38 Studios court case begins

Arguments in legal battle between defunct Amalur developer and Rhode Island presented in court today; state claims it has "avalanche" of evidence against 38 Studios.

The 38 Studios vs. Rhode Island court case has begun. The The Providence Journal reports today that opening arguments from both sides were made today in Rhode Island Superior Court.

Schilling at a separate hearing. Image credit: Steven Senne, AP

Rhode Island sued 38 Studios founder and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and 13 architects of the controversial 2010 $75 million loan in November, claiming the company knew it would fail but did not inform the state.

All 14 defendants were in court today attempting, for a third time, to have the lawsuit tossed out.

The defendants' lawyer William M. Dolan III belittled the lawsuit today, telling judge Michael A. Silverstein that, "clerks don't check specious claims at the door."

Rhode Island's lawyer, Max Wistow, presented a claim of his own, saying the state has an "avalanche" of evidence that supports its claim that 38 Studios attempted to hide its financial problems.

Meanwhile, Rhode Island is also attempting to sell 38 Studios' assets to recoup some of its $130 million in debt related to the developer's bankruptcy. These assets include the Amalur intellectual property.

Attorneys for the state report there is "interest" in the assets, though no further detail has been provided and the legal team has not responded to GameSpot's requests for comment.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

50 comments
BlackSquare
BlackSquare

This is what happens when left wing politicians stick their fingers in business. He was FORCED to pay a ridiculous amount per employee in addition to hiring a certain amount. Needless to say,  that loan ran out within a few months.

snugglebear
snugglebear

He was trying to make a better game, which is good, but it's unfortunate that things go so badly mishandled. Rhode Island is tiny. Why not turn it into one giant game development company and call it a day?

Bubblikid
Bubblikid

From what I understand, Amalur actually sold rather well.  The problem was that in order to develop it, Schilling not only took out the loan from Rhode Island, but then spent even more than that 75 million on things like buying an extra developer to make something for the game instead of just outsourcing or something.  The issue isn't that the game failed, it's that a glorified indie developer spent hundreds of millions of dollars on their first game with no way to pay their debts.

SgtSilock
SgtSilock

This is a little bit unfair, Amalur was a good game and if more people had played it they to would of enjoyed it and then Schilling wouldn't be in this mess to begin with. Though, putting all their eggs into a single MMO was a little foolish. 

DrKill09
DrKill09

Is this guy having hot flashes, or what? 

danshame
danshame

Curt would have gotten the death sentence in China, what a lucky guy!

Slammer612
Slammer612

They need a new stock photo of Schillings I think. 

JBo796
JBo796

i wonder what Curt Schilling thinks of the XBox One.

nigelholden
nigelholden

There are not many games I put 75+ hours into.  This was one of them.  It was good, fun, maybe not legendary.  The IP had a future.  Then RI started freaking out, not understanding how these things grow.  It's a shame, this could of been a great IP going forward. 

harndoogle
harndoogle

Can someone please explain how they gave the company 75million, but are in debt 150million on the project??????? how do you give a lone for 75 and then have debt for twice as much????

akuma634
akuma634

This was such a jerk move. They made an amazing and criminally underrated game but ultimately the plan was to borrow an insane amount of money to turn this new IP into a MMORPG, just assuming that the new game will be a mega hit that does COD numbers times a million so they can make a MMORPG that would somehow do WoW numbers magically. Instead people didn't give the new IP a chance and they wound up in mega debt to the surprise of no one.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

I dunno how you waste that much money and not be pocketing something

codac
codac

well hell, talk about grashpin straws but who care as long as the ip gets sold to someone not EA.

KaSeRRoR
KaSeRRoR

Go Shilling! Best Of Luck! Treat 'em like you did the BlOoDy SoCk!

>=)

muffin200
muffin200

Since this guy is now bankrupt what will be Rhode Islands gain even if they win this case?

top8cat
top8cat

What ever happened to double jeopardy?

blackothh
blackothh

jesus christ get a new damn picture already!

google is easy to use

EmpireITtech
EmpireITtech

Is it just me, or does that picture look exactly like Curt Schilling?....ketchup-sock here we go!!

Forcecaster
Forcecaster

I'm sorry for 38 Studios, but this article was really needed. Something that isn't about the One...

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

What a colossal waste of time this is.  An actual state in our country is wasting their time and money suing a company that has NO money.  Wow.

There are no deep pockets here anywhere.  What a waste.

eric_neo3
eric_neo3

@BlackSquareThis was the top execs lining their pockets not the employees, go look at their financial statements their execs are required to disclose their income.

DrKill09
DrKill09

@danshame  Me Chinese, me pray joke, me go wee wee in your Coke!

Sorry, had to do it.

