Report – 38 Studios staffer’s family in dire straits after closure

Thursday, 14th June 2012 04:31 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Head on over to Gamasutra to read a personal account of a family affected by the closure of 38 Studios. The anonymously published but reportedly verified account exposes some dodgy treatment of staff including broken promises, long hours, poor information flow and even some shady-sounding contractual details which may leave the author with a poor credit rating. The story of the Kingdoms of Amalur developer’s shut down is a complicated and unhappy one indeed, with suggestions the company was sold out by Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chaffee. Hopefully affected staff are as fortunate as the new team at Epic Baltimore.



  1. The_Red

    Holy mother of fuck, what the HELL was 38 Studios doing? That’s a really disturbing piece, specially knowing that 38 Studios is probably not the only company to have such horrible hidden details inside their seedy contracts.

    I don’t know what to say other than wish the best for this family and other families that were hurt by assholes at 38.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. BraveArse

    The reality of modern capitalism. A system where psychopaths and bullshitters regular rise to the top just can’t be right. Especially when they then have such a profound effect on so many people’s lives.

    That’s a horrendous story. And closely mimics what I know of what happened to Realtime Worlds. I made some good friends when I was at my last job, 4 of whom arrived in the fallout of the collapse of RTW, and others who came from Rockstar North, and couldn’t bring themselves to crunch anymore. What we were working on was nothing to do with games at all.

    All of them say they will never work in games again and one of them designed missions and levels in my favourite game ever, CrackDown. I.e., he’s an awesomely talented game designer who has been sworn off the medium for good. You can’t treat your talent like that and survive as an industry. It’s all too common just now, especially in the creative industries where your expected to work for free, very often, just to get a toe in The door.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    Dreadful account of a family hit by the closure. I bet the execs are still moving within the industry. Hopefully, they will never work in the games industry again.

    But who is to blame – not just for Studio 38 but for all the other developers going to the wall? Are publishers squeezing them so tightly? Or, are they just spending beyond their means?

    And with publishers crying out for ‘Next gen’, get a grip. You cant even clearly afford the current gen. So how about cutting back on all the PR bullshit, paying for crappy CGI trailers and let the industry again be an enjoyable, fun and CREATIVE place to be in?!

    #3 3 years ago
  4. TheBlackHole

    “So how about cutting back on all the PR bullshit, paying for crappy CGI trailers”

    You mean all the stuff that actually sells the game to a mainstream audience, who is ultimately contributing more to this industry (financially) that us small in number, loud in voice, core audience?

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    Honestly it’s limited how bad I can feel about that article. Living in the south and seeing people who are actually in need makes these people look pretty fortunate.

    They did get royally screwed, 38 Studios are to blame, they didn’t deserve it, and it sucks, but I’m seeing people get laid off from jobs that don’t even pay well, only to take two more for wages that we in the EU would call slavepay, only to get laid off and having to find two more.

    I hope I’m not supposed to feel sorry for her and her credit rating. A lot of people I know couldn’t even buy a Whopper on credit. That’s the southern US right now. People went from small business owners with a million dollar business, to day laborers.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. The_Red

    I won’t deny that a lot of people in the world are having it much MUCH worse (Hey, I live in the freaking Iran where those “slavepay” wages are considered a fortune!) but I don’t think seeing a greater evil and injustice makes me less sad about a relatively lesser evil. This family might look to have a better job but in the end, it’s a mother of 3 and a family of 5 that could lose a lot because of those mfuckers at 38.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DSB

    @6 But don’t you think they’ll be fine? They’re going to take a hit to their credit and be in a bad mood for a while, but it’s not like high tech jobs are going out of style.

    Try to be in construction in the US. Dry wall. Selling carpets, or other stuff that people need when they move into a new house, or a teacher. Because no one is moving into a new house, and no one is hiring teachers. They’re moving from their houses and into trailers, and it’s taking away jobs and businesses that people may have spent decades trying to run.

    I don’t think this family is in that kind of situation.

    Of course that’s no excuse not to be sympathetic, and I’m definitely not laughing at them, but I really can’t get excited about something like that when I’m surrounded by people, who likely won’t have anything like their level of prosperity for the forseeable future.

    In general I think developers get a lot of sympathy, for people who often have pretty great wages.

    #7 3 years ago

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