Things went from bad to worse for employees of Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios today – after the company failed to make payroll earlier this month, they were all issued pink slips today. From WPRI:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – 38 Studios laid off all its employees in Providence and Maryland on Thursday as the struggling video game company collapsed into insolvency less than two years after agreeing to move to Rhode Island in exchange for a $75 million taxpayer-guaranteed loan.
“The Company is experiencing an economic downturn,” 38 Studios management told employees in an email distributed Thursday afternoon and obtained by WPRI.com. “To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary.”
38 Studios has not responded to requests for comment since its financial crunch burst into public view earlier this month, and Governor Chafee said the state had not been formally informed about the layoffs. The company had 379 full-time employees as of March 15, with 288 of them in Rhode Island, according to bond disclosure notice.
Having recently lost my job as a software engineer, my heart goes out to these people. A twitter hashtag has been set up to inform folks of job opportunities at other gaming companies, if you know of any jobs, please post them here: #38jobs
Rhode Island taxpayers will likely end up on the hook for the loans made to Schilling, whose business plan appears to have some serious flaws – notably, to save a few bucks, they incorporated in Delaware, making them ineligile for further assistance from Rhode Island in the form of film and telivision tax credits. The amount of money they burned through while coming to market with just one game is just unbelievable – for my business, my partner and I had to sign personal guarantees to get $40,000 from the bank, I wonder what Rhode Island’s Economic Development Council got from Curt?