38 Studios hands over bad $1.125m check to state, can't pay its employees
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    Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company attempted to make good on an overdue payment to Rhode Island's Economic Development Corporation today. Unfortunately, financially troubled 38 Studios didn't actually have the funds to cover the million dollar check it cut.
    The studio behind Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning handed over a check to state for the $1.125 million "annual guarantee fee" payment it defaulted on earlier this month, according to a report from WPRI. Afterward, the company's CFO informed the state that 38 Studios had insufficient funds to cover the check. So the state sent it back.
    The company also couldn't make payroll this week, according to the report.
    Schilling's 38 Studios employed 379 people full-time as of March 15, according to loan documents cited by WPRI. The developer is currently working on a massively multiplayer online game titled Project Copernicus. It released Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning through publisher EA in February. Last month, it released a downloadable expansion pack for the game titled Teeth of Naros.
    38 Studios reps met with Rhode Island's EDC this week for an emergency meeting after it defaulted on the million dollar repayment, seeking financial assistance on top of development board's $75 million loan guarantee. State officials say they're hoping to keep the game studio solvent, but will not make any further decisions until Monday.
    In the wake of studio's economic troubles and the controversy surrounding the state-backed loan, RIEDC director Keith Stokes resigned today, according to an earlier report from WPRI.
    Polygon has reached out to 38 Studios seeking comment, but has not yet received a response.
    Update: WPRI's original report – and ours – indicated that the $1.125 million payment from 38 Studios was largely a done deal. We've updated our story to clarify that the developer delivered a check to Rhode Island officials that could not be cashed due to insufficient funds. We've reached out to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation seeking further clarification.
    Update 2: 38 Studios founder Curt Schiling's picture and profile have been removed from the "Visionaries" page of the developer's web site. (A Google cached version of that page shows Schilling's now-missing profile.) It's not clear if that means that Schilling has left the studio he founded, as requests for clarification have gone unanswered. A call to 38 Studios senior VP of business operations Mark Hansen was met with "No comment." Email and phone calls to 38 Studios PR have not yet yielded a response.

  • That's a shame. I enjoyed Reckoning more so than any game I've played in the past year, including Skyrim.
  • Damn that's shitty, I was under the impression Amalur did alright for itself?
  • Chip said:
    Damn that's shitty, I was under the impression Amalur did alright for itself?

    That's not really the issue. It has to do with them moving out of RI.
  • Schilling paid himself back with the loan before paying back the actual loan. So dirty.

    The ironic thing is who is involved (Schilling and the gov. at the time who arranged it and their ideology). The loan was also strongly disliked by the populace from the get-go, but they had no way to change it.

    Now the state with a population of 1 million is going to be on the hook for $113 million. Hopefully everyone learned that gaming is way too risky and expensive an industry to loan this kind of money to. Hell, just about anything is, but gaming especially is an economic trainwreck of sorts right now.

    Terrible irony everywhere here though. Sucks.