It wasn’t so long ago that we were reporting the sad news of all staff at 38 Studios and Big Huge Games losing their jobs. The developers behind Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning looked to be out for the count, but Epic Games is claiming that they intend to help save many of the jobs of the devs at Big Huge Games.
Dr Michael Capps, president of Epic Games, wrote a heartfelt post on the official Epic Games website about his plan to help out Big Huge in both the short- and long-term. Capps started by talking about the genesis of the plan to save Big Huge.
“On Wednesday, the ex-BHG leadership team contacted us. They wanted to start a new company and keep together some of the key talent displaced by the layoff, and hoped that they could use an Epic IP as a starting point for a new game. We loved that they all wanted to keep working together, but it was pretty clear they’d have trouble building a demo and securing funding before their personal savings ran out.”
And this is where things get interesting. “In one of life’s coincidences, Epic’s directors had spent the morning discussing how we’d love to build even more successful projects with our growing team, but that we’d need a dramatic infusion of top talent to do so. Which, we all knew, was impossible.”
Epic’s solution? “So now we’re planning to start an impossible studio in Baltimore. It’ll take a while to find space, set up desks and PCs, purchase sufficient Nerf weaponry and Dr. Pepper, etc. But some of these folks have been going too long without a paycheck to wait for that. So, as soon as we can, we’re going to try to get people working down here at Epic headquarters in Cary, NC as contractors. There’s a million things to work out. How many of the team can we hire? What will it be called? What will they be working on? We don’t know all the answers yet. Please give us some time to figure it out; we hope to have more to share soon.”
Regardless of where Epic Games falls on your dev-love-o-meter, you’ve got to hand it to them that this is an admirable move on their part. Kudos, Epic.