Boston Magazine chronicles 38 Studios' demise building a game that 'wasn't fun'

Curt Schilling and his former employees tell the inside story of the events that precipitated the bankrupt studio's recent collapse after spending six years designing an MMO that "wasn't fun."

In an article in Boston Magazine, Curt Schilling, founder of 38 Studios, and his former employees tell the inside story of the events that precipitated the bankrupt studio's recent collapse after spending six years designing an MMO that "wasn't fun."

Schilling aspired to amass enough wealth to fund a $200 million center for autism, in honor of his autistic son. Schilling was worth $90 million when he retired from baseball, and he believed that 38 Studios would create the additional wealth required.

His initial expectation was that it would take four years and $50 million, including a $5 million personal investment, to build the massively multiplayer game set in the Kingdoms of Amalur universe.

"I never doubted I was going to do it," he told Boston Magazine. "My whole life was spent doing things that people didn't believe were possible, because God blessed me with the ability to throw a baseball. And I carried that same mentality into everything I did here."

38 Studios failure to find investors forced Schilling to fund the studio personally. As the studio burned through $4 million each month, Schilling remained frustrated at the lack of progress.

"The game wasn't fun," he said. "It was my biggest gripe for probably the past eight to 12 months."

Schilling also revealed that representatives from a South Korean company called Nexon had visited 38 Studios and expressed interest in investing in the embattled company, though nothing ultimately came of the visit.

Though Shilling has previously spoken of an imminent deal with Take-Two Interactive to publish a Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning sequel, a representative from Take-Two told Boston Magazine, "I am not aware that there were any negotiations."

A former employee described Schilling's attitude throughout as "rampant and destructive optimism." In his defense, clearly confused as to how the tenacity that had gotten him so far had utterly failed him, he said, "I don't know any other way to be."

As Polygon reported, bankruptcy hearings began in early July, and the trustee overseeing the 38 Studios bankruptcy case requested to hire a law firm specializing in intellectual property and media law to sort out the studio's remaining assets.

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