Dean Lester, a blogger who runs the 38 Studios fan site 38Gamers.com, has been a staunch defender of the company against critics who’ve doubted its strategy and Curt Schilling’s management abilities. (The fact that he started the site even before 38 Studios actually released any games gives some indication of his sympathetic view of the company.)
That’s why I found it notable when I saw this post Lester put up last night criticizing 38 Studios (and partner Electronic Arts) for the weak tea they’ve served gamers eagerly awaiting “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning,” the role-playing game 38′s Big Huge Games subsidiary is developing for a planned September 2011 release. Here’s what Lester had to say:
[It's] been months since the announcement from 38 Studios about their single player RPG called Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Many gamers have signed up for the newsletter and been patiently waiting. The first newsletter called “The Well” was finally emailed out today to eager fans looking for new information about the game. To finally get the newsletter and have it only feature a video recap and pictures of Gen Con that happened two months ago had to be a disappointment.
To add to this I then realized that 38 Studios had said the following:
“Reckoning’s newsletter is coming soon and early registrants will receive special pre-release content before the newsletter’s release. Be sure to register for the newsletter so you don’t miss out! Sign-up link is located in the top right after the age verification page.”
Unless I missed something I have not gotten any pre-release content. I have been one of your biggest fans and supporters but guys this is the easy stuff and I am sorry but if you can’t execute on this how are you going to make people believe you can execute on the hard stuff? This is the first time since I heard that Curt Schilling was starting up his own game company that I have doubt creeping into my mind and I don’t like it.
“Reckoning” is the first of two games in development at 38 Studios; the other is a massive multiplayer online game called Project Copernicus that is supposed to be released in September 2012. Copernicus’ development will be funded by the $75 million loan the R.I. Economic Development Corporation is taking out on 38 Studios’ behalf.
Schilling and 38 Studios’ executive art director, Todd McFarlane, who created the comic “Spawn,” will have another chance to get gamers excited about what they have in the pipeline this weekend.
The two are scheduled to appear Saturday at the annual New York Comic Con convention to sign posters. 38 Studios will have a booth at the event where visitors can get “an exclusive sneak peek at prototypes of upcoming ‘Reckoning’ action figures designed by McFarlane Toys,” according to a press release.
As I reported yesterday during what turned out to be 38 Studios Day here at Nesi’s Notes, the last step for the EDC’s $75 million bond deal to close – sending out the official bond document – still hadn’t happened as of midweek. I haven’t heard from the EDC today on whether anything has changed.
Update: “Nothing new today” on 38 Studios, EDC spokesman Mike Blazek reports.
Update #2: And a Moody’s spokesman tells me the rating agency will not do interviews discussing its review of the 38 Studios loan guarantee.