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For many first-time game developers, selling 1.3 million copies of their first game in 90 days would be a major accomplishment. For Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios, though, that sales performance wasn't enough to pay back sizable loan guarantees from the state of Rhode Island, or to prevent the company from having to lay off all 379 staffers in the state and at Maryland-based subsidiary Big Huge Games late yesterday.The layoffs effectively end one of the most prominent experiments in direct state support for game development in the country. Rhode Island had to issue $75 million in bonds to help attract the studio, founded by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, from its original home in Maynard, Mass., on the promise that the move would create hundreds of jobs in the state.
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