Fly-Through of Project Copernicus Released

More visions of the Copernicus that could have been come to light.


Incredible 38 Studios Closure Report

Trust me, it gets even better than the above image, but Boston Magazine has made an incredible and in depth report on all of 38 Studios' closure, most notably the idyllic, if naiive, attitude Curt Schilling had while managing the company. Jason Schwartz has compiled interviews with Schilling as well as many of his employees, and if you cared at all about the last few months, this is a great read. A worthwhile line: 

"Curt Schilling set out to build the greatest video-game company the world had ever seen, and to get rich — Bill Gates rich — doing it. Instead, the whole thing exploded in his face."

Curt Schilling Really Not That Well Off Now

Well, any thoughts of Curt or the state making it out of this one in decent shape are out now. WEEI Boston's radio show for sports, Dennis and Callahan, Schiling had some somber words. 

"I put everything in my name in this company," he said, insisting he was not looking for sympathy. "I believed in it. I believed in what we built. I never took a penny in salary. I never took a penny for anything. [...] The employees got blindsided. They have every right to be upset. [...] The money I saved and earned playing baseball was probably all is going to be different."

There is contention over what happened to 38 and Copernicus, and who is responsible. Mismanagement by Schiling is extremely likely. But at least this tragic collapse is not going to make any one person a great deal richer. 

A final comment from Schilling worth noting; comments have been accusing him of being a hypocrite for seeking loan guarantee and tax credits from the state, despite political advocacy for smaller government. To that, he said. "I don't know how that relates to this. I don't have any problem with government helping entrepreneurs and small businesses."

Epic Games Funds New Studio For Big Huge Games

This is just too awesome for words. Michael Capps, president of Epic Games, made an announcement on their blog that they just hired a huge chunk of the Big Huge Games team. Apparently Epic's directors had been talking about more projects and a bigger team, and needing top talent, so the business reached a hand out to the refugees of the 38 Studios collapse. Nothing has been worked out yet - they don't even have a studio - but for now Epic is outsourcing and trying to get them work as contractors. Those who haven't gone to Epic have started work at Zynga East and ZeniMax Online, the studio working on the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online. I don't even know what to say about this story other than fist pump, because it's really uplifting to see.

Former 38 Employees Open Discussion

Through this whole fiasco with 38 Studios, blame lay mostly on Curt Schilling, who it was believed botched the studio's potential, overestimated the costs, and mismanaged the finances. New reports inFormer dicate that might not be the case - some sources, not just limited to Schilling himself, are claiming that Governor Chafee used the anxiety of the situation to scare off investors. Including, most notably, calling the loans "taxpayer money" misleadingly, implying the $75 million dollar loan was already in 38's bank, or insisting that the lead-in game Reckoning was a failure because it failed to meet a deal signed by EA for further funding. We'll be keeping an eye on this situation as it develops, but one thing is clear; this is a very messy situation.

Schilling and Governor Chafee Respond To 38's End

There was always the question of what was going to happen with the money at the long, really tragic tale's end, and it's seeming like nobody made off especially well. Schilling, finally breaking his silence after the dust settled, has said that he's at position to lose $50 million of his baseball career money. Much of the blame, it seems, lies on the state, who refused to lend more funding until a payment was made. Schilling has spoken that Governor Chafee - who said that their initial game needed to land $3 million to break even and declaring that Reckoning "failed" - made comments that were devastating and scary to potential investors.

Later, Governor Chafee defended the state, stating that he had reservations of spending more of the state's money on Schilling. "I understand that being involved in this very risky industry that, when things aren't going well, there's gonna be blame. But this isn't accurate to be blaming the state in this case." 

38 Studios/Big Huge Games Terminates All Employees

I hate stories like these. Big Huge Games, the developer of the Rise of Nations series and, later, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, was absorbed some time ago into THQ's 38 Studios, whom was working on the Kingdoms of Amalur MMO. And now, because 38 Studios has had financial issues with the state of Rhode Island, they as well as all of 38 have been fired. The notice came in a cold, callous letter to all employees, a full month after they stopped getting paid and days after they lost health insurance, both without warning. What's worse, an employee only found out they had no health insurance after his pregnant wife went to the doctor's. While the actions taken by the studio and Schilling are condemnable, it's an unfortunate thing to have seen the studio get in over its head, and for so many to suffer for it. 

But, there's a bright side to this story. Game journalists, game studios, and developers all hit the Twitter scene, promoting work for the unfortunate employees under the hashtag "#38jobs." Alex Rubens, freelance journalist for various game sites, assembled a Google Doc full of open positions in the game industry. Even though this is a sad day, it brings a bit of inspiration with it, knowing that sometimes the internet is full of wonderful people. 

38 Studios Confirms Layoffs

The story of baseball legend Curt Schilling's videogame studio, no doubt inspired by his younger years in EverQuest, continues to get worse. Layoffs of the studio have been confirmed. The state, despite trying to protect its interests, has turned a cold shoulder to their requests for furthered assistance. With both sides unmoving, yesterday's fly-through trailer is looking more and more like a last known photo. Best wishes to those laid off from the studio, and hopes this issue is resolved quickly. 

Project Copernicus Unleashes Fly-Through Video

Yikes. I know we're all busy with 38 Studios' financial troubles but, holy lord is this one pretty game they're making. A new fly-through of the world of Amalur has just been released, and here it is in full glory. Crank up the settings for this one - you'll want to.

38 Studios' Check to Rhode Island Bounces

Curt Schilling's 38 Studios, famous for Kingdoms of Amalur, is having severe, potentially fatal financial issues. The $75 million loan from the state of Rhode Island that kicked off their studio required a $1.125 million recently, and 38 Studios just couldn't pay it. As a result, the entire operation is now in default. Schilling held an emergency meeting with the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation to ask for assistance, but it apparently did not go well, as the state refused

But then, while not paying its employees to get a last-minute check to the state, the check bounced. Most of 38's temporary workers and contractors have been terminated, and Schilling and 38 Studios have been very silent on the issue. Things are looking extremely grim for the ambitious studio's future. Insert your own baseball joke here.