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(Pocket-lint) - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the single-player role-playing game due for release by Electronic Arts on 10 February, is the forerunner to a MMO that has been in development since 2006. There had been confusion over whether developer 38 Games would continue with its original plans for an online game set in the same world, but executive art director Todd McFarlane has confirmed to Pocket-lint that the multi-player game is still on the cards.

In addition, the comic book figurehead and toy manufacturer explained to us that the standalone EA title is actually a prequel to the MMO Kingdoms of Amalur (codenamed "Copernicus") and is set 1,000 years beforehand.

Speaking about Curt Schilling, former World Series-winning baseball pitcher and founder of 38 Games, McFarlane explained that the origin of KoA was solely as an MMO: "He wanted to do, initially, an online fantasy game, so R.A. [Salvadore, the fantasy author] and I started and we started developing the MMO game."

But when Schilling bought Big Huge Games - a company formerly owned by THQ which was developing its own RPG - the studio decided also to turn its attention to a single-player game. "He decided, 'Hey, why don't I develop two games at once. One on the console and still continue the MMO game'," McFarlane said.

"And R.A. Salvadore had done such an extensive back story that spanned 10,000 years, it was fairly easy for us to then say, 'Let's just back this up about 1,000 years and use some of the same elements, show what the world will look like from a different point of view'. Of course, it'll all be new to the customers."

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However, while there will be a Kingdoms of Amalur MMO game eventually, McFarlane will not be using his comic book or toy-making skills to create merchandise around the property. At least, not yet. "Curt was very ambitious at the very beginning," he said. "His hope is that you have Reckoning 4 some day, and along with that, there would be the comics, the novels and the toys. Maybe a full-length feature movie. He's pretty ambitious about it. But we have to put out a product that's worthy of attention first.

"The consumers will basically tell us whether we got it right or wrong. And the demand from that will tell us whether we get to do the other ancillary stuff." 

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will be available on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 from 10 February.

What do you think? Will Kingdoms of Amalur be a big hit? Let us know in the comments below...

Writing by Rik Henderson.