Schilling says he's 'tapped out' from 38 Studios collapse

Curt Schilling shares thoughts on how much of his own money he poured into 38 Studios, the company's failure to raise capital, and how he says he failed his employees.

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Most of the dust has settled on the 38 Studios collapse. Looking back, co-founder and public face of the company Curt Schilling has shared some thoughts on what went wrong. For one thing, when the company started to go into dire straits, Schilling says he was "tapped out" and couldn't afford to put any more into it.

"I put everything in my name in this company," Schiling told a WEEI radio show, reported by Boston.com. He says he doesn't want sympathy, but stressed how much he cared about the company. "I believed in it. I believed in what we built. I never took a penny in salary. I never took a penny for anything." He says he told his family that "the money I saved and earned playing baseball was probably all gone. Life is going to be different."

He says the company was concerned from day one about raising capital. "We tried for a long time to do that, and it didn't come to fruition," he said. "The one thing we always listed as a going concern we couldn't execute on." The company did have one last chance at the end, according to Schilling. An unnamed investor was willing to write a check for $15-20 million, on the condition that Rhode Island agreed to give $6 million in tax credits. "If that happened, he would come in and save the company," said Schilling. But Rhode Island refused.

The real impact came to the studio workers, though. "The employees got blindsided," Schilling said. "They have every right to be upset. I always told everybody if something were going to happen, you're going to have a month or two of lead time, and I bombed on that one in epic fashion."

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  • reply
    June 22, 2012 8:15 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Schilling says he's 'tapped out' from 38 Studios collapse.

    Curt Schilling shares thoughts on how much of his own money he poured into 38 Studios, the company's failure to raise capital, and how he says he failed his employees.

    • reply
      June 22, 2012 8:23 AM

      Throwing no hitters in baseball and in the games industry.

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      June 22, 2012 8:33 AM

      Well, his statements sound suitably humble and honest. I'm sure he really did think he could pull it off. The thing I always come back to... is WHY WHY WHY would you start as your first game with probably the most difficult and risky game in the industry to make!? If he started with a smaller team and had just focused on Reckoning... he could have seen how that worked out, he could have built a name for the studio, gotten people used to the universe... then used the money from that to work on the bigger project.

      Starting with a single player RPG would have helped him bring the team together for a smaller project before going for an MMO, they would have had more experience and knowledge to put into the next game. And what probably would have happened (if they were paying attention) would be they'd start to see how MMO's are going in this industry... and maybe would have canned the idea of an MMO after Reckoning and just make a sequel to that game instead.

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        June 22, 2012 8:45 AM

        I agree it blows the mind why such a logical reasoning did not happen :(

        Shame I am a big fan of Reckoning, and now we will never see anything from it ever again.

        Here is a question, I know EA was just a publisher but why did they not buy the IP and even take over the projects?

        Man how I wish they had done what you just said it truly believe it would of succeeded hard core.

        Who ever gave them advice on the MMO should be lynched or maybe Schilling was obsessed with MMOs? I doubt it.

        Any ways the whole things is such a brutal sad thing, sucks :(

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          June 22, 2012 8:50 AM

          I think there was so much debt that EA would have to cover to get the license that it wouldn't be worth it. Plus from what I heard, the setting was pretty generic anyway

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          June 22, 2012 8:56 AM

          I guess there is a still some small chance the somebody could pick up the license somehow? The game did sell fairly well and if somebody wanted to make a new action RPG... it might not hurt to have a name on it which some people already know. I'm sure some people would argue that you dont' want a game witha cursed name... but I don't think Reckoning has the bad name of the company on it... and I'm sure a lot of people who bought the game probably don't even follow all the 'inside baseball' (pun intended) and know the history of the company anyways.

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          June 22, 2012 9:14 AM

          Schilling was very much addicted to MMOs. He would multibox in EQ. SOE used him sort of as a spokesperson too. He would go to EQ fan meetups too. That is why he wanted a MMO. He was obsessed with them.

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            June 22, 2012 9:21 AM

            That still isn't an excuse for a horrible business plan though. If he had just planned some kind of course of action to get to the point where he could finally make an MMO.. instead of just jumping right in. He might have actually pulled it off.

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            June 22, 2012 9:51 AM

            Wow crazy I had no idea well that explains it, man this makes it even worse the pure guy never got to make his dream happen. This actually makes things even worse I feel really bad for him too.

