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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Looks Like 38 Studios is Close to Bankruptcy

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128 posts found
  Uhwop

Elite Member

Joined: 3/20/10
Posts: 1615

5/22/12 5:39:17 PM#101
Originally posted by FrodoFragins
Originally posted by Tardcore

McFarlane told Start about a conversation he had with Amalur backer and baseball player, Curt Schilling, in which he voiced his concerns about releasing Reckoning before the MMO. “If Reckoning comes out first before your MMO, which we’re still working on, it’s supposed to come out later in the year, and that comes out and it lays an egg, I don’t understand what your marketing campaign is,” he said.

“From the mediocre game that nobody bought and doesn’t really like that much, comes a big giant version of that game!” he quipped.

 

Looks like McFarlane knocked one out of the park, not Schilling.

38 Studios would still have run out of money.  Putting that game out was probably their only way to tread water a while longer.

 Even then, the gov forced a deadline of june 2013 for the release of the MMO.  No way it's done by then, and even if they had something they could release, you know it's not going to be ready enough to succeed.

One way or the other, it's a doomed company.  The gov. is making sure of that.

  Uhwop

Elite Member

Joined: 3/20/10
Posts: 1615

5/22/12 5:42:08 PM#102
Originally posted by drel

Nah! the RI mafia will bail them out in return for a large part of the ownership of the company.

 I know it's just a joke, but on a serious note, is it even possible for a 3rd party to come in when the loan is secured through state issued bonds.

How would that work exactly?

 

  Theocritus

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3613

5/22/12 5:42:49 PM#103

      That comment sounds like McFarlane wasn't too confident in KoA from the get go.......

  Uhwop

Elite Member

Joined: 3/20/10
Posts: 1615

5/22/12 5:46:14 PM#104
Originally posted by Theocritus

      That comment sounds like McFarlane wasn't too confident in KoA from the get go.......

 Game only sold 330k copies and the company is having financial troubles.

He has a point.  The mmo is being pitches as the mmo based on that game, how exactly do you pitch it then if the game doesn't sell well?  Which it didn't really.

It's not like he wasn't privy to what was being developed.

  Deron_Barak

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/06
Posts: 1139

5/22/12 5:47:06 PM#105
Originally posted by niceguy3978
Originally posted by Uhwop
Originally posted by Deron_Barak
Originally posted by GrayGhost79
Originally posted by Deron_Barak

 The best part about this whole issue, which is really nothing considering people's livelihoods are at stake, is the lack of information between multiple news outlets and the reactions of people from said half information.

 Fret not, "Copernicus" will see the light of day one way or another.

I'll have to admit, I'm having a hard time getting the full story regardless of where I go. Each news outlet seems to be giving out just enough information to seem different from the other news outlets while at the same time being just as attention grabbing.

 This is probably the best source for the whole picture.

http://www.joystiq.com/tag/38-studios/

 

 A few notes:

 

  • Studio 38 has only received 49 million of the 75 they're paying back.  Of that 25 million outstanding only 12.5M has been listed as being "held back" by RI.  Keep an eye on that other 12.5M...
  • The 75M did not come from RI.  It was collected by RI from investors who then gave it to Studio 38.  RI will be on the hook if 38 hits bankrupcy however.  I wish Mr. Chafee realized that although political grandstanding is fun he is hurting the product that will keep his constituants out of paying the bill.  it's ironic when you think about it.
  • Studio 38 used part of the 49-50M they recieved to purchase Big Huge Games and modify the game they were working on into KoA.

 

 I have no idea what Studio 38 has created with the money they didn't use on KoA.  What I think happened is that Studio 38 thought they could pull KoA and Copernicus off with the portion of the loan they received.  Obviously this didn't happen and the representatives of RI only want to make sure it's residents aren't on the hook or the damage is controlled.
 
 
 I would still like to know when Studio 38 was supposed to get the other 25 million if they've been paying on 75M (112.6M with Interest) since last year.
 
