The Globe’s Kirsner lays out the likely endgames for 38 StudiosMay 23rd, 2012 at 2:10 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Scott Kirsner, The Boston Globe’s well-sourced veteran innovation columnist, spoke with game industry executives and venture capitalists familiar with the industry to get a sense of what might happen next for 38 Studios. He came up with three main scenarios:
Scenario #1. A bigger game studio or media company comes in and offers to take the 38 Studios assets for nothing. They keep developing 38′s forthcoming game “Project Copernicus.” …
Scenario #2. Someone acquires 38 for their division in Maryland, formerly known as Big Huge Games, as well as the game that group launched earlier this year, “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.” … An acquirer in this scenario would probably get the assets related to “Copernicus,” but may or may not decide to invest in finishing that game. …
Scenario #3. … 38 eventually shuts down and files for bankruptcy, and sells its revenue-generating product, “Kingdoms of Amalur,” to another game company. Office furniture and computers get sold cheap, and it’s likely that “Copernicus” never sees the light of day.
Read the rest here. This quote that one VC gave Scott is particularly damning in view of how Governor Carcieri and Keith Stokes sold the idea locally: “You want a team that’s in a center of excellence that you can build around. Providence is a great place, but it’s just not there as far as game development.”
Additionally, check out CNET’s Jim Kerstetter explaining why the 38 Studios loan was always “tremendously risky” and lambasting Schilling for “hypocrisy on top of bad business.” And RIPR’s Ian Donnis reports that the fiasco is adding to the tension between Governor Chafee and Treasurer Raimondo.
Update: Appearing Wednesday on WPRO’s Dan Yorke program, Raimondo said she wants to avoid “politics as usual” but is pretty clearly trying to put the blame on Chafee.
“Six or eight months ago, if we had been brought in, perhaps we could have been helpful,” she said. “The time for panic was six to eight months ago.” (Six to eight months ago, of course, is when the State House was consumed by the pension debate Raimondo instigated.)
Raimondo also subtly shifted the blame from former Governor Carcieri, who pushed the deal through, to Chafee, who won office the day it was finalized. “I think the strategy here is a good strategy,” she said, referring to the EDC’s focus on innovative businesses. “What happened here was a failure of execution.”
Asked last Monday whether Raimondo’s office knew anything about what was happening with the 38 Studios deal, her spokeswoman emphasized that it was an EDC situation and that the treasurer had no involvement.