Former 38 Studios boss Curt Schilling contemplates run for Congress

    
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You folks remember 38 Studios, right? The studio at the heart of one of the most scandalous fiascos in the whole MMO genre? It’s back in the news right now thanks to its former front man Curt Schilling, who’s apparently “absolutely considering” a congressional run – in Arizona.

Curt Schilling is well known to baseball fans for his time in MLB, of course, but he’s also well known in the gaming world, especially to older-school MMORPG fans. Way back in 2008, Schilling and his newly formed 38 Studios – studded with stars like Todd McFarlane and R.A. Salvatore – announced Project Copernicus, an AAA MMORPG that had a lot of genre fans salivating. Of course, those familiar with the tale know it was not to be. After Rhode Island offered a hefty loan to Schilling’s studio to entice it to move to the state, the company’s first game, Kingdoms of Amalur, failed to break even in sales. What followed was a political and legal nightmare as Schilling’s company declared bankruptcy and along with the state of Rhode Island became embroiled in a multi-year fraud investigation and lawsuits over $75M in taxpayer funding that had gone up in smoke.

Schilling settled the lawsuit against him back in 2016 and the SEC case came to an end earlier this year, but his public persona took a darker turn as the drama wore on and his political proclamations and conspiracy theories saw him turned out of a cushy ESPN job.

The whole sordid story is super convoluted and drawn-out across both Old and New Massively, but we’re rounding it all up here in one giant list going all the way back to the very beginning for the masochists who want every last detail. You can also check out our more readable version in our Game Archaeologist column on Project Copernicus from January 2019.

38 Studios knew $75M loan wasn’t enough to finish Project Copernicus
Rhode Island Governor signs 38 Studios settlement bill
SOE’s John Smedley blames Rhode Island government for 38 Studios closure
Rhode Island House to vote on out-of-court settlements for 38 Studios fiasco
Rhode Island senate passes 38 Studios legislation
Legislation may pave a path for 38 Studios case settlement
Legislation introduced to resolve 38 Studios lawsuit
SEC subpoenas the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation over 38 Studios lawsuit
Rhode Island governor calls Project Copernicus ‘a lot of junk’
Project Copernicus remains unsold at auction
38 Studios’ intellectual property auction in December, Project Copernicus on the table
38 Studios asset auction may be delayed due to high demand
38 Studios assets auction dated for November 14
Wanna buy an MMO? Copernicus assets for sale ‘soon’
38 Studios debt to be partially repaid with bloody sock
A video retrospective on 38 Studios discusses ‘star-struck legislators’
Rhode Island EDC sues Curt Schilling and more over 38 Studios loan
38 Studios loan under SEC investigation
Lawsuit against Curt Schilling and 38 Studios allowed to proceed
Curt Schilling discusses life after 38 Studios
Rhode Island set to pay 38 Studios bonds. Probably.
Rhode Island explores ditching 38 Studios debt
38 Studios vs. State of Rhode Island court case begins
Rhode Island selling 38 Studios’ game assets
Yep, it’s more 38 Studios drama
Rhode Island attempting to default on 38 Studios’ debt
38 Studios may have ‘actively masked’ its financial hardship
Curt Schilling asks judge to dismiss 38 Studios fraud lawsuit
38 Studios auctions recoup $830k of $150.7M owed
Initial 38 Studios auction brings in $180K
Curt Schilling might pay back debt by selling baseball memorabilia
38 Studios will face no federal criminal charges
38 Studios loan could impact state elections
Rhode Island possesses 38 Studios’ games, looks to sell
A look at Curt Schilling’s management of 38 Studios
Schilling ‘tapped out’ after loss of 38 Studios
Subpoenas issued over 38 Studios deal, Citizens Bank sues Schilling
Alleged 38 Studios spouse outlines family’s financial struggles after company’s closure
Steve Danuser weighs in on the 38 Studios debacle
38 Studios declares bankruptcy, law enforcement investigating
Trion Worlds CEO pinpoints the failings of 38 Studios and Star Wars: The Old Republic
Former 38 Studios employees defend Schilling, talk political misinformation
Schilling speaks out on 38 Studios debacle, stands to lose $50 million
EVE Evolved: Lessons from 38 Studios
Editorial: Learning from the 38 Studios disaster
38 Studios lays off entire staff, sells Big Huge Games
38 Studios appears to be getting no new help
Layoffs confirmed for 38 Studios, Rhode Island takes no action
38 Studios’ Project Copernicus to release in June 2013, says RI governor
38 Studios paying state back by not paying employees
No relief in sight for 38 Studios after emergency meeting
If 38 Studios goes under, Rhode Island taxpayers will be footing the bill
Rumor: 38 Studios may be having financial trouble
Todd McFarlane says Project Copernicus is coming this year
The world (wide web) of Amalur grows as 38 Studios works on its MMO
38 Studios Rhode Island deal still up in the air
38 Studios announces official Rhode Island relocation
38 Studios relocation loan in jeopardy
38 Studios moves next door to Rhode Island for 75 million smackers
Rhode Island pitches a $75M loan offer to 38 Studios

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Jeremy Barnes

Well, he certainly knows how to waste taxpayers money so he should be a good fit.

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Arnold Hendrick

Now that he’s spent all his own money (or so he claimed), he’s ready, willing and able to spend everyone else’s money on an infinite number of absolutely hopeless schemes. Congress is the perfect place to do that!

Ernost
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Ernost

Well, it’s not like he can do worse than those currenly in office right?

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Roger Christie

You evidently don’t know Curt Schilling. He makes Trump seems sane, literate and liberal.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

He’d fit right in with all the other crooks in Congress…

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Rheem Octuris

Also don’t forget when he showed up on the tutorial island in EverQuest II.

https://www.everquest2.com/news/imported-eq2-enus-796

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Loyal Patron
Neurotic

Possibly the longest list of links I’ve ever seen! :D

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Denice J. Cook

I think Curt should stay out of politics, but he has enough fiascos on his resume to fit right in there. ;)

The saddest thing, though, is that Big Huge Games really rocked, and so did Kingdoms of Amalur. I at least appreciate that 38 Studios rescued them, altered the backdrop of game they were originally creating, and released it.

KoA really raised the bar on single player RPG combat. It’s a crying shame that Big Huge was never able to create a proper sequel.

Copernicus Schmekernicus. You can’t miss what you never had. Bring back Big Huge for KoA 2!

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Denice J. Cook

PS/ I think Nexon owns Big Huge nowadays, and they make mobile strategy games like DomiNation, so they are still around in some form.

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John Kiser

THQ Nordic owns the actual IP for KoA these days and sadly while they could do future games with it any sort of remaster would require the go ahead from EA. That said 38 studios was a cluster fuck of things. KoA was started entirely under 38 studios and the company was basically screwed 5 months after the release of KoA which was sad =/. It’s a solid game/IP and I hope the newer THQ Nordic does something with it.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Sadly Politics seems to be exactly where someone like him would fit in.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

Is this why he is being extra odious on Twitter recently, calling for things like the execution of anybody even suspected of terrorist links? He sure likes due process when it him being accused, but other people… not so much.

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Nathan Aldana

Thats kind of how it always is for people like him. The rule of law is always suppose to do special favors for him but for everyone else its supposed to be an instrument of his petty vengeance.

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Armsman

Gee – a crook/scam artist wants to run for Congress…must be a day ending in ‘y’.