38 Studios founder Curt Schilling "busted his ass" in an attempt to get funding for his Amalur MMO Copernicus, and the former Boston Red Sox pitcher even approached Sony Online Entertainment for money, president of the EverQuest studio John Smedley said today on Twitter.
"Curt's only crime was believing in his own ability to will things to be better," Smedley said. "He busted ass trying to get funding."
Schilling approached SOE "many" times looking for money, but a deal was never made--despite Smedley's admiration for the game--because the project was deemed too risky, he said.
"The quality was undeniable. It was gorgeous. It had smart people working on it. It was just too expensive is all," Smedley said. It's not clear how much money specifically Schilling was hoping to raise for the game.
If Copernicus was coming along so well, why did it fail to sell at auction in December? Smedley said he thinks Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee calling it "a lot of junk" had something to do with it.
"The idea of suing someone when Chaffe's own comments were what poisoned the well at the end is beyond the pale," Smedley said, later calling Chafee an "idiot." "All [Chaffee] had to do was give Curt another week and we wouldn't be here today."
Smedley also addressed the controversial $75 million loan that brought 38 Studios to Rhode Island in 2010, saying it was unwise given the "risky" nature of online games.
"Dear people of Rhode Island. Look to your elected government for failing to protect you. That 38 studios deal just never should have been," Smedley said. "Public funds shouldn't be backing risky things like online games. If the fact that no other [venture capitalists] were investing wasn't enough of a clue then you damn well shouldn't be surprised by failure."
Smedley also took time to defend Schilling himself, saying people often forget that the man--recently diagnosed with cancer--invested millions of his own money into 38 Studios. "He put his own money where his mouth way," Smedley said.
The very public and years-long crumble of 38 Studios is expected to reach somewhat of a resolution tomorrow, when the Rhode Island House votes on legislation that will encourage out-of-court settlements in the lawsuit against Schilling and other architects of the loan.