 
 In regards to the initial decision by RI and the name calling now taking place: Who wouldn't have done it? The creative names for Copernicus alone will make sure it gets completed, either by Studio 38 or another entity (SoE for example).  Not only was the 75M going to be paid back (112.6M total with interest) but already 250+ people have been paying RI taxes and buying goods in the state.  It was supposed to be 350+ however.  The sad thing is that public posturing by a politician is devaluing what can still be a success depending on the decisions made from there on out.  We'll have to stay tuned.

 Not sure were you got the second bullet point from.

The magority of all money that the REIDC aquires comes from the RI general assembly, only a small portion of it is got from private investors.  Besides that, any loan only becomes the responsibility of the person issuing it when it's not repaid.

It's like saying the bank is only on the books for my loan if I default.  The taxpayers are in the same situation here, only if the loan defaults will they be on the books for it. 

Also, it's public information that if the loan defaults, the taxpayers are responsible for the initial loan plus interest, 112 milliion.  If the money was secured through private investment, the taxpayers wouldn't be on the book for it.  Even if, and this is what I'm assuming, the REIDC aquired the money from priviate investors and backed that money by a loan that the general assembly co-signed, it would still boil down to using taxpayer money to finance a business.  In other words, it sounds to me like the gov. of RI took private investment money and backed it with a taxpayer loan so that the private investors would hold no liability.

In other words.  He set up a venture that would make private indivuduals money regardless if the venture failed or not.  How effed up is that?  If 38 studios doesn't fold and repays the loan with interest, the investors get paid, if they do fold then the taxpayers have to repay the loan and the investors still get paid.

This seems like it should be the headlining story to me, not 38 studios themself.  Win win situatins aren't investments, it's a savings account! 

Anyone else curious who the private investors are?  Or how linked to the governor they may be?

Glad to know that it was in fact funded by RI rather than the way it is in the post you were responding to.  Because if that were the case and RI didn't actually loan the money and instead investors did, but RI would be on the hook for the bill if the company failed.  That would be even more rediculous.  It would be privatising the profits, but socializing the loss.

"The math works a little something this this: The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation borrowed $75 million from private investors for 38 Studios, at interest rates between 6 - 7.75 percent, with the expectation that 38 Studios would pay it back with the sale of games."

http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/15/if-38-studios-collapses-rhode-island-taxpayers-owe-112-6-milli/ 

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2010/07/13/mass_officials_hope_to_keep_schillings_company_here/

 

RI was supposed to, and has already to an extent, been benefitting from the employees of Studio 38 in the form of taxes and good bought by the employees in the state.  People are making Schilling out to be this snake oil salesman who pulled a fast one on RI.  This is not the case.

Edit: I was wrong on the aquiring of BHG.  It was done by Studio 38 before the 75M, er 50M, was giving to them.

So who  

Just not worth my time anymore.

  Deron_Barak

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/06
Posts: 1139

5/22/12 5:50:35 PM#106
Originally posted by Uhwop
Originally posted by Theocritus

      That comment sounds like McFarlane wasn't too confident in KoA from the get go.......

 Game only sold 330k copies and the company is having financial troubles.

He has a point.  The mmo is being pitches as the mmo based on that game, how exactly do you pitch it then if the game doesn't sell well?  Which it didn't really.

It's not like he wasn't privy to what was being developed.

http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=Kingdoms+of+Amalur%3A+Reckoning&publisher=&platform=&genre=&minSales=0&results=200

 

Really? Not that great though lol

Just not worth my time anymore.

  eyeswideopen

Tipster

Joined: 5/24/09
Posts: 2503

5/22/12 5:52:47 PM#107
Originally posted by Deron_Barak
Originally posted by niceguy3978
Originally posted by Uhwop
Originally posted by Deron_Barak
Originally posted by GrayGhost79
Originally posted by Deron_Barak

 The best part about this whole issue, which is really nothing considering people's livelihoods are at stake, is the lack of information between multiple news outlets and the reactions of people from said half information.

 Fret not, "Copernicus" will see the light of day one way or another.

I'll have to admit, I'm having a hard time getting the full story regardless of where I go. Each news outlet seems to be giving out just enough information to seem different from the other news outlets while at the same time being just as attention grabbing.

