Schilling Shifts from Video Games to Blame Game in Rhode Island Loan Disaster

In the fallout from the complete and utter mess that has become of Rhode Island’s investment of taxpayer money in a new video game studio with no publishing history, company founder Curt Schilling is trying to lay the blame on the state’s governor for the crime of letting everybody know about it.

After defaulting on payments on the $75 million guaranteed loan Rhode Island extended to Schilling’s game company, 38 Studios, and laying off all its staff, Schilling went whining to the Providence Journal that by letting everybody know the company was struggling earlier in the month, Gov. Lincoln Chaffee caused potential private investors to pull out:

Within 72 hours of Chafee's May 14 statement that the state was trying to keep 38 Studios "solvent," Schilling says, a video-game publisher pulled out of a $35-million deal to finance a sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the fantasy game that 38 Studios released in February.

Chafee responded that Schilling’s claim “defies logic.” The Providence Journal’s web polling has more than half its voters laying the blame on Schilling. (The Providence Journal has compiled all its coverage of 38 Studios here.)

It’s difficult to imagine a private company considering investing in 38 Studios knowing it was having problems with its loan payments and making payroll, and given that the single game the company had released had sold less than half the copies needed to break even. There’s always the possibility that this mystery publisher didn’t know, which raises doubt they would have the business savvy to pull 38 Studios out of this tailspin anyway.

Even assuming Schilling isn’t full of shit, the scrap is an example of one of the many hazards of mixing politics with investment. Chafee opposed the loan, which was approved prior to his election into office in 2010. He told the Providence Journal he wants to now try to make the project succeed, but there’s absolutely no chance of him using any sort of political capital or risking electoral backlash as angry Rhode Islanders scream about the deal. Why on earth would he?  What’s the political gain here? There isn’t a sock big enough to contain the blood that will come spurting out when Chafee tosses Schilling under the bus as taxpayers cheer him on.

The scandal is also picking up steam. This morning it moved beyond the New England media outlets and gaming blogs into a segment on CNN.

For fun “When I say I’m for smaller government, I mean the other guys” hypocrisy: Brian McGrory of The Boston Globe rakes Schilling over the coals for talking the talk as a fiscal conservative and supporting Republican candidates but not walking the walk for taking the loan.

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  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Glad to see Schilling going down in flames. And that bloody sock was a ruse, designed to increase the drama of that game.

  • Ted S.||

    First!

    (Or, at least, in before the dick-waving contest over which multi-player shoot-em-up game is best.)

  • Solanum||

    OT:

    Not sure if this has been posted yet.

    Culpeper Police Officer Charged in Fatal February Shooting

    A police officer in Virginia faces a murder charge in the February shooting death of an unarmed motorist.

    [...]

    Shortly after the Feb. 9 shooting, Virginia State Police said the officer fired his weapon when 54-year-old Patricia Cook rolled her Jeep window up on his arm, drove off and began dragging him in a Catholic school parking lot.

    Good.

  • R C Dean||

    So, I've gotten underway in Witcher 2.

    Holy fuck, are those fights hard to win.

  • SugarFree||

    Is that the witch-touching game where you touch witches?

  • ||

    Polish Skyrim.

  • ||

    As hard as Dark Souls?

  • ||

    Obligatory rage quit video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnUGxY_b00Y

  • Hell's Librarian||

    I am an RPG junkie, but I can't stand that game. I utterly loathe the protagonist.

  • ||

    Dragon's Dogma is a better game then Kingdoms of Amalur.

    In fact I would call Dragon's Dogma a hardcore version of Skyrim without the bugs....but with worse music.

    The game is also more mysterious in that many things are left unexplained. You find out by doing or stumbling upon it. It really heightens the feeling of exploration and discovery.

    Also it is a good alternative to Diablo 3 in that it has a party system and has that hack and slash combat feel. But it is a console game not a PC game.

  • ||

    Oh I forgot to mention it has giant monster climbing like Shadow of the Colossus.

    Really fun...until a cyclops decides to do a body slam when you are clinging to its back.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I bet my Colossus is cooler than yours.

  • KDN||

    But it is a console game not a PC game.

    DO NOT WANT

    Officer, am I free to gambol with keyboard and mouse?

  • Hell's Librarian||

    Within 72 hours of Chafee's May 14 statement that the state was trying to keep 38 Studios "solvent," Schilling says, a video-game publisher pulled out of a $35-million deal to finance a sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the fantasy game that 38 Studios released in February.

    This is enragining. Utterly aside from the (im)morality of taking 75 million taxpayer dollars to finance your game company, quit drinking your own Koolaid about your fantasy MMO, Kurt Schilling. FFS.

  • ||

    Dragon's Dogma did not use any of Rhode Island's tax payer money.

    They may or may not have used Japan's tax payer money....my guess though is probably not.

  • fried wylie||

    They may or may not have used Japan's tax payer money

    "Suckers!"
    -Precious Roy

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The only way Chafee's statement could have affected the financing deals is if Schilling was grossly misrepresenting the company's financial state to the prospective new investors. So isn't blaming the governor essentially an admission to attempted fraud?

  • Romulus Augustus||

    "pulled out of a $35-million deal to finance"

    Schilling's claim should be very easy to prove (or disprove) as there would be a mound of paperwork - e-mails, agreements, lawyer folderol - that flew back and forth on such a proposed deal. Show us or stfu.

  • Hell's Librarian||

    GDI, posted in a thread by accident.

    Within 72 hours of Chafee's May 14 statement that the state was trying to keep 38 Studios "solvent," Schilling says, a video-game publisher pulled out of a $35-million deal to finance a sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the fantasy game that 38 Studios released in February.

    This is enragining. Utterly aside from the (im)morality of taking 75 million taxpayer dollars to finance your game company, quit drinking your own Koolaid about your fantasy MMO, Kurt Schilling. FFS.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Nothing is more mind-boggling STOOPID than that Boston Globe piece.

    The author is trying to somehow blame Schilling for taking public money. Poor ol' virutous government, getting hoodwinked by a Republican again.

    WTF? Yeah, Schilling's a creep, but Schilling actually proves his own point - government has no business financing these things because anybody offered the money is going to take it, even a person who is theoretically against being offered the money.

    Brian McGrory is a FUCKING ASSHOLE for suggesting that the government is the victim here. No, Brian, the taxpayers are the victims, the government (you know, the actual people with the government jobs) is at the very least least a perfectly willing accomplice and most likely the ringleader to the ripoff.

  • Tman||

    It would be less annoying if Mister Bloody Sock would just admit that his business failed and you can't blame the refs -in this case, the government loan- for losing, but instead his whining is uncomfortable.

    But nowhere near as uncomfortable as this idiot McGrory trying to make the "government" out to be the innocent victim.

    You both lost assholes, and people on both sides should be fired.

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