Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee had some choice word for former baseball great (and current game developer) Curt Schilling at a press conference today.
Yesterday, Schilling said unnamed video-game publisher pulled out of a $35-million deal to finance the sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning because Chafee questioned the solvency of the Schilling's 38 Studios. "The governor is not operating in the best interest of the company by any stretch, or the taxpayers, or the state," Schilling said. "We're trying to save this company and we're working 24/7. The public commentary has been as big a piece of what's happening to us as anything out there."
"Any time there's a chance to make money, investors will be around," He added.
Characterizing Rhode Island's loan to 38 Studios as an "all-in poker hand," Chafee went on to compare the company's quick bust to Enron, and to discuss the video game industry as a whole.
"This industry punishes people who don't know what they're doing," Chafee said. "It's a tough, tough industry.
Chafee used the press event to remind the state of his own opposition to the loan to Schilling's company, while simultaneously saying that he did everything he could while in office to make the deal successful for the state of Rhode Island's tax payers. Chafee says that the sudden implosion of 38 Studios couldn't have been foreseen by the state, and is not unheard of in the rhealm of entertainment companies. He countered accusations that the State should have known earlier that 38 Studios was in trouble.
"When we look back and do our audits, we're going to see the red flags are not there. They were making their benchmarks and adhering to the loan agreement," Chafee said.
When asked if R.I. planned to give more money to video game companies, Chafee offered a flat "no," saying: "Industry experts I have talked to have not been very optimistic. They've been very, very bleak. Should the state put in more money? I think everyone would tell you absolutely not."