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Timonium video game developer Big Huge Games shuts down

Timonium video game developer Big Huge Games Inc. closed its doors last week after its parent company announced a company-wide layoff.

A designer works at Big Huge Games in 2001. The Timonium video game developer closed its doors last week after more than a decade in business.

38 Studios, the faltering video game company of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, declared a “non-voluntary and non-disciplinary” layoff on Thursday, according to a letter sent to workers and obtained by The Associated Press.

About 110 artists, programmers and designers worked for Big Huge Games, according to the company’s website. The company had 300 employees in Providence, the AP reported.

38 Studios moved from Massachusetts in late 2010 after Rhode Island agreed to a $75 million loan guarantee. Officials predicted the deal would bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars of tax revenue to Rhode Island.

But the company was more than two weeks late this month on a $1.1 million payment to the state’s Economic Development Corporation. State officials said the company wasn’t able to make its payroll.

BHG released its much-anticipated first game since the 38 Studios acquisition, “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning,” to strong reviews in February.

While Schilling has called the game a success, Rhode Island’s governor, Lincoln Chafee, has disagreed.

“The game failed,” Chafee told Bloomberg. “That was integral to the success of the company.”

Big Huge Games was established in 2000 and acquired by Agoura Hills, Calif.-based THQ in January 2008. The exact amount of that deal was not released, but according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, THQ said it acquired Big Huge Games and two other firms in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $35.3 million.

The Timonium developer faced closure in 2009 when THQ announced it needed to cut $100 million from its budget due to economic conditions and weak holiday sales. With less than three weeks to before liquidation, 38 Studios bought Big Huge Games.

The Associated Press and Bloomberg contributed to this report.