I first became aware of Curt Schilling about 15 years ago. His biggest claim to fame is being a major-league baseball pitcher, who also managed to win three world series with two teams. It was revealed the jock was also quite a geek – war games, tabletop miniatures, and such in addition to being an outstanding athlete. And, a PC gamer. He was big time player of Everquest and EQ2, and raised the profile of the MMO genre a bit.
Many years back he founded his own games studio. It was time to retire from baseball and pursue a more geekly hobby. Made sense to me – baseball has a shelf life for its players, and being as we are the same age, and I also have another friend – former longtime MLB pitcher our same age – it just kind of gelled and I’ve been watching the whole thing from the sidelines.
38 studios released Kingdoms of Amalur in February which many of you have been playing; I’m getting too cheap to buy games anymore so I haven’t. And today I find out 38 studios is apparently in trouble.
Also Friday, 38 Studios made an overdue $1.125 million payment to the R.I. Economic Development Corporation
Asked whether Rhode Island would offer do a 38 Studios-style deal again, Chafee replied: “Never, never – not on my watch. I said from the beginning it was a risky enterprise.”
Seems the studio got some taxpayer money when moving to their latest studio in Providence RI. This can be a smart move for a company – use the State’s credit to get bonds issued at a favorable rate, if your project is beneficial or desirable to the State, presumably in this case to bring jobs to Rhode Island. Then, the company simply makes the payments like you would any loan. Problem seems to be, they couldn’t make the payments.
Yesterday, they couldn’t even make payroll. Doubly scary. Back to the Everquest2 connections – Curt hired two former Sony dev’s who I always thought did quite a job – Moorgard and Blackguard. Their blogs are (intelligently) silent about any recent events at their company, but I hope they’re well. Certainly the press looks pretty bad.
38 Studios employees who were standing outside the company’s Providence headquarters on Thursday afternoon looked glum but said they could not comment on whether they’d gotten paid.
This comes as a big surprise – I had actually looked for a failure for quite some time, but after they released Kingdoms of Amalur I figured, they must have gotten it right. Seems all is not well for the former Green Monster games after all.