Gamers will get their first look at Big Huge Games and 38 Studios' console RPG this week at San Diego Comic Con at a panel featuring the project's top brass: Big Huge lead designer Ken Rolston, best known for Elder Scrolls
installments; fantasy author R.A. Salvatore, artist Todd McFarlane (Spawn) and 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling.
The single-player PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 RPG formerly known as Project Mercury
will be titled Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
. It's the first incarnation of the universe that will underpin future games developed by 38 Studios, which acquired Baltimore-area developer Big Huge last year. Rolston has been working on versions of the project with Big Huge since 2007 -- at the time, publisher THQ had agreed to publish the title.
With the project now part of a planned 38 Studios product family, Electronic Arts revealed earlier this year
that it would handle publishing duties when the game launches in fall 2011.
"We are thrilled to be developing an open-world RPG under the leadership of one of the greatest RPG designers in the industry, with creative direction by one of the most iconic artists of our time, set in a rich universe imagined by one of the top fantasy genre authors in the world," commented 38 Studios CEO Jen MacLean. "We can’t wait to share the first details of this universe we have been so dedicated to building over the past few years.”
As part of the announcement, Rolston said the Big Huge team has taken the visual and narrative work of McFarlane and Salvatore, respectively, and built "the open-world exploration, vast narrative and character customization fans expect from the best RPGs."
Added Rolston, "And we've added something new that we've always wanted from the genre -- a fast-paced, graphically stimulating action combat experience with fluid control and immersive, discoverable gameplay fans haven't seen before in other fantasy RPGs."
The project is separate from the massively multiplayer online game that 38 Studios is building, but both titles are intended to be set in the same universe and share IP extensions.