38 Studios headed to Rhode Island

Former star baseball pitcher Curt Schilling's RPG-centric shop pulling up stakes from Mass. after diminutive neighboring state OKs $75 million in loan guarantees.

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When one hears the words "Rhode Island," games are not the first thing that spring to mind. However, the diminutive state is set on changing that. According to a Boston Globe report, the New England state's economic development corporation voted eight to one to guarantee $75 million in loans to entice role-playing game developer 38 Studios to relocate. The shop, founded by former all-star baseball pitcher Curt Schilling, is currently based in suburban Boston, Massachusetts.

Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 studios is getting $75 million in loans to relocate to RI.
Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 studios is getting $75 million in loans to relocate to RI.

Schilling told the Globe, "I've invested a significant amount of my life's earnings in 38 Studios, and I will protect the loan guarantee that's been given by the state [of Rhode Island] with the same passion and interest that I'm protecting my own investment in this company. Our paths are very much aligned."

The newspaper reported that under the terms of the deal, 38 Studios could bring up to 450 jobs to Rhode Island by the end of 2012. That would be one year after the shop's first title, the single-player role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, ships. The Globe notes that the uncertainty of the Electronic Arts-published title's success poses a risk for Rhode Island taxpayers, since they would have to pay off the balance of the $75 million loan should 38 Studios fold.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was shown off at Comic-Con last week in San Diego. Unlike the studios other major project--an unnamed massively multiplayer game--it will be a single-player RPG. In development at Rise of Nations studio Big Huge Games, which was bought by 38 Studios in 2009, the title was cocreated by comic-book artist Todd McFarlane (Spawn) and fantasy author R.A. Salvatore (The DemonWars Saga). Both men helped Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Curt Schilling found 38 Studios--then called Green Monster Games--in 2006 and respectively serve as art director and "executive creator of worlds" at the Maynard, Massachusetts, studio--which may move to Rhode Island in the not-too-distant future.

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