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38 Studios Debacle: Gov. Lincoln Chafee vs. Curt Schilling

The situation would be a lot funnier if it wasn't quite so sad.

As most of you know by now, the properties originally held by the bankrupt 38 Studios are now owned by the state of Rhode Island, and the state recently tried to auction off those properties. They got $320,000 for various IPs such as Rise of Nations, but that's a drop in the bucket compared to the $90 million worth of debt generated by this whole fiasco.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that the state wasn't able to sell off the Amalur MMO, "Copernicus." Prior to the auction, 38 Studios co-founder and ex major league baseball pitcher Curt Schilling called it a "billion-dollar" property for the right candidate. But it didn't sell and now, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee has called the IP "a lot of junk." Chafee was a vocal critic of the $75 million loan that brought 38 Studios from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, which he recently called "insane" and a "historically bad" idea.

"People just panicked and gave a retired baseball player a huge amount of taxpayer money with no experience in this industry or any other businesses. There was this whole groupthink across the business communities."

The state is currently suing Schilling and other individuals behind that loan. As for the former Red Sox ace, he fired back on Twitter:

"Any decision that loses is 'bad' in hindsight. Bet RI would like a 'redo' on Gov election too. He has no clue what he's talking about. Never did."

Schilling also mentioned Chafee's 11 percent approval rating, and he has called the governor "a dunce of epic proportions," too. Yep, there's a war going on and really, it'd be a lot more entertaining if it wasn't so depressing.

Tags: 38 studios, 38 studios bankrupt, lincoln chafee, curt schilling

12/21/2013 11:10:35 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (9 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 11:51:35 AM
Reply

They are both right, it wasn't a good idea but you pay for your decisions. Schilling didn't fleece anybody. Copernicus probably is a lot of junk, and Chafee is a disliked buffoon.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 1:34:03 PM

I'm actually super interested in copernicus. I wish someone would have picked it up. Amular was such a surprise, that it's evident Schilling has a good vision.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 5:00:14 PM

It's probably just a collection of disjointed data, art, and gameplay tests at this phase though. Essentially junk.

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Cuetes
Monday, December 23, 2013 @ 3:14:30 PM

I would of thought they knew that failure was a possibility but that's what investing is all about, Sometimes you lose and sometimes you hit it big. Sorry RI but you lost.

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ethird1
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 2:47:57 PM
Reply

World you need to go check up on Copernicus and see all the work they did on it. The world was beautiful. Most epic scenery I have ever seen, and I mean by a LOOOOONG shot.

The problem is Curt had some of the best programmers and art designers money could buy. Not to mention a hell of a writer. But he forgot that its a business and you have to put the product on a strict deadline.

Artistic freedom is nice, but you must be professional about it.

Seriuosly though. Play KOA. Epic story with one of the best lass bost fights ever. Oh yeah, it also has the hands down best expansions ever.

End of line.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 5:01:13 PM

I have KOA, it's too drab and soulless to keep playing.

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Kryten1029a
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 3:56:12 PM
Reply

Boston Magazine did a really good write-up just after the company went under and it doesn't paint a very pretty picture. They spent money recklessly and Curt Schilling was in so far over his head that he couldn't recognize that fact. If you're going to pay for expensive execs with business experience, then you should probably listen to them. Not that Lincoln Chaffee made matters any easier but most of it was on Schilling.
I agree with ethird that Reckoning was impressive. It was meant to whet the appetites of gamers for Copernicus (thus the art style) and I'd say that it definitely made an impression. That might even have been an MMO that I would have played.

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/07/38-studios-end-game/

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Underdog15
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 8:48:20 PM
Reply

If I invest in a business and it flops, I'm sunk.

If the government invests in a business, they get to take everything you have and a bloody sock as tribute.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 9:50:14 PM
Reply

yeah well i'm sure they've learned from this desaster.

happy gaming =)

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