Updated: 38 Studios Loses Two Executives, Big Huge Games Closure Rumored

More reports are surfacing hinting at darker times ahead for the financially struggling 38 Studios.

Reports came to light this week indicating that two of 38 Studios leaders have departed the company. According to a report from WPRI, 38 Studios CEO Jen MacLean and Senior VP of Product Development John Blakely have departed the company. WRPI cites recent updates to the LinkedIn profiles of the two.

38 Studios revealed its first trailer for the upcoming MMORPG Copernicus last week and earlier today we reported on a leaked set of screenshots at 38 Watch for the game, but a pair of new reports brings more bad news for the studio.

A report from Joystiq that cites a source with “knowledge of the situation” reports that 38 Studios employees have not been paid since May 1st. The report explains that payments are usually made on the 1st and 15th of each month. Unfortunately, that’s not all of the bad news. When asked if 38 Studios would shut down this week, the source replied, “Unknown at this time. Outlook is not good."

According to a report from Kotaku, Big Huge Games, which was acquired by 38 Studios in 2009 and developed Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, is rumored to be facing a possible shut down. For now, this remains a rumor as 38 Studios had not responded for comment at news time.

The future of 38 Studios has been in question since it missed a loan payment earlier this month. Stay tuned and we’ll update you when we learn more about the fate of 38 Studios.

Update: Kotaku has received a report from an anonymous source stating that all of the 38 Studios and Big Huge Game staff has been laid off and that the medical insurance for employees will expire tonight at midnight. Stay tuned and we'll attempt to get confirmation on the news.

Update 2: WPRI has posted an internal company email reportedly sent to 38 Studios employees stating:

The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary.

These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary.

This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012.

Sources: WPRI, Joystiq, Kotaku

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Stacy "Martuk" Jones was a long-time news editor and community manager for many of our previous game sites, such as Age of Conan. Stacy has since moved on to become a masked super hero, battling demons in another dimension.

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