In his first interview since his development company 38 Studios declared bankruptcy, baseball-great-turned-gaming-executive Curt Schilling says he is "tapped out." Schilling told a Boston radio audience that he put "everything in his name" in the company.
Schilling said he invested more than $50 million in the company, and that other investors ponied up $5-10 million. The State of Rhode Island loaned the firm $75 million as well, but all that wasn't enough to keep the 38 Studios in business long enough to complete what was to be its flagship game, an MMO code-named "Project Copernicus."
While the brunt of 38 Studios losses will likely be born by the tax payers of Rhode Island, Schilling himself may be on the hook for even more than he's already lost. RBS Citizens, better known as Citizens Bank, sued Schilling for $2.4 million in loans it says Schilling personally guaranteed.
Schilling said he isn't looking for sympathy, and he offered an apology to the ex-employees of 38 Studios, saying, "The employees got blindsided... They have every right to be upset. I always told everybody if something were going to happen, you‘re going to have a month or two of lead time, and I bombed on that one in epic fashion.”
There were some last-minute attempts to save the company, according to Schilling. Right before the collapse of the company, Schilling was in talks with EA for a sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, but he says the deal was iced after Rhode Island made 38 Studios' financial difficulties public.
There was also an offer from an investor to save the company by writing a check for $15-20 million, but only if the State of Rhode Island agreed to give the company an additionally $6 million in tax credits and re-negotiate its loan. But Rhode Island was apparently not ready to give more money to the video game development company.
The rights to the intellectual property of the bankrupt firm (IE: Kingdoms of Amalur, Project Copernicus and anything else it was working on) are essentially owned by the state of Rhode Island now. R.I. will likely sell them, but are unlikely to make back much of the $112 million it has lost on the loan, fees and interest.
If I were the bureaucracy of Rhode Island, I'd task the state with developing the game itself and releasing it, because how amazingly weird would an MMO designed by a state government be? Sadly, I imagine Rhode Island is less whimsical than I am, so I imagine they'll sell the IP as soon as they can. I wonder who's in the market for a half-finished, AAA MMO?
I'll bet the IP is pretty awesome, too. Schilling definitely hired great people to work on his games, and is definitely a passionate gamer. Check out this interview with Curt, from happier days, back in March 2011: