38 Studios makes Big Huge acquisition

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

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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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