8 potential publishers who can save Project Copernicus, 38 Studios' MMO
But the story doesnt have to end this way some games, and the companies that make them, have been saved from the brink before. EA revived Double Fines Brtal Legend after Activision kicked it to the curb, Perfect World absorbed Cryptic Studios, and Crytek revived Free Radical of TimeSplitters fame. Bigger corporations can afford to snatch up talented workers, popular IPs, and already-in-progress games; lets hope the following companies are willing to take a chance on bringing the 38 Studios developers on board. The following screens are all from Copernicus, but you'd be surprised at how fitting they look to some publisher's most notable titles.
Project Copernicus stylized visuals would be the best of both worlds for Square Enix the colorful visuals and cartoony style would please Eastern and Western sensibilities alike, and it already has the built-in Amalur fanbase. Theyre also no strangers to taking a chance on lesser-known IPs, having published the cult-status strategy MMO Wakfu. Copernicus could be the perfect project for Square Enix to wash the bitter aftertaste of FF XIV from their fans mouths.
Its not a question of if EA could fund Copernicus more of would they be willing to. If they took a liking to 38 Studios, it could be a merger match made in heaven just look at the success of DICE and BioWare becoming subsidiaries of EA. Plus, breathing life into a dying company might do wonders to combat the worst company in America nonsense that people seem to be eating up.
Sony Online Entertainment
What they need is an IP that combines the light-hearted visuals of Free Realms with the adult themes and swords-and-sorcery skirmishes of EverQuest. Copernicus fits the bill nicely if it plays anything like Kingdoms of Amalur, then the combat will be full of violent hacking, slashing, and spell-casting.
Theyve already had great success with making a name for themselves in the free-to-play genre; perhaps Perfect World could use their micro-transaction methods to make Copernicus an affordable endeavor for both player and publisher. With the huge payoff they gained from backing Runic Games, the makers of Torchlight, Perfect World might be ready to foster another studio thats adrift in these tough times.
Its also clear that Namco Bandai listen and react accordingly to player feedback; without them listen to the clamoring in forums and comments, we might never have seen Dark Souls make its way to the PC. If players keep asking for the Copernicus MMO, Namco Bandai could very well do whatevers in their power to make those fans happy. They might not have the money to single-handedly publish it, but perhaps they'd be able to get the game most of the way there before partnering up with another company.
It wouldnt make sense to pit Rift and Copernicus against one another, but by the time Copernicus could realistically be completed, Rift will be around four or five years old. We think it would make sense for Trion to have Rift go free-to-play eventually, so that the spotlight could be on a resurrected Copernicus in all its finished glory. Since Trion is comprised of MMO vets, they'd no doubt take any lessons learned from making Rift and apply them to Copernicus as well.
Taking on Project Copernicus would fill the void in Ubisofts genre lineup, and if the game succeeds, it would propel them to join the top three biggies of publishing. From what weve seen of the settings in Kingdoms of Amalur, the lore and combat-centric gameplay are different enough from Heroes of Might and Magic that the two fantasy franchises wouldnt have to compete.
Mind you, this wouldnt be a full funding on the project, servers and all more like a showing of good faith from hopeful players, so that work on Copernicus could get rolling again. If enough people show interest in the project, larger companies are bound to take notice and front the rest of the bill.
Here's to hoping
Want more speculation on medieval fantasy franchises? Check out what we want to see from Fable 4 and what we want from the Elder Scrolls MMO.