The development and release of 38 Studios' action-RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning became one of the most notable gaming disasters of the 2010s, and after the rights were acquired by THQ Nordic in 2018, the game is now getting a second chance in the form of a remastered Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning.
This new remaster was leaked by Microsoft when listed prematurely on its storefront and then it was formally announced on June 4. Then, on July 7, THQ Nordic finally released the first trailer for the game and revealed more info about when exactly we can expect it.
If you're curious about Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, we've rounded up everything that you need to know about the game, including the tumultuous development process of the original.
When is the Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning release date?
Microsoft's leaked listing claimed that Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning would be released on August 11, 2020; meanwhile, Amazon listed for a release date of August 18, 2020. It actually turned out that neither of these leaked dates was right, as THQ Nordic confirmed the remaster's release date to be September 8, 2020, when they released the first new trailer for the game.
Admittedly, THQ Nordic did tease that the leaked dates were placeholders in the past. "There are some place holders," a community manager for the game explained on its Discord server. "Do not believe release date before you hear it from us." They were right, as we'll actually be getting Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning a little later than the leaks indicated.
This remaster of Kingdoms of Amalur comes more than eight and a half years after the original was released.
What platforms is Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning coming out for?
Because Microsoft was the source of the initial leak, we know that it will be coming to Xbox One. "THQN does not do exclusives, we believe everyone should be able to play on whatever system people prefer within reason," a THQ Nordic representative said on the game's official Discord server. Any worries of exclusively were washed away when the game was officially revealed as THQ Nordic confirmed that it will be on PS4 and PC as well come launch day.
As for a Nintendo Switch version, the same THQ Nordic representative said that they "cannot comment on that yet," though they did point out that "Switch is a very unique system and very limited." This makes a Switch version of Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning unlikely, and it is obviously absent from the game's initial launch.
What is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning?
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a sleek RPG that plays a bit more like the original God of War trilogy than your standard RPG like Skyrim. It has many quests and sprawling skill trees for players to customize their character, though the Destiny system lets players further specialize their classes with special buffs depending on what weapons or skills they invest in.
As for the story, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning takes place in a realm called Amalur in a region called the Faelands. Players are trying to uncover how they died, and they do this after they are reincarnated into a world ravaged by war. The story incorporates interesting fantasy elements like Fateweavers that can peer into the future, and the storytelling is well-realized thanks to the help of fantasy author R.A. Salvatore.
Who is developing Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning?
This new version of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is developed by Kaiko, who previously worked with THQ Nordic on remasters of Darksiders, Darksiders 2, and The Legend of Kay. Still, this remaster's development is much less interesting than that of the original.
A brief look at the tumultuous development of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
The story behind the development of Kingdoms of Amalur a dramatic tale itself worthy of an HBO mini-series, and it's what the game is remembered for. A 2016 Kotaku report explains how the game was created by 38 Studios, a then-new development studio founded by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. He even gathered a dream team that included R.A. Salvatore, Spawn creator Todd Macfarlane, and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's lead designer Ken Rolston.
38 Studios was given $75 million in Rhode Island taxpayer money to found the studio in the capital city of Providence in the hopes that it would help bring the gaming industry to the small east coast state.
Unfortunately, overambition — like working on a planned MMO alongside Reckoning — hurt the company financially, and the game's underperformance at launch cemented the studio's failure. Just a couple of months after the game's launch, the entire 38 Studios staff was laid off after paychecks stopped going through. The studio's failure brought a lot of hardship to the state of Rhode Island, with ongoing fight court cases for defrauding lasting for years after the game's release.
It's one of the craziest game development stories of the 2010s, and of all time. The game itself is also pretty good! Kingdoms of Amalur has become pretty infamous since its launch for the botched management of the company, but the game itself has become a cult classic with a loyal fanbase. It makes for the ideal type of game to remaster, especially if THQ Nordic has any future plans for the IP. Could they expand Re-Reckoning into the full MMO that was never made?
How Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning leaked?
On June 3, 2020, a listing for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning appeared towards the end of the day on Microsoft's official storefront. It lists the developer, release date, gameplay details, and more. As the original game has garnered a cult following since its release, this listing captured many fans' attention.
The day after the leak, THQ Nordic acknowledged and confirmed the game's existence. That said, they still aren't sharing much. "Guys this came out as a leak, we are still working on a lot of things for you guys and wanna make sure the information comes out the right way for all our sakes," THQ Nordic explained on the game's official Discord server. "So while we can confirm yes it is coming that is all we will say at the moment."
What does Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning include?
The screenshots available via the Microsoft listing show that this isn't a full-on remake like SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated. Rather it appears to be a remaster with slightly upgraded visuals on current-gen platforms. The listing also confirms that Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning will include "all DLC from the original release" and will last players "hundreds of hours."
While no new content appears to be in the game at launch, THQ Nordic confirmed that it will be releasing brand new DLC for the game in 2021. For now, we just know that this expansion is called Fatesworn and that THQ Nordic will share more about it at a later date. Still, it shows that the publisher is clearly dedicated to this IP going forward.
Which version of Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning should I get?
When THQ Nordic released the first trailer for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning on July 7, 2020, they also revealed three different versions of the game. To start, we have the Standard Edition, which will cost $39.99. Next is Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Fate Edition, which is nearly full price at $54.99 but will include the Fatesworn DLC. If you're here for the new DLC, then this is the version to pick up.
Finally, for the die-hard fans, THQ Nordic is releasing a Collector's Edition for the game, and it seems to be just as well done as the one for SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated. This version will cost $109.99 and will include the game, an 8-inch Alyn Shir Figurine, a custom keychain, five pieces of artwork, and the game's soundtrack.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning will be released sometime in August 2020.