Is 38 Studios Worth Saving?

By Toni Waterman

May 29, 2012

curt schilling
Curt Schilling exits the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation headquarters on May 16. (Steven Senne/AP)

BOSTON — According to The Providence Journal, Curt Schilling blames Rhode Island officials for his gaming company’s floundering finances — saying the state had promised to approve tax credits and defer a payment due May 1.
The former Boston Red Sox pitcher also said Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s public remarks about 38 Studios’ finances have scared off potential investors.
The week of May 21, Chafee chastised the $75 million taxpayer-funded deal that brought 38 Studios to Rhode Island in 2010. In exchange for the money, Schilling promised to hire 450 employees and bring in millions in tax revenues.
“It’s the wrong business for the state to be in,” Chafee said at a press conference. “It defies imagination that the state would risk so much money in this kind of venture.”
Chafee has now called for an audit, saying the company has been mum on where and how the money has been spent.
“The taxpayers have tens of millions of dollars invested in this company and it’s been difficult getting answers from them,” he said. “We hear different things and what we hear is different then what we can so far document.”
The company laid off its entire Providence staff of 300 on May 24. Another 100 employees were let go in Maryland.
“I’m sad,” said one former employee. “It was a great place to work and I’m going to miss coming into work.”
Still, Schilling said it’s not "game over" quite yet. And he took to Facebook to thank supporters and fans, saying, “Your passion helped us pursue this amazing journey, and for that, we’re grateful. May you soon discover a new world worth saving.”
Whether 38 Studios is worth saving depends on who you ask.

Tim Loew of MassDiGI and Alexander Sliwinski of Joystiq discuss the impact.
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