38 Studios

I am pleased to present the first comprehensive look at 38 Studio’s upcoming MMO code-named Project Copernicus. Thank you to Steve Danuser and Ryan Schwayder for sharing this with us, via their blogs.

I have to admit that I took the bad news about 38 Studio’s difficult financial situation this week rather hard.  I have been following this game since before the company was even formed, when Curt was talking about his desire to build something great, something he could be proud of and something he would enjoy playing after he retired from baseball.   When two of my favorite MMO bloggers and game designers, Steve and Ryan, joined the team, and then Salvatore, McFarlene, Rolsten the names kept coming…  I was excited.

The single greatest moment in my blogging career was related to 38 Studios and Copernicus.  In 2007 I wrote here at Kill Ten Rats about the game, and Curt Schilling stopped by to chat.   Curt is a hero of mine.  He is a legend in my hometown, a devoted husband and father, a pillar in every community he has lived, a vocal advocate for many worthy causes, and above all he is a gamer.   A sports giant that I can identify with on a personal level, and one who has proven himself to be an honest, honorable winner.

To read the troubling issues that Curt and the team at 38 Studios are going through right now, is heartbreaking.   I don’t know what will happen, but I hope for the best.  I want to play the Amalur MMO.  Keep fighting guys, give us a world we can fall in love with.

If you build it, we will come.


16 thoughts on “38 Studios”

    1. Seriously. I feel exactly zero pity for Curt, who has stuck his own employees and the state of Rhode Island with the bill. For all the talk of making something great he never quite got around to risking much of his own money, even when his company is literally not paying its workers.

        1. I think it was 35 million actually. And he gifted his employees with personalized gaming laptops one christmas. Curt’s a gamer and his heart is in the right place. Look at all the talent he brought in to create a potentially amazing mmo. Might just be rookie developer syndrome.

          1. I’m more than happy to take him at his word that it was a real passion for him. In practice though, the company was designed from the ground up to shield him from risk. Contractually, he gets his money back before other investors. Including the state of RI. And when the company used his personal assets to take out a line of credit (2.5 million), the RI loan was used to cover that first, with the remainder to be spent on the MMO development.

            Basically he bilked the state for 75 million dollars in a high-risk gamble while he essentially remained only minimally exposed. Never mind the hypocrisy of his tea-party style blather while doing this to taxpayers.

            1. He didn’y “bilk” anyone… If you are mad about the politics, blame the politicians. Business people are supposed to take advantage of programs designed for their benefit.

              I suspect Curt believes that he is creating jobs, building a great company and product… He isn’t cheating anyone if he tries to do that and fails. I have started several businesses and a few have failed miserably. I didn’t set out to cheat anyone or scam anything, sometimes shit just happens. My own money was lost, as his will be, and other people lost money as well. I didn’t “bilk” them. They knew or should have known, the risks they were taking. The state of RI should have known what thousands of bloggers, gamers, designers hell, kids know… game companies and MMOs in particular are a very very high risk venture.

              If this goes south, blame Schilling for mismanagement, but don’t accuse him of cheating anyone because he tried and failed.

            2. You know, I for one am getting tired of the ‘businessmen are innocent in politics’ nonsense.

              Curt Schilling is very politically involved and outspoken as a free-market capitalist. Arranging his business and debts in the way that he has, demonstrates an enormous hypocrisy.

              Morally in my opinion, this man has done a significant misdeed. This is the captain of a ship guaranteeing that he can get off the boat first.

              Just because there are some rules that were open to this sort of manipulation, does not make him correct. I’d chalk it up to only poor business decisions if he’d balls up and take personal responsibility. Instead, his business decisions will be at the cost of others.

  1. Leaving aside the question of Curt Schilling’s business ethics, about which I neither know nor care, I just want the game to come out. If 38Studios can hold together until that happens, that’s the best option but if 38Studios folds, let’s at least hope someone else picks up Copernicus, finishes and launches it.

    Then let’s hope it’s a good MMO and a financially successful one. That way all the work (and money) won’t have been wasted.

  2. If 38 studio can hold out till next June that would be wonderful for all involved. Maybe by then the company will learn from its mistakes, and go on to be a wonderful gaming studio. It is nice to have hope.

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