A new WPRI 12 Eyewitness News poll shows that a majority of Rhode Islanders have no problem defaulting on the bonds used to secure 38 Studios a $75 million loan in 2010. The company founded by Curt Schilling would later default on the loan payments and leave the state with a debt of $90 - $100 million.
Earlier in the month we reported that the attorney appointed by the Rhode Island courts to sell off the intellectual property owned by 38 Studios planned to delay an auction that was set for later this week. The online auction to sell off the current and future rights to the MMO Project Copernicus, sequel rights to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and rights for Big Huge Games franchises including Rise of Nations, Rise of Legends and Catan, as well as game engine technology, was set for Nov. 13 - 14.
The attorney in charge of selling off the remaining intellectual property of 38 Studios to recoup money in the hopes of paying down the $100 million debt the state of Rhode Island was left with when Curt Schilling's game studio defaulted on a $75 million loan in 2010 says that he wants to delay the auction scheduled for later this month. Attorney Richard J. Land, who was appointed by a R.I.
The new executive at the top of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. (EDC) says that the failed $75 million loan guarantee to Curt Schilling's 38 Studios has hurt the reputation of the agency, but he will do all that he can to restore it and to rebuild confidence in the state's economic recovery efforts.
In court documents obtained by GoLocalProv, the former head of Rhode Island's Economic Development Corp. (EDC) accused RI Gov. Lincoln Chafee of forcing 38 Studios into bankruptcy last year by standing in the way of efforts to restructure its debt or raise additional funding. The accusations were part of a court filing responding to the state's lawsuit against Curt Schilling, former executives from the company, former Economic Development Corp.
A listing on the Heritage Global Partners' website reveals that 38 Studios' assets for its two game franchises - the MMO Project Copernicus and the action RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - will be sold at an online auction on November 14. Also on the block are several familiar Big Huge Games properties and game engine technology. The auction begins on the aforementioned date at 9:00 AM EDT and ends on November 15 at 12:00 PM EDT.
The Providence Journal reports that pre-trial wrangling was underway this morning in the lawsuit filed by the state of Rhode Island against 14 defendants related to the $75 million loan guarantee given to Curt Schilling's 38 Studios in 2010.
The Associated Press is reporting that 38 Studios founder and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has asked a Rhode Island superior court judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.
Never one to shy away from an open microphone, 38 Studios head Curt Schilling recently outlined an extremely confident vision for his company in Rhode Island at a Providence Business News’ Business Excellence Awards event.
Schilling, recipient of a $75 million loan from the state as a lure to move his company from Massachusetts to the Ocean State, offered, “My word on this: four to five to six years from now, we’re going to be looking back on this, and I know that 38 Studios will be one of the companies that will push and incentivize the Providence business community to become a national and global force.”
Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios has received an initial payment of $13 million from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (EDC) as part of a $75 million bond deal put together to lure the developer from Massachusetts to the Ocean State.
38 Studios is slated to receive approximately $51 million in all, with $20 million held in reserve in order to guarantee three years worth of repayments on the debt. Schilling’s firm will receive the rest of the money over the next 15 months as it meets certain milestones.
Even after losing Curt Schilling and his 38 Studios to neighboring Rhode Island, indications are that Massachusetts still has no plans to institute incentives or tax credits designed to lure, or keep in place, game development companies.
To be fair, Schilling’s deal with the Ocean State, in which his company initially received a guaranteed $75 million loan, before it was pared to approximately $51 million, was an incentive that was more-or-less created (or expanded anyway) to entice a single company.
A poll of 500 likely Rhode Island voters conducted by WPRI shows an overwhelming opposition to the $75 million loan deal that helped lure Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios from Massachusetts.
Overall, 54.4 percent of those polled chose “no” when asked if Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) should have approved the deal. 28.2 percent chose “yes,” while 17.4 percent selected “not sure.”
Male participants were more against the deal than their female counterparts (55.6 percent to 53.4 percent). As a poll participant's age increased, so did their opposition to the deal, with 58.1 percent of those over 60 years old against the Schilling deal, 54.6 percent of 40-59 year olds opposing and 48.7 percent of 18-39 year olds against it.
“What Government run/funded program in this country’s history has ever been run with an ounce of financial responsibility, prudence, or with the peoples (sic) best interest at the forefront? None, that’s which one.”
Those words were used by ex-Major League Baseball pitcher and current 38 Studios head Curt Schilling earlier this year, and are now being used against him in a searing indictment of the loan agreement between Schilling’s studio and the state of Rhode Island.
Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios has selected a location in Providence, Rhode Island for its new home, one that it hopes will eventually become the base of an Ocean State “videogame cluster.”
The developer will take up residence at One Empire Plaza (pictured), a six-story, 104,000 square foot facility. The location proved attractive to 38 Studios, due to its “vibrant mix of office buildings, restaurants and entertainment venues and its proximity to multiple universities rich with talent such as the University of Rhode Island, Johnson & Wales University, Brown University, and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).”
38 Studios CEO Jen MacLean said about the developer’s new home, “The staff at 38 Studios is incredibly excited about our relocation to Providence and we expect to be the first of many relocating knowledge-economy companies that will take advantage of the opportunities Rhode Island provides.”
The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) adjustment of a loan used to lure Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios from Massachusetts to Rhode Island did little to throttle hostility towards the deal from a pair of gubernatorial candidates.
Under new terms, about $20 million of the $75 million dollar loan will be held aside in escrow in case it’s needed to pay for three years of repayments on the loan. 38 Studios will end up with about $51 million under the new stipulations.
Democratic candidate for governor Frank Caprio said that the loan deal has now gone from “bad to worse,” indicating to the Providence Journal that the setting aside of money for repayments only highlights the risk of the whole transaction.
Independent gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee agreed, saying that the reserve is a warning sign that 38 Studios would not be able to repay the loan.
Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios will have to make do with just a $51 million loan from Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), as around one-third of the original loan amount of $75 million will be held aside for three years worth of repayments on the debt.
WPRI.com reported the news, citing a fact sheet issued by the EDC. After issuing the document, an EDC spokesperson indicated that the organization would no longer speak to reporters about the deal until it was finally closed.
While there was no mention of whether or not 38 Studios might eventually receive the $20 million or so being held aside, it was reported that, if approved, the deal would see 38 Studios receive $13 million right away, with another $38 million dispersed over the next 15 months, providing Schilling’s company meets certain goals and criteria.
Another “success fee” of between $15.3 and $18.8 million could be earned by 38 Studios, though no mention of terms and/or conditions were on the EDC fact sheet.
Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio (pictured) is now attempting to block the $75 million loan used to lure Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios from Massachusetts.
Caprio, who is also the state’s General Treasurer, has expressed tepid uncertainty about the deal all along, calling for the state’s Economic Development Corporation to modify the loan and questioning the bond structure that will finance it.
The more feisty exchanges in a debate among Rhode Island gubernatorial candidates on Thursday revolved around plans from that state’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to grant 38 Studios $75 million in guaranteed loans in order to get the Curt Schilling-helmed company to move from Massachusetts.
As recounted by the Providence Journal, when asked by a moderator for their views on the 38 Studios deal, Independent candidate, and perpetual opponent of the transaction, Lincoln Chafee called the loan a mistake and indicated that the first payment of $15 million would go out to Schilling’s company next Tuesday.
This prompted Democratic candidate Frank Caprio to snap at Chafee, saying, “You don’t have your facts straight. You don’t understand the deal. You don’t know the first thing about this.”
Rhode Island Independent candidate for governor Lincoln Chafee (pictured) is continuing to utilize a $75 million loan used to lure Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios from Massachusetts to the Ocean State as a campaign issue, but is running into some closed doors.
Chafee had previously stated that Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) should suspend the 38 Studios deal and start a public process in order to see if the loan money might be better spent on other companies or proposals. On Monday, Chafee attempted to gain access to a meeting between the EDC Board and Governor Donald Carcieri, but, according to the Providence Business News, Chafee, after “a quick handshake” with Carcieri, was “waved off” in his request for a face-to-face confrontation.
A campaign representative for Chafee later delivered a letter to EDC attorney Robert Stolzman at a public meeting, but only after the current governor refused to accept it.
Rhode Island Treasurer Frank Caprio is still attempting to poke holes in a $75 million guaranteed loan that helped lure Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios to the Ocean State from Massachusetts.
Speaking to Providence’s NBC 10 I-Team, Caprio, who is also a Democratic candidate for Governor, said that investors might be hesitant about buying into the $75 million "moral obligation" bonds because the nature of their structure makes them high risk and "there's nothing legally that would make Rhode Island pay off the investors."
Say this for the deal Curt Schilling and his 38 Studios worked out with the state of Rhode Island; it’s giving political candidates in the state a platform to campaign on and rail against.