 This is probably the best source for the whole picture.

http://www.joystiq.com/tag/38-studios/

 

 A few notes:

 

  • Studio 38 has only received 49 million of the 75 they're paying back.  Of that 25 million outstanding only 12.5M has been listed as being "held back" by RI.  Keep an eye on that other 12.5M...
  • The 75M did not come from RI.  It was collected by RI from investors who then gave it to Studio 38.  RI will be on the hook if 38 hits bankrupcy however.  I wish Mr. Chafee realized that although political grandstanding is fun he is hurting the product that will keep his constituants out of paying the bill.  it's ironic when you think about it.
  • Studio 38 used part of the 49-50M they recieved to purchase Big Huge Games and modify the game they were working on into KoA.

 

 I have no idea what Studio 38 has created with the money they didn't use on KoA.  What I think happened is that Studio 38 thought they could pull KoA and Copernicus off with the portion of the loan they received.  Obviously this didn't happen and the representatives of RI only want to make sure it's residents aren't on the hook or the damage is controlled.
 
 
 I would still like to know when Studio 38 was supposed to get the other 25 million if they've been paying on 75M (112.6M with Interest) since last year.
 
 
 In regards to the initial decision by RI and the name calling now taking place: Who wouldn't have done it? The creative names for Copernicus alone will make sure it gets completed, either by Studio 38 or another entity (SoE for example).  Not only was the 75M going to be paid back (112.6M total with interest) but already 250+ people have been paying RI taxes and buying goods in the state.  It was supposed to be 350+ however.  The sad thing is that public posturing by a politician is devaluing what can still be a success depending on the decisions made from there on out.  We'll have to stay tuned.

 Not sure were you got the second bullet point from.

The magority of all money that the REIDC aquires comes from the RI general assembly, only a small portion of it is got from private investors.  Besides that, any loan only becomes the responsibility of the person issuing it when it's not repaid.

It's like saying the bank is only on the books for my loan if I default.  The taxpayers are in the same situation here, only if the loan defaults will they be on the books for it. 

Also, it's public information that if the loan defaults, the taxpayers are responsible for the initial loan plus interest, 112 milliion.  If the money was secured through private investment, the taxpayers wouldn't be on the book for it.  Even if, and this is what I'm assuming, the REIDC aquired the money from priviate investors and backed that money by a loan that the general assembly co-signed, it would still boil down to using taxpayer money to finance a business.  In other words, it sounds to me like the gov. of RI took private investment money and backed it with a taxpayer loan so that the private investors would hold no liability.

In other words.  He set up a venture that would make private indivuduals money regardless if the venture failed or not.  How effed up is that?  If 38 studios doesn't fold and repays the loan with interest, the investors get paid, if they do fold then the taxpayers have to repay the loan and the investors still get paid.

This seems like it should be the headlining story to me, not 38 studios themself.  Win win situatins aren't investments, it's a savings account! 

Anyone else curious who the private investors are?  Or how linked to the governor they may be?

Glad to know that it was in fact funded by RI rather than the way it is in the post you were responding to.  Because if that were the case and RI didn't actually loan the money and instead investors did, but RI would be on the hook for the bill if the company failed.  That would be even more rediculous.  It would be privatising the profits, but socializing the loss.

"The math works a little something this this: The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation borrowed $75 million from private investors for 38 Studios, at interest rates between 6 - 7.75 percent, with the expectation that 38 Studios would pay it back with the sale of games."

http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/15/if-38-studios-collapses-rhode-island-taxpayers-owe-112-6-milli/ 

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2010/07/13/mass_officials_hope_to_keep_schillings_company_here/

 

RI was supposed to, and has already to an extent, been benefitting from the employees of Studio 38 in the form of taxes and good bought by the employees in the state.  People are making Schilling out to be this snake oil salesman who pulled a fast one on RI.  This is not the case.

Edit: I was wrong on the aquiring of BHG.  It was done by Studio 38 before the 75M, er 50M, was giving to them.

So who  

Schilling was also required to hire 450 people from R.I. as part of the loan agreement. As of March, the company had 379 employees. As of today, the company has announced mass layoffs.

First off, Schilling is an idiot for even agreeing to the 450 jobs clause. Schilling was too busy seing dollar signs however.

