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Local Game Studio Big Huge Games Acquired

Mike Musgrove

Local videogame studio Big Huge Games got a new lease on life today after a Boston area game company, founded by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, announced that it has acquired the Timonium company.

Big Huge Games appeared to be facing bankruptcy, after its former owner, game publisher THQ, threatened to close the studio in March if a buyer could not be found. THQ, a major videogame publisher most famous for hit tie-in titles themed around "SpongeBob SquarePants" and World Wrestling Entertainment, acquired Big Huge Games last year but then faced a devastating year of financial losses.

Big Huge Games is most famous for Rise of Nations, a "real-time strategy" series of computer games where players control the assets of a young virtual nation and guide that budding civilization to world supremacy.

To address a growing market of game fans who want to play on game consoles, rather than on the PC, Big Huge Games shifted its corporate strategy last year with an announcement that it would be developing titles for the popular Nintendo Wii system. Its Wii titles were not published by THQ -- and until yesterday's announcement it appeared that they might never reach publication.

The company will continue to operate at its current Timonium headquarters.

Curt Schilling isn't the only famous name at 38 Studios, which was founded in 2006 and has not yet released any game titles. The company's management team also includes children's fantasy author R.A. Salvatore and comic book industry mogul Todd McFarlane.

Schilling, who is known as a computer game fan, has long been a fixture at videogame trade shows, and has even penned reviews for gaming magazines. His favorite genre is that of "virtual world" titles such as World of Warcraft.

By Mike Musgrove  |  May 27, 2009; 12:57 PM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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