Curt Schilling says he could lose $50 million of his own money earned from his Major League Baseball career should his troubled game company 38 Studios close.
In an interview with The Providence Journal, Schilling claimed the Rhode Island Economic Development Committee was partially to blame for 38 Studios current lot for reneging on affording the company a film tax credit. Moreover, he blamed the EDC for not allowing 38 to defer its $1.12 million May 1 payment to the state so the developer could pay its employees — the catalyst for the government inquiries and ultimate unraveling of the company which led to all of its almost 400 employees being fired — and some saddled with undisclosed mortgages — last Thursday.
Schilling also expressed his frustration with Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who in several press conferences since the inquiries began has not done much to hide his displeasure with the state's $75 million contribution to 38 Studios. Schilling claims that the studio had secured a $35 million loan to produce a sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning from an unnamed publisher. However, a few days after Chafee said in a statement that Rhode Island was paying to keep 38 Studios "solvent," that publisher was spooked out of the agreement, Schilling said.
Speaking to Joystiq, an anonymous former 38 Studios employee also aired grievances with Rhode Island's governor.
"[Schilling] had invested so much into us financially and personally, we were not about to betray that trust," the source said. "We were not going to take the chance of speaking to the press and accidentally ruining any chances with outside investors. Unfortunately, it didn't matter if the employees spoke and ruined things with the investors as the Governor beat us to it."
We've reached out to state officials and Schilling himself for more about the reneged publishing partnership, as well as where both parties are hoping to go from here. We also reached out to Reckoning contributors R.A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane, both of whom declined to comment. Gov. Chafee will likely speak about Schilling's remarks during a press conference this afternoon.
Update: Gov. Chafee has responded to Schilling's allegations, saying that his accusation of state officials won't hold up as the events that led to 38 Studios' implosion are revealed.
"I just don't think that's fair," Chafee said to reporters during a press briefing. "Once the facts come out, that's just not going to be proven to be the case.
"I understand that being involved in this very risky industry, that when things aren't going well, there's going to be blame. But this isn't accurate, to be blaming the state in this case. I had a job to do to protect those film tax credits — that's millions more taxpayer dollars. I had a job to protect every penny."
Chafee told reporters that state officials are still in contact with Schilling to attempt to find 38 Studios' salvation.
"As I say, hope springs eternal," Chafee said. "But I won't misrepresent to Rhode Islanders how dire this situation is."