Being a decent baseball player doesn't automatically make you even an adequate business man.

Both Schilling and the former governor who approved the loan are 'snake oil salesmen". Neither of them could reasonably provide on the promises they made.

-Letting Derek Smart work on your game is like letting Osama bin Laden work in the White House. Something will burn.-
-And on the 8th day, man created God.-

  Deron_Barak

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/06
Posts: 1139

5/22/12 6:01:44 PM#108
I'm not defending anything and yes there were supposed to be more employees in RI but "mass layoffs"? Can you link that info?

Just not worth my time anymore.

  eyeswideopen

Tipster

Joined: 5/24/09
Posts: 2503

5/22/12 6:07:39 PM#109
Originally posted by Deron_Barak
I'm not defending anything and yes there were supposed to be more employees in RI but "mass layoffs"? Can you link that info?

http://www.gamespot.com/news/layoffs-strike-38-studios-6378046

http://www.abc6.com/story/18578306/governor-chafee-says-38-studios-has-had-layoffs

-Letting Derek Smart work on your game is like letting Osama bin Laden work in the White House. Something will burn.-
-And on the 8th day, man created God.-

  MosesZD

Novice Member

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1407

5/22/12 6:21:53 PM#110
Originally posted by Wickedjelly

They didn't do a good job marketing KOA all. Regardless the quality of the game their marketing for it was awful.

 

EA didn't do much marketing.  Which was their job as publisher.   But they were marketing the heck out of SWTOR and ME3.  So they let KoA pretty much rot with minimal support.

  eyeswideopen

Tipster

Joined: 5/24/09
Posts: 2503

5/22/12 6:25:35 PM#111
Originally posted by MosesZD
Originally posted by Wickedjelly

They didn't do a good job marketing KOA all. Regardless the quality of the game their marketing for it was awful.

 

EA didn't do much marketing.  Which was their job as publisher.   But they were marketing the heck out of SWTOR and ME3.  So they let KoA pretty much rot with minimal support.

This is why I don't understand people choosing to use a publisher that is also a rival development house.

Conflict of interest.

If the dev house part of the publisher (EA) has games important to their bottom line out at the same time as your game that they're only publishing, which do you think they're going to focus on?

-Letting Derek Smart work on your game is like letting Osama bin Laden work in the White House. Something will burn.-
-And on the 8th day, man created God.-

  Deron_Barak

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/06
Posts: 1139

5/22/12 6:42:48 PM#112
@Eyeswideopen

Yes I heard there were layoffs but you said "mass layoffs". The link you provided even said the amount was unspecified. We don't even know if they were Studio 38 employees or outside contractors which would fall under the term "Unspecified cuts to it's workforce". Hows about we wait until the head of Studio 38 speaks about it.

Just not worth my time anymore.

  niceguy3978

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/14/06
Posts: 1977

 
OP  5/22/12 6:45:48 PM#113
Originally posted by Deron_Barak
Originally posted by niceguy3978
Originally posted by Uhwop
Originally posted by Deron_Barak
Originally posted by GrayGhost79
Originally posted by Deron_Barak

 The best part about this whole issue, which is really nothing considering people's livelihoods are at stake, is the lack of information between multiple news outlets and the reactions of people from said half information.

 Fret not, "Copernicus" will see the light of day one way or another.

I'll have to admit, I'm having a hard time getting the full story regardless of where I go. Each news outlet seems to be giving out just enough information to seem different from the other news outlets while at the same time being just as attention grabbing.

 This is probably the best source for the whole picture.

http://www.joystiq.com/tag/38-studios/

 

 A few notes:

 

  • Studio 38 has only received 49 million of the 75 they're paying back.  Of that 25 million outstanding only 12.5M has been listed as being "held back" by RI.  Keep an eye on that other 12.5M...
  • The 75M did not come from RI.  It was collected by RI from investors who then gave it to Studio 38.  RI will be on the hook if 38 hits bankrupcy however.  I wish Mr. Chafee realized that although political grandstanding is fun he is hurting the product that will keep his constituants out of paying the bill.  it's ironic when you think about it.
  • Studio 38 used part of the 49-50M they recieved to purchase Big Huge Games and modify the game they were working on into KoA.

