news report.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to employees at both studios. Where Curt Schilling's studio and his MMO go from here is unclear at this point, but we'll keep you posted.

Source: Joystiq by way of MaskedPixelante and Andrew Eisen.

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  1. 0
    Lisa Pham says:

    Thanks for the reply/info James. :)

    Anyway, not a conspiracy as such, but something just doesn't feel right about this whole thing.

    No matter, it was ALL mangaged wrong from end to end, hence the total failure. A failure that caused a lot of people to be unnecessarily unemployed. :(

  2. 0
    james_fudge says:

    We talked about this on the podcast – the whole thing seemed unsustainable to me and the grant money was just too much for the state to be giving to one company. How was 38 ever going to be able to pay that back? Maybe they really thought the MMO was going to be bigger than WOW but even back then the MMO space was beginning to move away from the subscription-based model.

    Plus, besides the one game developed by Big Huge, where was 38 Studios going to get the money to pay that annual fee?

    It's a real shame, but at least the game industry is doing their best to hire up all those freshly unemployed developers.

  3. 0
    Lisa Pham says:

    Why do I get the feeling that corruption was on their doorstep between 38 Studios, Big Huge Studios and the Rhode Island State Government?

    The idea to bring the two studios to Rhode Island was to attract more jobs. The proposal was $75 Million. So they got an investment from a Government Arm. Then, all of a sudden, they flopped in a space of 2 years.

    Does this makes sense to you, because it seems like they burned $75 million without making a cent.


  4. 0
    black manta says:

    One question that I have to ask about all this is, what's going to happen to Big Huge Games' servers?  I have a copy of Rise of Legends, and the only way to get it updated to its current version is via an online connection.  So what if, say, I want to re-install that game and I can't get the most up-to-date version because BHG's servers are shut down because of this lay-off?  What recourse do I have?  The game was co-produced with Microsoft, so would it be on their servers instead, then?  Anybody have any info on this?

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