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Recent Articles: Amalur MMO
Curt Schilling, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher and founder of the now-defunct 38 Studios (and a future Hall of Famer, in my humble opinion), asked a judge yesterday to throw out a $75 million lawsuit against him. The lawsuit, filed by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, alleges that 38 Studio executives misled the agency in securing the taxpayer-gurranted loan. Schillings calls these allegations “implausible.”
On Friday, lawyers for Schilling filed documents asking Superior Judge Michael Silverstein to throw out the suit, which alleges fraud, racketeering and conspiracy. According to Schilling’s claim, he and the other executives “have repeatedly disclosed the company’s financial needs to [Rhode Island] Economic Development Corporation officials.”
“Given the EDC’s admissions concerning 38 Studios’ disclosures to the EDC’s executives, attorneys and financial advisor, it is impossible for the EDC simultaneously to claim that the 38 Studios defendants supposedly defrauded the EDC,” the filing says.
This news comes on the heels of the sale of Schilling’s famous “bloody sock,” which was auctioned off for $92,612.50 by Heritage Auctions last month to raise money to pay off the pitcher’s debts. 38 Studios was the creator of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and was developing Project Copernicus, an unreleased MMO set in the Amalur unviverse, at the time of its bankruptcy.
[Source: Associated Press]
Curt Schilling lost his shirt when 38 Studios declared bankruptcy in June. Now, he might lose his sock too.
The Boston Globe is reporting that Schilling may be forced to sell the “Bloody Sock” he wore during the 2004 World Series to pay back a loan he took out to bankroll his failed game studio. The sock is currently on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and is viewed by many as a symbol of Boston’s 2004 World Series win, their first in 86 years. A sports collectibles expert consulted by the Globe estimated the sock would sell for $25,000 at auction.
In addition to the famous sock, Schilling has put a cap worn by Lou Gehrig, his collection of World War II memorabilia, and his stake in the StepStone Capital Partners equity firm up as collateral.
38 Studios (and their subsidiary, Big Huge Games) have laid off their entire staff and are effectively shutting down, just a week after declaring that Project Copernicus, their Amalur MMO, would ship in June 2013.
The company sent the following email to all 379 members of the staff, informing them of the lay off:
The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary. These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary.
This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012.
The death of 38 is being laid at the feet of a $75 million loan the company received from the state of Rhode Island to develop Copernicus. As of last week, 38 was up-to-date on their loan payments, but they reportedly haven’t made payroll since May 1. The underperformance of their most recent (and only) game, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, also aggravated the situation. The developer sold about 1.2 million copies of Amalur, an astonishing number for a brand-new franchise, but it needed three million in sales to break even.
Company founder, and former Major League pitcher, Curt Schilling later told his followers on Facebook, “38 isn’t dead yet.”
Former Major League pitcher Curt Schilling has turned in another gutsy performance to continue a different impossible dream. In 2004, it was the “bloody sock” that lead to Boston’s first World Series win in decades. And today, it delivering a check to the state of Rhode Island to save his company, 38 Studios.
The state of Rhode Island lent $75 million to the team at 38 Studios to help finance their move into the state as well as the company’s MMO, which is codenamed Project Copernicus. According to the developer, none of the money was used on this year’s single-player RPG, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which was developed in Maryland at Big Huge Games. The MMO, which is also set in the kingdom of Amalur, is currently scheduled to ship in June 2013. A first look at the game, dubbed a “fly-through” by 38 Studios, can be found after the break.
The $1.125 million payment on the loan is just the first of many that 38 Studios will have to make over the next several years including a $2.6 million payment in November and another $12.6 million in 2013. (more…)