38 Studios snaps up Big Huge Games

38 Studios snaps up Big Huge Games

By Ed Fear

May 27th 2009 at 3:20PM

Ex-THQ studio saved by Massachusetts MMO developer

Troubled studio Big Huge Games has been saved by fellow developer 38 studios.

Big Huge, formerly a THQ studio, recently laid off a number of people and THQ confirmed that it was looking for a buyer for the renowned RTS studio, which produced titles such as the popular Rise of Nations series and Xbox Live Arcade star game Catan. It had most recently been working on an unnamed RPG for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, lead by Oblivion designer Ken Rolston.

38 Studios is currently working on a project codenamed Copernicus, with comics legend Todd McFarlane and author R. A. Salvatore, which it calls an ‘online entertainment experience’ – encompassing MMOs, novels, comics, toys, movies, TV and more. The company has bought Big Huge to help achieve this vision.

“The acquisition of Big Huge Games will be tremendously beneficial to the growth, market position, financial stability, and long-term success of 38 Studios,” said Brett Close, CEO and president of 38 Studios.

“BHG’s cross-platform RTS/RPG engine will accelerate the realisation of the Copernicus IP. 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 MMO and the intellectual property as a whole.”

The purchase includes all of Big Huge’s IP, tools, technology, assets and work-in-progress. The Big Huge team will be integrated into 38 Studios but will remain based in Timonium, Maryland.

Tim Train, CEO of Big Huge Games, added: “Big Huge Games and 38 Studios share a common vision – to deliver the most engaging, compelling, original experiences possible. Joining the 38 Studios family allows us to continue translating our passions into great games.”

“It’s always about team,” said 38 Studios founder and chairman Curt Schilling.

“The highly regarded developers at BHG, including leading role-playing and real-time strategy design teams led by Ken Rolston, are a perfect complement to 38 Studios’ staggering array of talent. Big Huge Games is a phenomenal team and, culturally, a natural fit.”