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38 Studios employees have not been paid since May 1 and their health care will end Thursday at midnight, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Joystiq. Employees are normally paid on the first and 15th of each month.

When asked if the studio would be shutting down this week, the source could only say, "Unknown at this time. Outlook is not good."

We're informed that 38 Studios' MMO, "Project Copernicus," announced by Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee as launching in June 2013, did have that date as its internal target. However, "Whether this is realistic or not is up for debate."

Gov. Chafee said in a press conference today that he would do what he could to prevent the studio from shutting down. Will the studio still exist within a month? "I have no idea," our source replied.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.