38 Studios was lured to Rhode Island from its current home in Massachusetts, largely due to a guaranteed $75.0 million loan from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (EDC). This commitment raised the ire of Ocean State Independent Gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee, who previously questioned Schilling’s integrity by intimating that the pitcher may have faked an injury in the 2004 American League Championship Series.
Curt Schilling, who accepted a guaranteed $75 million loan from Rhode Island and will move his game development company 38 Studios to the Ocean state from its current home in Massachusetts, took to the airwaves of WEEI to stand up for his decision.
Schilling, appearing on the Dennis & Callahan Morning Show earlier today, was asked, “In a perfect world, would you have liked Massachusetts to have shown a little bit more love and kept your company here?” Schilling answered, “Absolutely.”
Unable to resist a $75 million dollar loan from Rhode Island, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling will pull up stakes and move his videogame development company 38 Studios to the Ocean State.
Boston.com reports that the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation approved the loan guarantee yesterday, because the addition of 38 Studios to Rhode Island “offered growth opportunity and could help drive the state's economy.” Massachusetts officials didn’t give up without a fight, as talks had been ongoing with the company to see what could be done to keep it in the state, but incentives offered couldn't match those of their neighbor to the South.
Schilling stated, “I’ve invested a significant amount of my life’s earnings in 38 Studios, and I will protect the loan guarantee that’s been given by the state with the same passion and interest that I’m protecting my own investment in this company.”
While Rhode Island may be trying to entice Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios to move south with a proposed $75 million dollar loan, Massachusetts, current home to the development studio, is not taking the attempted poaching without a fight.
A Boston.com story (thanks IndustryGamers) features quotes from Kofi Jones, a spokesperson for Massachusetts’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki, who stated, “We have been proactive in working with them and asking them what their needs are, as far as staying here and growing here in the state.”
Ex-Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling may have retired some years ago, but he is still getting wooed like he’s still a top free agent pitcher.
Boston.com carries word that Rhode Island is in the midst of guaranteeing a $75 million loan to Schilling’s 38 Studios LLC in order to get the company to relocate from Massachusetts to its neighbor to the South. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, a “quasi-public agency,” will hold a meeting on Thursday to consider the plan.
38 Studios, currently working on an RPG codenamed Project Mercury that will be published by Electronic Arts, as well as an MMORPG (codenamed Copernicus), currently employs 180 people in locations in both Maynard, Mass. and Maryland. Schilling expects to ramp up to 500 employees eventually.
Fantasy author R.A. Salvatore and comic creator Todd McFarlane are listed, along with Schilling, as 38 Studios’ “visionaries.”
Will former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling run for the Senate seat vacated by the recent death of Ted Kennedy?
If he does, how will MMO development at his company, 38 Studios be affected?
These remain open questions following yesterday's acknowledgement by Schilling that he is considering a bid for the late Kennedy's former spot. Writing on his 38 Pitches blog, Schilling was candid about his potential foray into big-time politics:
While my family is obviously the priority, and 38 Studios is a priority, I do have some interest in the possibility [of running]. That being said, to get to there from where I am today, many many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen. I am not going to comment further on the matter since at this point it would be speculation on top of speculation.
Although Bloomberg reports that Schilling is a registered Independent, as GamePolitics reported during last year's presidential race, Schilling stumped for Republican contender John McCain. He is most definitely not an Obama fan.
The Boston Globe has additional quotes on the Senate issue from Schilling, including this one:
I'm not going to divulge the discussions, but I've been contacted by people whose opinion I give credence to and listen to, and I listened...
Curt Schilling, lately of the Boston Red Sox, is a longtime gamer.
The former World Series ace, who started his MMO development company 38 Studios in 2007, likes to play the political game as well.
Schilling, however, doesn't seem inclined to take a wait-and-see posture on the three-week old administration of Democrat Barack Obama. In a blog entry headlined Wasn't The Rest of the World Supposed to Start Loving Us? the right-hander recycles a lengthy anti-Obama screed originally penned by conservative British journalist Peter Hitchens:
The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilization... If you can believe that this undistinguished and conventionally Left-wing machine politician is a sort of secular saviour, then you can believe anything...
I was in Washington DC the night of the election... As I walked... there had been a few white people blowing car horns and shouting, as the result became clear. But among the Mexicans, Salvadorans and the other Third World nationalities, there was something like ecstasy.
They grasped the real significance of this moment. They knew it meant that America had finally switched sides in a global cultural war... The United States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world.
Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, [the United States] was unique...
And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World. How sad...