The soap opera around the seeming death of 38 Studios continues. Get your popcorn ready for this one. Yesterday, liberal website DailyKos posted a story about the death of the studio. It took a political slant, lobbing a bomb at Republican founder of 38 Studios,Curt Schilling with these words:
"So a lesson for future Republican entrepreneurs. If you want to start a business fine. But don't brag about how you'll never need govt help and then put taxpayers on the line for your failure to keep track of your balance books."
R. A. Salvatore, the writer of 38's Kingdoms of Amalur, responded in a comment headed "Your facts are wrong.":
The story is, apparently, more complicated than a political blogger's post, and Salvatore's comment is a text book guide to how to respond to these kinds of attacks with class. I've reprinted it below:
"I shouldn't even be commenting here.
Reckoning sold over 1.2 million units, which is pretty amazing for a new IP on an entirely new engine. I'm not going into the details of the publishing contract with EA (don't really know them), but let me just say that the economics of the video game business are a lot more convoluted than multiplying the MSRP * Units and coming up with a cash/cash-flow number.
Caveat: I am not an employee, an officer, a stockholder or on the BoD for 38 Studios. I've worked with them since 2006 on a consulting basis and believed in the project (and still do) - so much so that all of my compensation is on the back end. Maybe I'll never see a dime for those hundreds of hours, but I got the chance to work in the most incredible creative environment you can imagine. So be it.
And...38 didn't go begging for a handout from Rhode Island...Rhode Island offered to secure a bond for them when the credit crunch reigned, trying to lure them out of Massachusetts.
Say what you want about the rest of it - I'm not going to comment - but I have to tell you that this was an amazing team of designers, engineers, artists, animators, writers, audio team and all the rest, all chasing a common dream - all pushing the envelope in their respective fields. And this game is much further along than is being reported - I wish I could show you some if it! - and the environments, the animations and the game-play would blow you away.
The MMO market is very different now than it was 6 years ago. Star Wars is aching, by all reports, and it's a solid game with groundbreaking voice-over work. EA bought Mythic, and Warhammer crashed. Bioware's MMO is hurting (they just laid off a bunch of people in their Austin Studio).
Curt and I never agreed on politics, but that didn't define our time together. We'd argue, laugh, shake our heads behind each others' back, and carry on. And if this means anything to any of you, let me assure you that the vast majority of the employees of 38 make ME look like a rabid right-winger, the bunch of anarchists! And lord, I love 'em all and miss them already."
For more on the 38 Studios situation, check out Feedback on Wednesday. We'll be discussing it in depth.