That Damn Rumor Mill: KoA: Reckoning 2? Maybe, Maybe Not…
Before the tragedies that struck both 38 Studios and Big Huge Games, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2 was apparently in a “pre-production” stage, according to anonymous sources. Speaking with Joystiq on the matter, the sources say that the company was in “advanced talks” with a publisher before the shutters closed.
There’s little to substantiate the truth at this point, especially since the IP for Reckoning is still owned by 38 Studios and will likely fall to the state of Rhode Island soon. The anonymous sources have said that Rhode Island’s asking price to release assets is far too high and can’t be met at this time. However, a dream of a Reckoning sequel may happen if the right stars align.
“We had a good base to work from, and it was going to be all about improving everything,” claimed the anonymous source. “We listened carefully to fans and critics and were going to implement everything we possibly could.”
According to the report, the tested elements for the sequel were better graphics, no load screens between differet zones, better combat animations, fewer branching questlines, and a greater player impact based on decisions you made.
Some may ask why Reckoning 2 isn’t being backed by EA. Thanks to some internal “executive politics,” EA Partners won’t be having a hand in at all. Furthermore, the development of Reckoning was funded purely by EA publishing money. The disaster behind the millions borrowed from Rhode Island went solely into 38′s MMO project, codenamed “Copernicus.”
“Reckoning was developed with EA publishing money, NOT Rhode Island tax dollars,” said a former BHG employee to Joystiq. “It had nothng to do with the $50 million dollars from RI. That money went directly to the MMO project.”
While 38 Rhode Island did provide some assistance into the development of Reckoning, it ultimately didn’t produce any assets for the game. When it came to day-to-day operations, former BHG employees say that the Rhode Island team “didn’t work on it at all.”
There’s a lot of speculation and uncertainty now about the future of the team from 38 Studios, BHG, and the Amalur IP. A soap opera indeed, but if they were to reassemble and continue with the second Reckoning title, it would be more of a spiritual sequel as opposed to a direct sequel. It’s not a new trick for the team either — upon being bought by THQ, the team transformed its “Ascendent” RPG into Reckoning.
“Creating Reckoning wasn’t a matter of simply replacing some textures and doing a search/replace on names and such,” said a BHG employee, who then said that new environments, animations, characters, and voice acting had to be done in order to get Reckoning off the ground.