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38 Studios auction raises $320,000, fails to sell Amalur franchise

Buyers snap up Big Huge Games, Rise of Legends and Rise of Nations, but the rest of 38 Studios' stuff -- including Project Copernicus -- remains unclaimed.
The trademark for Big Huge Games, along with assets and intellectual property rights for Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends, was sold to undisclosed buyers for a total gross of $320,000 during an auction of 38 Studios assets held by Heritage Global Partners this week. No suitable buyers were found for the other assets on the auction block, including 38 Studios' internal "Helios" technology, sequel and merchandise rights to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and the partially completed MMORPG codenamed Project Copernicus. "The Receiver did not receive acceptable offers for the remaining lots, including Project Copernicus," according to a public statement issued by Richard J. Lund, who was appointed by a Rhode Island Superior Court judge to serve as Receiver in the 38 Studios asset auction. The auction was originally scheduled to take place November 14-15, but was delayed until December 11 due to unexpected interest from more than 20 potential buyers. Only five bidders actually took part in this week's auction, which was conducted via phone. Last year the state of Rhode Island took possession of 38 Studios' assets after the studio filed for bankruptcy. 38 Studios still owed money on a $75 million taxpayer-backed loan from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., and the state had previously expressed interest in selling the assets to help pay back the loan. The comparatively paltry earnings from this week's auction seem unlikely to make much of a dent in that debt. Gamasutra has reached out to Heritage Global Partners for more details on the auction, and we'll keep you updated as we learn more.

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