38 Studios head accuses RI government of breaking promises, scaring investors
by Steve Watts, shacknews.com, May 29, 2012 10:00AM PDT
Update: Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has disputed Schilling's account of the business dealings. He also told The Associated Press that he is more interested in protecting Rhode Island taxpayers than in responding to Schilling's claims.
Original Story: 38 Studios head Curt Schilling has some harsh words for Rhode Island in the wake of extreme lay-offs to both the parent company and Big Huge Games, which made Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. The baseball player turned video game executive says that state officials went back on a deal, and that comments from Governor Chafee scared off private investors.
The Providence Journal reports that Schilling says the economic development officials reneged on plans to approve film tax credits, which would have let the company defer the $1.12 million payment that was due at the start of May. That would have allowed the company to pay employees on May 15, rather than missing payroll.
Schilling also claims that Chafee's "devastating" remarks about the studio's health scared off a potentially lucrative deal. Within a few days of the governor claiming the studio was at risk of becoming insolvent, Schilling claims that a video game publisher pulled out of a $35 million deal to make a sequel to Reckoning.
According to Schilling, he has a personal stake in the studio's demise too; he stands to lose $50 million of his personal fortune, accrued from his days as a professional baseball player.