Curt Schilling Speaks on 38 Studios’ Demise
This morning, former Red Sox pitcher and 38 Studios cofounder Curt Schilling was interviewed on Dennis & Callahan, a sports radio show on WEEI in Boston. The transcription of the interview was posted by the Boston Globe Online, and the whole thing offers yet another glimpse into one of the biggest disasters in the gaming industry in 2012. In short, the problem was obvious: the company couldn’t raise enough money.
“One of the going concerns from Day One – and it was always something that we were cognizant of – is we needed to raise capital,” said Schilling. “We tried for a long time to do that and it didn’t come to fruition. The one thing we always listed as a going concern we couldn’t execute on.”
That simple fact helps illuminate what motivated the company to take the $75 million loan from Rhode Island that prompted its move from Massachusetts. And it’s that loan–$50 million of which was spent on the unfinished MMO “Project Copernicus”—that forced the Rhode Island government to come knocking when they couldn’t make their repayments.
The company’s financial house of cards collapsed upon the government’s scrutiny, apparently scaring away a publisher that was ready to commit $35 million to fund a sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It’s Schilling’s contention that Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffee’s public vote of no-confidence in the company forced the unnamed publisher to pull out. In addition, the interview reveals that the revenue generated from sales of Amalur went straight to Electronic Arts in order to pay back the advance EA had given them to make the game.
Schilling also offered comments on the fate of the nearly 300 employees who were suddenly laid off. After being fired, some of the employees were even hit with second mortgages on Massachusetts homes that the developer failed to sell—despite never informing the employees that the homes would be taken care of as part of the move to Rhode Island.
Said Schilling about his former staffers:
“The employees got blindsided. They have every right to be upset. I always told everybody if something were going to happen, you‘re going to have a month or two of lead time, and I bombed on that one in epic fashion.”
In addition, the former Major League pitcher is in a pretty bad financial mess, too. In the interview, he claims to be “tapped out,” having tied up all of the money he earned as a pro-ballplayer in the company that filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this month. According to the transcription, Schilling says that he isn’t looking for sympathy despite his financial woes:
“I put everything in my name in this company. I believed in it. I believed in what we built. I never took a penny in salary. I never took a penny for anything. The money I saved and earned playing baseball was probably all gone…Life is going to be different.”
It should be noted, however, that Schilling is also an employee of ESPN as an analyst on Baseball Tonight. He’s currently on a leave of absence while he deals with the fallout of his company’s implosion, but the broadcasting company expects him to return to air later this season. So, you know, that probably softens the blow a bit, being an employee of a major television network. I’m not saying that’s going to get him back all the millions he’s lost in this disaster. I’m just saying.
- Reports: Amalur Developer 38 Studios Struggling to Stay Afloat
- 38 Studios Missed First Loan Repayment
- Schilling’s 38 STudios Bounces $1.125 Million Check, Can’t Make Payroll
- 38 Studios Makes good on First Payment for $1.125 Million
- 38 Studios Lays Off Employees, Says Rhode Island Governor
- 38 Studios Execs Leave, Employees Unpaid Since May 1
- Screens from Project Copernicus Appear Online
- 38 Studios Lays Off Entire Staff
- Fired 38 Studios Employees Hit with Second Mortgages on Unsold Boston Houses
- Rhode Island Finds 38 Studios in Violation of Labor Laws for Sudden Layoffs
- Author R.A. Salvatore Weighs in on 38 Studios Fiasco
- Amalur 2 was in Pre-Production, Shopped Around to Other Publishers
- Schilling Speaks Out on 38 Studios Disaster
- Epic Games Helping Big Huge Games, Setting Up New Studio for Them
- 38 Studios Finally Filed for Bankruptcy Today
- Liquidation of 38 Studios Assets Gets Multi-Million Dollar Valuation
- Wife of 38 Studios Employee Illustrates Bad Business Fallout
- Curt Schilling Sued by Citizens Bank for $2.4 Million