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Interview: 38 Studios' Close Talks Big Huge Get

Interview: 38 Studios' Close Talks Big Huge Get

June 1, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

With its recent acquisition of Big Huge Games, Curt Schilling-founded MMO developer 38 Studios gained both skills in the RPG arena and console development technology it can use to build out its portfolio of products based on the Copernicus IP.

"They will continue on development of some of their other products as well," 38 Studios president Brett Close tells Gamasutra as part of an interview following last week's acquisition.

"That won't stop, but the skillset, ability and talent and technology that they bring allow us to broaden and deepen what we're doing with Copernicus across the board."

At 38 Studios' Maynard studio, Close says the "core focus" is its in-development MMO and that will continue to be the case. "But part of our product vision and our business vision... was extending that across a variety of products and a variety of touchpoints that customers can access the world through," he says.

On the technology side, part of that is Big Huge's proprietary Mercury Engine -- a console engine and toolset "really specific," according to close, to RPG gameplay -- "but it can also be used for other things," he says.

"It's actually cross-platform, so we acquired that -- as well as their back catalog of IP for things like Rise of Nations, Rise of Legends and the license for Catan -- and we are able to utilize that technology in a variety of ways that will support the world of Copernicus."

In the acquisition, all of the Big Huge staff remaining after THQ's heavy layoffs now have new homes. "We retain the staff as it stands now," says Close. "We will not be having more layoffs."

Big Huge's core talent including Brian Reynolds, Jason Coleman, Dave Inscore, Jason Coleman, and Tim Train are all on board, too. "Frankly, the complementary talent there is a perfect fit for 38 Studios and what we do."

"Brian [Reynolds] is obviously incredible and very well known, but people like Ken Rolston and Mark Nelson who have an extensive RPG background with things like Oblivion and Fallout... Those guys, they're all rockstars," concludes Close in comments to Gamasutra.

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