I somehow always give myself the fun job of reporting on failing studios. Unlike the recent saga with Precursor Games, the drama with 38 Studios is actually disheartening for me, because their one and only game, Kingdoms of Amalur, was fantastic and I was psyched for the MMO, Project Copernicus.
For those of you who haven’t been following the story, Kurt Schilling, retired baseball player and entrepreneur, founded 38 Studios back in 2006 with some family, friends, and two very famous writers/artists R.A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane. Though they were originally based in Massachusetts, the state of Rhode Island offered Schilling a ton of loans to bring him to their side of the state line.
After releasing Kingdoms of Amalur, selling roughly 1.3million in 90 days — a fair amount for a new company — Schilling closed the company and filed bankruptcy (note, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee said they expected it to sell 3.3 million copies). After having checks bounced and laying off his employees, the state of Rhode Island charged the studio with fraud and other fun charges, saying the they were assured by Schilling that the game would sell millions of copies.
This all leads into this past Wednesday, when the state of Rhode Island won the right to sue not just the company, but Schilling, the executives, and other high ranking members for fraud, negligence, racketeering, conspiracy, and so much more. And it is just piling up on the former studio. Quite frankly, these charges do seem a bit excessive, but, safe to say, Kurt Schilling is a deep pile of…well, you know.