38 Studios makes Big Huge acquisition

Curt Schilling-led MMO outfit buys Big Huge Games from THQ, averting potential closure of Maryland-based developer.

Curt Schilling might have been a starter in his Hall of Fame-worthy career as a major league baseball pitcher, but the ace added a rare save to his resume today. Schilling's 38 Studios today announced the acquisition of Big Huge Games from THQ, which in March put the strategy role-playing game developer on notice that it would be closed if a buyer didn't surface in short order.

"What a brave corporate logo!"

A representative for 38 Studios told GameSpot that Big Huge Games is continuing work on all the projects it had under way at the time of its acquisition, including an unnamed role-playing game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. That project was originally revealed in 2007 and tied to high-profile Big Huge Games hire Ken Rolston, lead designer on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. However, 38 Studios' plans for the developer extend to its own projects, specifically the massively multiplayer online game project code-named Copernicus.

"Big Huge Games' cross-platform [real-time strategy and RPG] engine will accelerate the realization of our 'Online Entertainment Experience' for the Copernicus IP," said 38 CEO and president Brett Close. "The acquisition enables us to develop and deliver top-quality games in multiple genres that are based in a shared world, ultimately maximizing the value of our Copernicus MMOG and the intellectual property as a whole."

Big Huge Games was founded in 2000 by a quartet of PC strategy-game developers whose credits included Alpha Centauri, Civilization, Civilization II, and Gettysburg. The developer is best known for its work on Rise of Nations and the fantasy follow-up Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends. More recently, the studio was responsible for the downloadable board game Catan.

Big Huge Games will continue working out of its Maryland studios. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Discussion

35 comments
nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

I am kind of surprised Microsoft didn't put in a bid for Big Huge, seeing as they seemed to work well together. I am glad to see that the studio will remain open!

Humuhumu91
Humuhumu91

Really good news about a really good developer. Good show Mr. Schilling!

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

It's good to see this company saved. They had done some good work with Rise of Nations, and to be shutdown by THQ only a year after acquisition didn't give them a chance to release a game. Let's hope it was worth it :)

barJerubsheol
barJerubsheol

Curt and Co. saved a quality group. I'm glad. I look forward to seeing what 38 has going.

llakallaka
llakallaka

lets make a list of what u think will be left, personaly: Valve Ubisoft Activision-Blizzard Epic 2K ____ yop...EA will FAIL

Quique85
Quique85

lots of compannys are being bought or closing soon will be left with 5 or 6 stupid economy

AnarchyRising
AnarchyRising

I hope they don't try to release an RTS MMO. I love the RTS genre but the MMO ones usually blow. I prefer RPG of any kind whether its first/third person, or a more original idea when it comes to persistant gameplay. I know the dude is an ex baseball player so I beg you, PLEASE no sports MMO haha.

chrisbeaumont
chrisbeaumont

MOAR RISE OF NATIONS! I love that game. I still play it!

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

I just hope this doesn't mean after the titles BHG's are working on now, they become an MMO only developer. I hope this RPG they are working on sees the light of day on PC too, as we get so few real RPG's on PC nowadays. You'd think there'd be more given the success of games like Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout 3!!! Probably the best selling genre on PC of the last 10 years!!!

magusat999
magusat999

It's unfortunate that great studios like BHG cannot survive witout parasites like THQ, who probably just wanted more and more each quarter no matter how well BHG projects were selling. come on, Civ I and II were the best in that series; Rise of Nations is one of the best designed and programmed SRPGs of it's genre. I'm sure we have all heard about Alpha Centauri and Gettysburg as well - what more did THQ want???

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

This is a great story, at least EA did not acquire them!

firehawk998
firehawk998

It great to hear that 38 Studios saved Big Huge Games from bankrupcy. What a stupid move THQ did.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

cool to hear that a studio was saved from closing but I have to admit that the name doesn't ring any bells... I guess they were mostly a pc game developer... but yea I'm glad they get the chance to stick around.

Joesocwork
Joesocwork

Wow, a baseball player as a white knight! :)

dewwy
dewwy

Really glad to hear this. But as mrklorox points out, this is one hell of a ballsy move on the part of 38. Hell, when you think about it the acquisition has a greater resume and pedigree then the owner.

mrklorox
mrklorox

Great for Big Huge, but risky for 38 Studios who haven't shipped or even actually announced any games yet.

MarcJL31
MarcJL31

I am glad to hear this. I loved RON and ROL.

GAMERALL
GAMERALL

The first studio saved from shutdown in a looooooong time!

thegordoloco
thegordoloco

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Petri87
Petri87

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

adamosmaki
adamosmaki

great news. Hopefully a new rise of nations will come out

colo734
colo734

Let the games begin.

stevo_360
stevo_360

I wonder what Rich Gallup's involvement was, no doubt wheeling and dealing. It's always good to see developers survivng.

TexasAnMGrad2K
TexasAnMGrad2K

Yes! Thank you! Now, could you please start on a PROPER Rise of Nations sequel? Like 55592 said, I don't know what it is about RON, but imo was one of - if not the best RTS.

ciaxhieu
ciaxhieu

omg ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh thank you 38 studio!

Hellbishop
Hellbishop

A great save by 38 STUDIOS of a great game studio BIG HUGE GAMES. Congratulations to all involved including Mr.Ken Rolston :D

55592
55592

I can't explain why Rise of Nations and it's expansion were so good, but they were, and are, still phenomenal.

OmegaVader
OmegaVader

Awesome. Rise of Nations 2, please!

dennishachey
dennishachey

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]