Former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling had founded a video game company called 38 Studios after retiring, but on Thursday, he fired his entire staff and shutdown operations just after releasing their first game.
Schilling founded the company originally called Green Monster Games in 2006 and in 2010 the company received a $75 million guaranteed state loan to move operations to Rhode Island from Massachusetts. After years of development, the company had just released its first game called, “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” this past February to strong reviews. The company had also been simultaneously working on a massive online role-playing game that was never finished before the layoff.
Schilling, however, blamed an economic downturn for the company’s failure in the e-mail sent to the 300 company staffers about the layoffs. The AP called the layoff notification “non-voluntary and non-disciplinary,” and thanked them for their dedication to the company.
State officials in Rhode Island extended the loan believing it would generate 100s of jobs and millions in tax revenue. However, the company became two weeks late on a $1.1 million payment to the state’s Economic Development Corporation, this month. Officials also claim the company was also unable to make payroll.
Current Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee opposed the loan to 38 Studios when running for office, but now says he is working with the company to salvage it and make it a success so the state doesn’t lose the money it invested.
“I’m still continuing to work for 38 Studios,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, a political fallout is occurring over the bad loan to the video game company as 2 of the 12 member Economic Development Corporation board, who had approved the deal in 2010, have stepped down and when asked if he was seeking a resignation of other members who supported the deal, Lincoln answered, “yes, we’re having those discussions.”
Schilling has had no public comments on the company’s situation since the Thursday layoffs.