38 Studios closure “devastating” for Curt Schilling

Wednesday, 14th August 2013 01:00 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Founder Curt Schilling rates the closure of Kingdoms of Reckoning developer 38 Studios as one of the worst experiences of his life.

“Outside of, like, personal family – losing my dad – it was the most devastating thing I’ve ever gone through,” Schilling said in a feature article by the Boston Globe.

“It’s still something I’m trying to bounce back from. It was so hard, because I had pushed and pushed and pushed. I had 300 families I had to take care of, including my own, and it failed.

“I’ve lost a lot in my life but I’ve never failed at anything. I was going to [win] but I couldn’t get it done.”

Schilling said it’s “tough” to talk about the “still raw” experience, and mourned the potential lost in the company’s bankruptcy.

“Ultimately, it’s on me. I was the guy. At the end of the day, it failed because I failed to raise outside capital,” he said.

Schilling noted that the “last thing a citizen of Rhode Island wants to hear” is a millionaire athlete blaming the state for the company’s closure, but still had some harsh words for Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee did “absolutely nothing” to prevent the closure.

“We had a local investor who was going to pony up the money – he wanted us to do some things – and Chafee just waited us out,” says Schilling.

“Name one thing he actually did. Ask him that.”

It’s not the first time Schilling has attributed some blame to Chafee, who was the second-largest investor in the company. Other 38 Studios staffers have aired similar grievances against the governor.

Chafee’s office refused comment due to pending litigation; the state of Rhode Island has accused the developer of misdemeanour and claims crushing evidence thereof.

Schilling chose to auction off his own collection of memorabilia to pay back various loans, rather than declare bankruptcy and keep his possessions. He even said the stress of 38 Studios’ closing partially contributed to a heart attack.

Rhode Island recently elected to honour debts accrued by 38 Studios.

38 Studios, which also incorporated Big Huge Games, produced just one game before closing – Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. An MMO with the same setting, Project Copernicus, was nearly complete. The game was a commercial success and publishers have shown interest in the intellectual property, which is yet to be auctioned off. Reckoning publisher EA is particularly interested, although possibly only as a partner.

Many former 38 Studios employees were signed to a new Epic Games team, later dubbed Impossible Studios, which unfortunately did not work out and was disbanded. Some then moved on to BioWare.

Thanks, Polygon. [image]



  1. DSB

    I know it may not be in vogue to side with the “big guy”, but I’m 100% behind Chafee on this one.

    He obviously didn’t want to throw good money after bad, more than it had already happened, and he said it was a bad bet right from the beginning. Which it quite simply was.

    It’s just a sad story of incompetence reinforced by optimism on the side of Schilling, and petty lust for prestige and total recklessness on behalf of Carcieri. A typical scumbag politian who likes to throw around someone elses dough.

    At least Schilling takes some of the blame, instead of Dyack’ing it.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. taylorlauder

    Who the fuck is this guy again?

    #2 1 year ago
  3. TMRNetShark


    He’s a famous baseball pitcher.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. fihar

    No need for such strong words.

    The staff of Big Huge Games is where most of my symphaties lie, not him.
    Shame though, he does sound like he has a lot of passion for this.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. OlderGamer

    Here is what I never understood…KoA was a damn solid game. Doesn’t have the Elder Scrolls name, but the gameplay was infinatly better. And yet it failed. Over budget vs unrealistic sales requirments to recoup costs? The part I don’t get is why didn’t it do better? I loved the game myself.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Phoenixblight


    “Over budget vs unrealistic sales requirments to recoup costs? The part I don’t get is why didn’t it do better? ”

    This game had both. Way over budget, plus they took a 70 million loan which they used to make the MMO making the goal to recoup cost way beyond reach. Bad management is what ruined the studio.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. coleman984

    In case this ever will reach Curt’s eyes. I registered on this site solely to post this:

    KoA was absolutely amazing IMO. I bought it day one and hyped it up to all my friends, even got a few to buy it. My favorite RPG of this generation. And it bums me out to know the MMO isn’t coming.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. backup

    38 studios ?
    Never heard of them
    ok they made KOA

    PC pirates kill them by pirating whichever game they made

    PC is cause of all sort of evil things

    Kill PC and developers will gain higher profits

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Mr Sparkle


    Kill physical media and developers will gain higher profits.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. backup

    Valve takes 30% of it mirite

    #10 1 year ago
  11. ududy

    Seems Shilling was arrogant, entering a business where he was out of his depth. I appreciate his love for gaming, but why start with a giant 300 person studio? Get in slowly, build a good cohesive team of 40-50 people, make some great games, then expand, if you feel the need for it.

    He wanted to swim with the biggest fish straight from the start – and it cost him his fortune, any chance that he can convince investors to trust him in the future, and made life difficult for a lot of people.

    #11 1 year ago

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