            Damn, too soon he should of been patient but I am sure when he got the ball moving etc and things are happening you start to loose composure especially starting out and you go too big.

            Thnx for da info.

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              June 22, 2012 10:26 AM

              A major problem I think was him throwing millions at the executive team. Sounds like a lot of people high up there might have taken advantage of the situation. Dunno really, but it sucks :(

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          June 22, 2012 9:53 AM

          Why pay big money for the IP when you can just wait for the company to go under and get it at a discount?

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        June 22, 2012 8:47 AM

        im guessing he started with this game type because those are the games he likes. I believe he was an avid MMO player during his days as a baseball player.

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        June 22, 2012 8:50 AM

        Long story short, I think Schilling was an avid EQ Player "back in the day" and just had his heart set on that genre and nobody probably challenged the idea within the company. I can only imagine how much money he funneled into that. project.

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        June 22, 2012 9:47 AM

        I think they probably figured out that was a really fucking bad idea halfway down the road, which is why they funded Reckoning.

        Also you have to admit, the MMO market looked way different 2006 than it does today. I mean WoW was still a runaway success, but it still didn't quite look like the ridiculously insurmountable obstacle that it is today, and there wasn't yet the small pile of MMO corpses laid at WoW's feet.

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          June 22, 2012 10:36 AM

          in 2006 the MMO Market looked to be expanding rapidly. However it quickly became clear that the market was fairly stagnant and not a lot of new people were joining it after the initial WoW surge. Then you had a series of MMO flops, including ones with big brands behind them like Warhammer Online. And then finally the Old Republic flop which has the ultimate in IP behind it and is actually a pretty good game put the nail in the coffin.

          No investor is going to touch MMO's now, and no one was going to touch Amalur especially after the Governor had a press conference to say the company had failed.

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            June 22, 2012 10:50 AM

            That's kind of a good thing. The genre needs to rest a little before someone can make a really awesome MMO that draws people back in again.

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            June 22, 2012 11:24 AM

            Except for Bethesda who thinks its a good idea to make a TES MMO in all the wrong ways

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        June 22, 2012 10:00 AM

        Its almost if he was out of his field of expertise

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        June 22, 2012 10:41 AM

        Paul Barnett goes in to it a little bit here http://www.giantbomb.com/podcast/?podcast_id=312

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      June 22, 2012 8:42 AM

      "An unnamed investor was willing to write a check for $15-20 million, on the condition that Rhode Island agreed to give $6 million in tax credits. "If that happened, he would come in and save the company," "

      Fun Fact: An anonymous donation of $15-$20 million wouldn't have made the game less of a flop.

    • reply
      June 22, 2012 8:47 AM

      First mistake was opening a studio in Rhode Island.

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        June 22, 2012 9:02 AM

        It was opened in Maynard, Massachusetts, but they arguably did put themselves into a trap by taking the $75M RIEDC loan, and moving to Providence. They also probably should've put the brakes on the whole project at some point, but the writing wasn't really on the wall until after they moved to Providence.

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          June 22, 2012 10:37 AM

          The reason they moved to RI was they couldn't get the funding they needed from private sources. So they took the public route that was given to them.

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        June 22, 2012 9:37 AM

        Yeah that seems like the biggest problem.

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      June 22, 2012 9:10 AM

      [deleted]

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        June 22, 2012 6:32 PM

        At least it was in business ventures in his outside interests. Hell, when I retire from being a dumb mechanic I hope to lose all my money in opening my own ill-fated business.

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      June 22, 2012 10:48 AM

      He says he told his family that "the money I saved and earned playing baseball was probably all gone. Life is going to be different.

      wtf, isnt it money common sense 101 not to put ALL of your shit into one endeavor?

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        June 22, 2012 10:49 AM

        Lot's of pro athletes fall into this trap of not wisely managing money while they're earning a lot and not having anything once they get out of the sport.

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          June 22, 2012 12:50 PM

          i think that number is about 75% going bankrupt 5 years after retiring.

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        June 22, 2012 12:31 PM

        He'll be fine.

        Between TV, book deals, endorsements, and public appearances he can probably still make a better living than most of us :|

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          June 22, 2012 3:21 PM

          Yea I guess he could easily get an ESPN analyst job 9 months out of the year for an easy 6 figures :/

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      June 22, 2012 12:32 PM

      what a moron

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