Curt Schilling (Getty Images)
The former Red Sox pitcher responded to critics, pointing out that he stands to lose as much as $50 million dollars if his troubled 38 Studios can't be saved. Specifically, he took aim at Rhode Island's governor, saying Lincoln Chafee's negative comments about the company "scared off" potential investors who could have saved the studio.
"The governor is not operating in the best interest of the company by any stretch, or the taxpayers, or the state," Schilling told The Providence Journal. ""We're trying to save this company and we're working 24/7.
"To be clear, I've never taken a penny out of this company," he added. "If this company fails, I will be financially devastated, and so will other people."
Schilling also said 38 Studios never asked state officials for a "bailout," despite widespread reports to the contrary. He accuses the state of reneging on tax credits, which would have let the company defer a loan payment due May 1 and meet its May 15 payroll.
38 Studios laid off all 379 of its employees last week. The workers, who received no warning about the cuts, also reportedly have seen their health benefits expire. The tolls of the shutdown have affected Schilling as well, as the former All-Star has lost 33 lbs. in the past 45 days.
The company's woes stem from a $75 million loan acquired from the state of Rhode Island in 2010, a move by the state to lure the then-promising company away from its home base in Massachusetts. In February of 2012, 38 Studios shipped its first game, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. While the game was a mid-level hit, selling over 1 million copies, it was unable to help the company stay afloat. Schilling alleged he was on the brink of acquiring $35 million to fund a sequel to the game, but that partner (who he declined to name) backed off after Chafee's comments.
Rhode Island's governor defended his comments in a brief press conference Tuesday, saying the state wasn't to blame for the company's demise.
"As a business person, he was new at it, and so I always had some reservations," said Chafee. "I have to verify everything, I can't just take it as a leap of faith … I understand that being involved in this very risky industry that, when things aren't going well, there's gonna be blame. But this isn't accurate to be blaming the state in this case."
Either way, Schilling implied he expects the ultimate fate of 38 Studios to be decided soon enough.
"We're at a potential endgame scenario, one way or another, at some point in the near future," he said.
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