38 Studios shut down in May 2012, a lot of information was revealed in the following months. Now, the studio’s founder himself, Curt Schilling, reveals that their second game, codenamed Project Copernicus, was going to launch as free-to-play.
Speaking to Boston Magazine, Schilling said the following: “We were going to be the first triple-A, hundred-million-dollar-plus, free-to-play, micro-transaction-based MMO. That was one of our big secrets. I think when we eventually showed off the game for the first time, the atom bomb was going to be free-to-play. When we announced that at the end, that was gonna be the thing that, I think, shocked the world.”
He also added that he was one of the most ardent opponents to free to play, but that he “went 180 degrees”.
This brought some late investor attention to the game, but it wasn’t to be, since the studio was in deep financial trouble and the missed payment to the state of Rhode Island was bringing some undesired attention.
38 Studios released just one game, the RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, a pretty solid entry with one of the best combat systems ever seen in an RPG. The game was mildly acclaimed but failed to reach the (extremely high) goal of 3 million copies just to break even.