DesertLynx83
DesertLynx83

@nigelholden Hopefully whoever gets it makes good use of it. If it's EA...well, it was better off being unused.

TrueGB
TrueGB

@codac Alas, the only person likely to be interested is EA, and given MS will want to scoop up as many exclusives as possible, it will probably end up that way.

Megawizard
Megawizard

@muffin200 Well, it says the Amalur IP is up for grabs, so that could be interesting.

decoy1978
decoy1978

@muffin200 Nothing... they get nothing. However if they are found using business funds for personal gain they may face jail time. I doubt it that any of these defendants get jail. At most this will cost RI more money...

I'll say it again, it was an INVESTMENT. A bad investment, the state of RI should look into their OWN work as to why the state APPROVED of said loan.

joke_man
joke_man

@PixelAddict 

Rhode Island is going after the guys running the company and 38 Studios.  With Amalur set to be auctioned off, there is surely a piece of the pie to be had assuming they were actually defrauded...

BlackSquare
BlackSquare

@eric_neo3 @BlackSquare If you look at the amount of employees required to be hired by the loan agreement times their above market wages. The loan money ran out way before the executive pay was even an issue. The company was forced to pay and hire needless amount of people by the state. Therefore the money ran out way before executives income was an issue.

BlackSquare
BlackSquare

@knifey @harndoogle Actually the company was a result of getting a state funded loan was forced to hire X amount of employees for Y amount of salary. Which was too many employees paid way above market wages. In the end, no company would stay afloat. That is socialism for you.

no_fear_in_hell
no_fear_in_hell

@decoy1978 @muffin200 Actually...  IT WSS THE OTHER WAY AROUND... Rhode Island didnt seek 38 Studios to invest in games, it was 38 Studios management who took advantage of said RI "relocation loans", cause they were desperate for money, oblivious of everything but matching some Shilling's fantasy of becoming the next Bill Gates with his FIRST game. 

The rest is history... And I see nobody with your views takes account for the workers and their families that were lied to their face by Schilling and even lost their homes... Rhode Island didnt have anithing to do with that, it was all Schilling's crazy spending, FROM THE START...

top8cat
top8cat

@joke_man@top8cat Whatever happened to a figure of speech. 

Yes they're being tried for something different but its essentially the same thing overall. You're using technicality to try and get a different result for basically the same case. 

"He aided in the murder" - proven innocent of Second degree murder

"He knew about the murder prehand and withheld information" = proven guilty on criminal facilitation tried for First degree murder.

You're simply manipulating the system. To get someone tried for the same thing(although technically, not really)

I swear everyone takes things so literally on the internet to try and seem intelligent, it's irritating

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

@no_fear_in_hell @decoy1978 @muffin200 if they took advantage, is because they had the opportunity. And that opportunity is given by Rhode Island. They failed to control and make sure that 38Studios meet the requirements.

top8cat
top8cat

@codac how I ironic

I see you removed your comment

codac
codac

@top8cat Sound good and all but it dont change the fact that ur usin it wrong and used the word in correctly and although I get where ur coming from I have to agree with joke_man. Uness you wanna go though life thinking every one is 'in on the joke' or watever ur caling it u should have said it was not to be takin serious from the beginning. Be a adult and stop tring to hide behind 'technicals' or whatever ur trying to call it "intelligent as you are "


top8cat
top8cat

@joke_man@top8cat"Here's a novel idea, don't say stupid crap and then fall back on saying, well, obviously it wasn't literal--hiyuck."

I show up I a minivan and say"How do you like my sports car" 

and you're the one that's makes the stupid comment on how it's a minivan and an economy class at that, so tell me genius.

Why, being as intelligent as you are and very well vested in the case as you seem to be, make the statement of "knowing what you're talking about" when I refer to Double Jeopardy when they haven't even been you court yet, and why would you correct my use of double jeopardy, when they' haven't been to court yet'.


also no, I'm referring to Double Jeopardy or else I wouldn't have said it.--hiyuck

joke_man
joke_man

@top8cat

"I swear everyone takes things so literally on the internet to try and seem intelligent, it's irritating"

Here's a novel idea, don't say stupid crap and then fall back on saying, well, obviously it wasn't literal--hiyuck.

Secondly, the "double jeopardy" you're ignorantly referring would be called res judicata and it's inapplicable.  The matter of whether or not Rhode Island was fraudulently induced into giving loans to 38 Studios hasn't been heard as to the guys controlling the company.

So, even if we look passed your procedural misstep, you're still wrong on the merits.   


PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@joke_man Wrong, can't sue individuals for a corporate situation.  There is nothing to this case.

joke_man
joke_man

@PixelAddict @joke_man

"So.. where's the new money coming from?"

The guys running the corporation which were its face when they allegedly through fraud sought and obtained the loans.