38 Studios lawsuit could end in a settlement

Proposal submitted at the request of Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee encourages settlement in lawsuit against Curt Schilling.

Rhode Island's lawsuit against Curt Schilling and other architects of a controversial $75 million loan that brought the former Major League Baseball pitcher and his studio to the state in 2010, could end in a settlement, according to government documents filed this week in Rhode Island. The Providence Journal reports that legislation was introduced in the Rhode Island general assembly this week at the request of Governor Lincoln Chafee that encourages a settlement, though terms of said settlement are not available.

Image credit: Steven Senne, AP.

The proposal [PDF link] lays out the parameters of a "good faith settlement," that is, one that "does not exhibit collusion, fraud, dishonesty, or other wrongful or tortious conduct intended to prejudice the non-settling tortfeasor(s), irrespective of the settling or non-settling tortfeasor's proportionate share of liability."

Similar settlement proposals have been used in other high-profile Rhode Island cases, including measures to settle ligation surrounding the state's 1990s banking crisis and the Station Nightclub fire in 2003.

"The bill is specific only to the 38 Studios lawsuit and is done to encourage a settlement," House Judiciary Chairwoman Edith Ajello, D-Providence, said in a statement to The Providence Journal. "The bill makes it clear that the credit to the non-settling defendants is limited to the amount of money paid by the settling defendants. It eliminates the uncertainty of determining what the percentage of fault is among all the defendants, which may not be determined for many years in the event of a jury trial."

Rhode Island initially sued Curt Schilling and other architects of the $75 million loan after 38 Studios went bankrupt in 2012 as a means to recoup the many millions of dollars state taxpayers are now on the hook for. The complaint includes 17 counts of alleged wrongdoing, including claims of fraud, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Rhode Island's lawyers held a liquidation auction last month as a secondary means to recoup its debt, but it gathered a lackluster response. Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends together sold for $320,000, but the Amalur MMO Copernicus and sequel rights for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning failed to sell. Because Copernicus failed to sell auction, it now represents nothing more than "a lot of junk," according to Chafee.

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

29 comments
rhymesmatter
rhymesmatter

In All honesty though i am not surprised that Copernicus rights weren't bought by any company...I mean c'mon! In a gaming industry OVERsaturated by MMORPGs be it westernized or Japanese/Korean ones..What do you expect?Amalur, On the other hand with some Polishing and a revamp on the dialogue and quest system would be a gem cause the gameplay was marvelous. Can't really do much about the story though only hope that they could make it more interesting. But seriously if they had tried to properly polish the game on those sections i am sure none of this Lack of sales and lawsuits would have occured

omar_q
omar_q

Getting real tired of that pic.

DARKSPACE
DARKSPACE

Stay away from Rhode Island... LOL

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

The whole thing is stupid. The only ones who made out from this fiasco are the lawyers.

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

Well....obviously?

Why does this need saying? You think the bankrupt 38 Studios and the broke Rhode Island are going to slog it out for months on end with expensive laywers to claw back nearly noting after the legal fees are paid?

Most huge court cases end with a settlement simply because it's cheaper.

codac
codac

What happened to the 'insurmountable evidence' and 'if it's even once cent we'll get it' type of pandering the state was doing not too long ago.

Barighm
Barighm

They would be better off just finishing the damn thing and releasing whatever they've got at this point. Maybe they won't recoup all of their losses, but they will recover more than they will by not releasing it at all.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

So Chafee sabotaged the whole thing, and now rushes through legislation to force a settlement? Something is starting to stink, Schillings incomptence nonewithstanding.

SteamyPotatoes
SteamyPotatoes

Then there will be another lawsuit for the overuse of that image illustrating chest groping.

heresjonny99
heresjonny99

I live in Rhode Island and I'm beyond tired of hearing about this, especially since so little seems to change from article to article. That goes for online and the newspaper both. 


It's also an almost daily, depressing reminder of how much potential was squandered for my home state. I'm studying game design at the moment and if 38 Studios had survived I'd be in a fantastic position when I finish my degree. Unfortunately, it is what it is, and now I'll have to look towards Massachusetts or California/Washington for potential job opportunities in the future. So much economic potential just pissed away.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

Come-on Gamespot, I'm tired of seeing this guy who is alwas holding his hand on his chest think he's a Preacher. This news on RI will never end until someone pays up. Get President Obama Money if that helps.

thomasn7
thomasn7

Just end this already so we can stop seeing this in the news!

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

Some 1 should pick up koa, was the rise games any good?

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

However it's all settled the people of RI will ultimately end up paying for it all

sol_invictus55
sol_invictus55

Steal a bunch of money give the police and politicians their cut and walk away, Amerika.

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

@Barighm By not releasing it, they spend no money.

By releasing it they need to pay for printing, manufacture, distribution, advertising, server maintenance of the product and additional support, pay people to create patches and so much more.

Totally worth doing for a game that would likely flop.

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@Barighm 

And exactly who would finish it? The Rhode Island legislature? The Governor? 38 Studios was dissolved and all the equipment sold off in a bankruptcy sale including the servers that would have run the game.

OrgeLambart
OrgeLambart

@DarkSaber2k this Chafee dude seems like a major bag, he actively did his best and ultimately succeeded in sabotaging 38 studios in an effort to make the politician before him look like an idiot.


Congradulations he cost the tax payers of Rhode Island a lot of money to placate his own ego.

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@DarkSaber2k  

Yup, sounds like he has something to hide in regards to his part in the failure of 38 Studios before the SEC digs further, like his leaking of confidential information regarding their loan that scared of potential investors - all for his own political gain.

adawf
adawf

@b74kd3th rise was awesome, don't listen to this other tool

codac
codac

@Dragon_Nexus@Barighm A flop brings more money than nothing, and as a digital/retail release you can eliminate half of that.

randomkidlol
randomkidlol

@codac why do you need to read when you see it happening before your very eyes?

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

@codac@Dragon_Nexus@BarighmDoesn't eleviate the other issues I mentioned. Server upkeep, paying employees to keep everything running, patching the game, creating additional content to keep it fresh.


Keeping the data in a box under your bed costs $0.

Releasing the game and supporting it for months on end costs more than $0 and will likely earn you less than you spent.