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May 25, 2012


Chris Busse

Everything about this situation has had doom written on it from my reading about it, no matter how enlightened Curt seems to be. Public money? 400 jobs in a short number of years guaranteed to get that money? MMO out of the gate? and then buy an FRPG game too? A burn rate that upon simple 10k/mm calc shows it doesn't work (That's 4M per month, which means they burn through that gov't money in 18 months, even if they somehow pull only 5k/mm that's still only puts them in the barely believable category of launching a new MMO in 3 years, at an impossibly low burn rate).

The manner in which they left their employees hanging seems to be one of the worst I've heard of in a long time.

Reports are, all of the 38 studios employees are waking up to find out that they don't have health insurance now (apparently it wasn't paid for this or last month), and if they had a preexisiting condition, good luck! They haven't been paid this month. There's apparently a large group of them that were having their old houses sold by the company so that they could move and get new houses around 38, but they didn't do that, or pay the previous mortgages, so those employees now have two mortgages, back payments due on one of those, no salary, no insurance, and since they're in Rhode Island, no prospect for other employment, unless they start up their own thing.

All in all, whomever was in the executive team running this thing should never be allowed to work in that capacity again.

Ryan Duffin

Agreed with Chris. There were so many things that don't add up about their business plan that I'm surprised that crunch/quality of life could even register as a factor. Bringing up anything about this case as a pro-crunch argument is an enormous and dubious stretch.

Treyarch is still the only studio where I have been explicitly told to crunch x hours a week. The industry is populated with fools like us who will kill ourselves to make our shit look good so we can be proud and someone else can be rich. That is the essential part of the business model; not mandatory crunching.


Just in case anyone hasn't seen this, apparently many employees speak well of Schilling:

"Even so, for the next seven days, he insisted that they were just about to get a new investor who would solve everything, and we hoped and slowly collapsed," the employee continues. He even says he's worried about Schilling's well-being and how he's taking the failure of 38 Studios.

"At the end, he stopped talking to us at all -- which is a shame, because he honestly loved the setting and both teams, because they were personal dreams of his... He was a naive sucker, and I think his VPs played him, but he always had the kindest intents for everyone, and was never malicious or manipulative. He deserves that much to be known."

A damned interesting report.


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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game