SBD/May 25, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Curt Schilling's 38 Studios Video Game Company Lays Off Entire Staff

Former MLBer CURT SCHILLING's 38 Studios laid off all its nearly 400 employees Thursday and Rhode Island Gov. LINCOLN CHAFEE and other state officials said that they “are trying to minimize the taxpayers' cost of the apparent implosion,” according to Grimaldi, Smith & Gregg of the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. The governor asserted that his "priority is protecting Rhode Island taxpayers," who are on the hook for paying off $75M in bonds issued by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. to fund the Providence-based video game developer. With interest payments, the bill "could go up" to $102M over eight years (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 5/25). The AP's Niedowski & Klepper noted the company was “more than two weeks late this month" on a $1.1M payment to the state (AP, 5/24). Rhode Island officials said that payments on the $75M loan are "covered by funds still in escrow" until the end of '13. In Boston, Gary Remal notes unless the company “somehow makes good on the debt, taxpayers could be on the hook" for nearly $90M in principal and interest payments, "minus whatever collateral the state can collect” (BOSTON HERALD, 5/25). Also in Boston, Wallack, Arsenault & Bray note 38 Studios “did not inform” Chafee about the layoffs. Chafee said that the state “has not been able to confirm how many workers were let go and has struggled to get other critical details." Chafee added that he is “open to working with the company to help find ways for it to survive.” Chafee: "I have not given up. But I am also a realist. What we’ve learned from (industry) experts is grim news. Very, very grim.’’ Chafee believes that company execs have “tried hard to find additional investors, such as venture capitalists, but have not had any luck so far” (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).

TREATMENT IN BRISTOL: ESPN reps said that Schilling, who works as an MLB analyst for the net, asked for time off and the net granted his request. Yesterday was the first time he was scheduled to work since the story broke. The net expects Schilling to return soon. ESPN.com posted the AP version of the 38 Studios story (THE DAILY).
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