In the wake of video game production outfit 38 Studios’ collapse — and frontman Curt Schilling eventually learning there’s nothing left to harvest from the Rhode Island Money Tree —we’ve waited with baited breath for some kind of statement from the former Phillies/D-Backs/Red Sox hurler (usually not the shy, retiring type). On Tuesday, Schilling went on the p.r. offensive, telling the Providence Journal’s Mike Stanton and Andy Smith….that it’s all Rhode Island’s fault!
Schilling’s controversial partnership with the State of Rhode Island was forged with $75 million in taxpayer-backed bonds two years ago. If 38 Studios fails, Rhode Island taxpayers will be liable to repay more than $100 million. Also, Schilling says, he stands to lose $50 million of the fortune he earned as a professional baseball player and committed to the venture.
Schilling says that state economic-development officials reneged on a deal to approve film tax credits to which 38 Studios was legally entitled, and to allow the company to defer a $1.12-million payment that was due the state on May 1 so that 38 Studios could meet its May 15 payroll.
Schilling also criticized Chafee’s “devastating” public remarks about 38 Studios’ financial health, which he says scared off private investors.
Within 72 hours of Chafee’s May 14 statement that the state was trying to keep 38 Studios “solvent,” Schilling says, a video-game publisher pulled out of a $35-million deal to finance a sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the fantasy game that 38 Studios released in February.