38 Studios spouse shares her story

By Steve Watts, Jun 13, 2012 3:45pm PDT

We've heard plenty of legal details in the saga of 38 Studios' closure, most recently as the company formally declared bankruptcy. It's easy to feel distant from finances and legal matters, but a new first-hand perspective hits on the emotions around the studio's money woes.

Gamasutra has published a letter penned by an anonymous "38 Studios Spouse." It walks us through a microcosm of the developer's fall from grace and its various developments, from the perspective of one household.

She noticed first when payments were withheld, as it impacted her ability to pay bills. "I called my husband and asked him to check on it when he got to work," she said. "When he came home that night he told me that he had to stay for a 5 o'clock meeting to find out they didn't make payroll. He was unhappy, but said that he was promised they were working on the problem and sure they would have it worked out by the next day."

We know how the sad story ends, but it's interesting to see it from a new perspective -- from continued lack of pay to the eventual layoff, followed by the debacle of unpaid relocation costs. "Well on one page in a series, of approximately 45, we signed a document stating in tiny print that we would be responsible if the company does not pay," she said of the moving bill. She points out that the document was presented on the day that everything arrived in Rhode Island, which made it difficult to have time to read the legal documents.

"I blame a company named 38 Studios and all of their executives for moving so many families while knowing they weren't paying bills, weren't going to hit their dates, and were running out of money," she said in closing. "Learn this lesson from our struggles so you never have to experience it first hand. Protect yourself and family any way you can, read the small print, and realize no matter how big the company is if they run out of money there is very little you can do to get what is owed to you."

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