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Default Big Huge Games - Epic Help

June 4th, 2012, 22:32
In a strange but welcome twist, Epic Games (Gears of War et al) has announced they will take on a number of ex-BHGers to start a new studio, temporarily titled Epic Baltimore:
Our heart goes out to the people affected by the unfortunate events surrounding 38 Studios and its subsidiary in Baltimore, Big Huge Games. Through it all, the team stayed together in a way that’s been really heartwarming to see. The team kept working, hoping that there’d be a way to secure last-minute funding and save the company. People brought extra food into the office to help those unable to pay their bills. And last week, in bittersweet irony, Big Huge Games was named to Game Developer’s Top 30 studios in the world list.
You may be wondering why I’m writing all this – and it’s because Epic is going to do something to help them, and we want people to understand why we think it’s the right thing to do.
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.
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.
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.
The way we see it, there’s been a big storm in Baltimore, and we’re taking in a few of the refugees — as are the awesome folks at Zynga East, Zenimax Online, and other southeastern studios. Epic’s in a situation where we can do this, and it very clearly fits with our company values, so we’re going to give it a whirl.
Dr. Michael Capps
President, Epic Games
More information.
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June 4th, 2012, 22:32
some benevolence is good news, but keep your head out of the clouds folks, this is probably cherry picking.
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June 4th, 2012, 23:00
Absolutely. More like vultures scavenging for the best the meat. Rhode Island is now double screwed.
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June 4th, 2012, 23:37
Regardless of whether it is cherry picking or scavenging for talent, it is nice to see some of these folks getting saved from the unemployment line. If they can continue to work in Baltimore and not be forced to relocate, that's a double plus, especially if they have been going without paychecks for a time. I wish them good luck.
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June 5th, 2012, 00:09
Well, Zynga East (headed by Morrowind/Shivering Isles Dev and ex-Big Huge Games Mark Nelson, he left BigHugeGames a year ago) and Zenimax Online already had the first pickings.

It's still impressive they just up and offered those who were left a job and even a studio. In all likelyhood they were already busy setting up a studio and now suddenly had the option to staff it with people who are already used to working with eachother.

It's still great news for those without a job in an industry that is going through a rough patch.
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June 5th, 2012, 06:14
Originally Posted by cptbarkey View Post
some benevolence is good news, but keep your head out of the clouds folks, this is probably cherry picking.
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Absolutely. More like vultures scavenging for the best the meat. Rhode Island is now double screwed.
that's what I was thinking. makes me wonder if this was one of the potential investors that Schilling was talking about.

Either way, well, this is just good business. These guys are ready to hit the ground running with a new project - a lot of the KoA code can be reused - not directly of course, but much of that will be "pet code" that the devs would typically reuse wherever they end up.

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June 5th, 2012, 12:14
What nice chaps.

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June 5th, 2012, 13:01
Every new job offer for a developer affected by the 38 Studios layoffs is good news, and if Epic Games can use this opportunity for mutual advantage, this is great!

I do not see how Rhode Island should benefit from unemployed programmers, as some people here seem to think. Feel free to correct me!

I do not think it is reasonable to operate under the assumption that a third party being offered any intellectual property will actually give Rhode Island money for providing jobs to former developers on that property as well. Businesses are simply too greedy for that and even if it were to their advantage, they would just ask for additional recompensation.
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June 5th, 2012, 14:42
I'm not sure whether they'll use it, but it does allow Epic to add a new genre to their portfolio and have some credibility in doing so. BHG was able to release a crpg, so now Epic can use those guys and the backers will buy into the idea more than they would if Epic didn't have crpg devs on board.

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June 5th, 2012, 19:46
Originally Posted by coyote View Post
I do not see how Rhode Island should benefit from unemployed programmers, as some people here seem to think. Feel free to correct me!
Clearly you totally missed the point. RI pays to put together a teamm skillset, tools, and tech that Maryland takes. Is that clear now? If the studio were setup in RI, that would be different.
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June 8th, 2012, 13:05
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Clearly you totally missed the point. RI pays to put together a teamm skillset, tools, and tech that Maryland takes. Is that clear now? If the studio were setup in RI, that would be different.
You are delusional if you think some software company will go as far as setting up shop there just because there is a sudden overdensity of unemployed software engineers. These people cannot wait for your hallucinations to magically come true.

Prove me wrong!
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June 8th, 2012, 20:00
That's irrelevant.
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June 8th, 2012, 22:35
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
That's irrelevant.
Rhode Island is not going to profit from the unemployed, even highly skilled ones. I guess in principle, Rhode Island could profit in two ways from them: (1) a company based in Rhode Island hires them and makes a profit using their skills, part of which goes to Rhode Island in the form of tax revenue (2) an external company buying the intellectual property inherited by Rhode Island pays more knowing that the people most able to use this property efficiently are still available for hire.

Both scenarios, unfortunately, seem incredibly unlikely. That, plus that accusing Epic games of screwing over Rhode Island seems rather cynical, considering that they at least provide jobs for people who urgently need one, is all I was saying in the original post.
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August 10th, 2012, 15:03
http://www.examiner.com/article/epic…oyees-reunited

You may see from the link. Big Huge Games are back under another name.
First project is an iOS game called Infinity Blade: Dungeons.
Guess what - it's an "action RPG". No surprise there. But why everyone expects that another mobrespawn grinding game will be a success?
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August 10th, 2012, 15:25
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
http://www.examiner.com/article/epic…oyees-reunited

You may see from the link. Big Huge Games are back under another name.
First project is an iOS game called Infinity Blade: Dungeons.
Guess what - it's an "action RPG". No surprise there. But why everyone expects that another mobrespawn grinding game will be a success?
Oh well just another iOS game. Good for fans of the Infinity Blade series, but I wont be playing or purchasing.

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