Big Huge Games
|Industry||Computer and video games|
|Defunct||May 2012; Revived in October 2014|
|Headquarters||Timonium, Maryland, United States|
|Products||Rise of Nations series|
Big Huge Games is a video game developer located in Timonium, Maryland. The company was founded in February 2000 by four veteran game industry developers: Tim Train, David Inscore, Jason Coleman and Brian Reynolds (lead designer of Alpha Centauri, et al.). Their first game, Rise of Nations, was a critical and commercial hit. The original studio became defunct in May 2012, but the name "Big Huge Games" was later reacquired by Reynolds and Train for their new venture (previously known as SecretNewCo). The revived studio released the mobile game DomiNations on Android and iOS in April 2015.
Although Brian Reynolds was a founding member of Firaxis Games, he and the others left Firaxis to found a new company based on their desire to apply the complexity and concepts of the turn-based strategy genre to the real-time strategy genre.
In February 2007, Big Huge Games announced that Ken Rolston, the lead designer behind The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, had come out of retirement to join the company as lead designer on an untitled role playing game (RPG). Later that May it was announced that THQ would publish the title in 2009. This marked the first title from Big Huge Games that was not distributed by Microsoft.
Acquisition by THQ
On March 18, 2009, THQ announced that due to declining economic conditions, it would close Big Huge Games unless an outside buyer could be found in the next 60 days.
Acquisition by 38 Studios
From mid-2009 to January 2012, Big Huge Games developed a single player role playing game titled Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which was released in early February 2012 and published by Electronic Arts (EA) and 38 Studios for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. The game is set in a fantasy world created with input from R A Salvatore and Todd McFarlane.
Formation of Epic Baltimore
In June 2012, Epic Games announced the opening of a new studio in Baltimore called Epic Baltimore. The studio consists of a significant portion of ex-Big Huge developers. It was later renamed Impossible Studios. Impossible Studios was officially closed on February 8, 2013.
Revival of Big Huge Games
In October 2014, it was revealed that Reynolds and Train had acquired the name "Big Huge Games" at auction from the state of Rhode Island, which owned it following the bankruptcy of 38 Studios. This name was given to their new venture founded in 2013, which was formerly known as SecretNewCo. The new studio developed a game for mobile platforms called DomiNations, for release on iOS and Android. DomiNations is described as reminiscent of Rise of Nations and a potential competitor to Clash of Clans. It is published by Nexon's mobile gaming group. DomiNations was released for Android and iOS in April 2015.
Big Huge Games made use of their internally developed game engine, the Big Huge Engine, in both Rise of Nations and Catan. The engine features support for a variety of applications and technologies, including physics, artificial intelligence, animation, and others.
|2003||Rise of Nations||Real-time strategy|
|2004||Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots||Real-time strategy||Expansion pack|
|2006||Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends||Real-time strategy|
|2007||Catan||Turn-based strategy||Xbox Live Arcade|
|2007||Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties||Real-time strategy||Expansion pack|
|2012||Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning||Action role-playing game||Co-developed with 38 Studios|
At the time of their move from THQ to 38 Studios, Big Huge Games was working on two large game projects, which are now canceled.
- Fear, Ed (May 27, 2009). "38 Studios snaps up Big Huge Games". Develop. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- Eddie Makuch (December 13, 2013). "38 Studios auction finds no buyer for Amalur MMO, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning sequel". GameSpot. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- Takahashi, Dean. "Brian Reynolds revives Big Huge Games and unveils first mobile strategy title: DomiNations". VentureBeat. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- http://www.secretnewco.com. Missing or empty
- Eddie Makuch (October 27, 2014). "Civilization, Rise of Nations Designer Revives Big Huge Games, Announces New Title". GameSpot. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- "Brian Reynolds interview on GameSpy". GameSpy. 2002-05-02. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
- iTZKooPA (2007-02-20). "Acclaimed 'Oblivion' Designer Heads To Big Huge Games". Totalgaming.net. Retrieved 2007-05-03.
- iTZKooPA (2007-05-03). "Big Huge Games RPG Gets Publisher, Date". Totalgaming.net. Retrieved 2007-05-03.
- Gamasutra: THQ Acquires BHG
- Music 4 Games: Grant Kirkhope resigns from Rare, joins Big Huge Games as Audio Director
- McWhertor, Michael (2009-03-18). "THQ Cuts Down Big Huge Games, Lets Go Two More". Kotaku.
- Dance, Scott (2009-05-27). "Big Huge Games acquired by Curt Schilling's 38 Studios". Washington Business Journal.
- Gilbert, Ben. "38 Studios and Big Huge Games lay off entire staffs [update]". Joystiq.
- Narcisse, Evan. "38 Studios and Big Huge Games Shutting Down [UPDATE]".
- Big Huge Games Resurrected as "Epic Games Baltimore"
- http://www.dominations.com. Missing or empty
- Takahashi, Dean (2 April 2015). "DomiNations assaults Clash of Clans with a Civilization-like mobile strategy game". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
- "Big Huge Engine". Big Huge Games. Archived from the original on 3 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-07.[dead link]
- "Big Huge Games Experiences Big Huge Media Leak, Oblivion Designer's Game Reportedly Canceled". Chris Fayler, Shack News. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "BHG and THQ join hands". THQ Investor Relations. 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2007-05-03.
- Plunkett, Luke (April 9, 2009). "What Were Big Huge Games Working On (And Have They Found A Buyer)?". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- "BHG Big Huge Games now working on Wii title". 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2007-08-28.