I had a nice Memorial Day weekend, but it doesn't sound like the people at 38 Studios had any fun over the holiday. They had to close down Big Huge Games, lay off several people, tell several others that they're now responsible for their second mortgages, and the punches keep coming.
For instance, it was reported that there will not be patch for Kingdoms of Amalur: Recknoning, "barring some sort of miracle." Later, 38 Studios had to admit that there was a sequel to Reckoning in the works, which has been effectively scrapped since there are no employees to work on it.
The executives at 38 Studios aren't lying back and taking it. Instead, they're implementing one of the oldest stand-bys for business in the book: the blame game.
Curt Schilling stepped up to the plate first, explaining that he invested $50 million of his own money into 38 Studios, all of which he will lose if the studio collapses. He followed that with spouting his frustrations with the Rhode Island governor, Lincoln Chafee, saying that he has virtually sabotaged the company's chances of ever getting private investors thanks to his public comments. He futher expounged on the issue by accusing Chafee of scaring off an unnamed publisher from producing the Reckoning sequel. According to Schilling, the project was expecting a $35 million investment from the publisher.
Schilling wasn't alone. Former creative director for 38 Studios, Steve Danuser, told NECN that Chafee turned his back on them when they needed his help the most.
"We just needed a little more help, and we thought the state would have our backs on that," he said. "We thought the governor was an ally. It didn't turn out that way.
"The governor has turned his back on a lot of taxpaying Rhode Island citizens who work here, and it's unfortunate because we had a lot of great people who wanted to contribute to Rhode Island and now they can't," he continued. "Why did you [Chafee] do it? Why didn't you help us? He [Chafee] said a lot of things, he's broken confidentiality. He done a lot of things to materially hurt us and I don't understand it."
I definitely believe that both sides need to share in this bowl of blame, but I also can't help but think that this is such a great model for why government should never get involved with business. 38 Studios might have failed even if they stayed in Massachusetts, but regardless, bringing 38 Studios to Rhode Island with taxpayer money was never a good idea from the start.