 

 I have no idea what Studio 38 has created with the money they didn't use on KoA.  What I think happened is that Studio 38 thought they could pull KoA and Copernicus off with the portion of the loan they received.  Obviously this didn't happen and the representatives of RI only want to make sure it's residents aren't on the hook or the damage is controlled.
 
 
 I would still like to know when Studio 38 was supposed to get the other 25 million if they've been paying on 75M (112.6M with Interest) since last year.
 
 
 In regards to the initial decision by RI and the name calling now taking place: Who wouldn't have done it? The creative names for Copernicus alone will make sure it gets completed, either by Studio 38 or another entity (SoE for example).  Not only was the 75M going to be paid back (112.6M total with interest) but already 250+ people have been paying RI taxes and buying goods in the state.  It was supposed to be 350+ however.  The sad thing is that public posturing by a politician is devaluing what can still be a success depending on the decisions made from there on out.  We'll have to stay tuned.

 Not sure were you got the second bullet point from.

The magority of all money that the REIDC aquires comes from the RI general assembly, only a small portion of it is got from private investors.  Besides that, any loan only becomes the responsibility of the person issuing it when it's not repaid.

It's like saying the bank is only on the books for my loan if I default.  The taxpayers are in the same situation here, only if the loan defaults will they be on the books for it. 

Also, it's public information that if the loan defaults, the taxpayers are responsible for the initial loan plus interest, 112 milliion.  If the money was secured through private investment, the taxpayers wouldn't be on the book for it.  Even if, and this is what I'm assuming, the REIDC aquired the money from priviate investors and backed that money by a loan that the general assembly co-signed, it would still boil down to using taxpayer money to finance a business.  In other words, it sounds to me like the gov. of RI took private investment money and backed it with a taxpayer loan so that the private investors would hold no liability.

In other words.  He set up a venture that would make private indivuduals money regardless if the venture failed or not.  How effed up is that?  If 38 studios doesn't fold and repays the loan with interest, the investors get paid, if they do fold then the taxpayers have to repay the loan and the investors still get paid.

This seems like it should be the headlining story to me, not 38 studios themself.  Win win situatins aren't investments, it's a savings account! 

Anyone else curious who the private investors are?  Or how linked to the governor they may be?

Glad to know that it was in fact funded by RI rather than the way it is in the post you were responding to.  Because if that were the case and RI didn't actually loan the money and instead investors did, but RI would be on the hook for the bill if the company failed.  That would be even more rediculous.  It would be privatising the profits, but socializing the loss.

"The math works a little something this this: The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation borrowed $75 million from private investors for 38 Studios, at interest rates between 6 - 7.75 percent, with the expectation that 38 Studios would pay it back with the sale of games."

http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/15/if-38-studios-collapses-rhode-island-taxpayers-owe-112-6-milli/ 

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2010/07/13/mass_officials_hope_to_keep_schillings_company_here/

 

RI was supposed to, and has already to an extent, been benefitting from the employees of Studio 38 in the form of taxes and good bought by the employees in the state.  People are making Schilling out to be this snake oil salesman who pulled a fast one on RI.  This is not the case.

Edit: I was wrong on the aquiring of BHG.  It was done by Studio 38 before the 75M, er 50M, was giving to them.

So who  

It sounds as thoughf rom this description that the RI is subsidizing all of the risk.  They act as a middle man and say, if they succeed then you make money, if they fail, then we take the loss.  Sigh.

  eyeswideopen

Tipster

Joined: 5/24/09
Posts: 2503

5/22/12 6:54:27 PM#114
Originally posted by Deron_Barak
@Eyeswideopen

Yes I heard there were layoffs but you said "mass layoffs". The link you provided even said the amount was unspecified. We don't even know if they were Studio 38 employees or outside contractors which would fall under the term "Unspecified cuts to it's workforce". Hows about we wait until the head of Studio 38 speaks about it.

They gave a fraudulant check because they had no money.

They had to make good on fraudulant check so they paid it by not paying the employees.

Now what do you suppose the easiest way to keep from owing even more weeks of pay, to the employees you can't even afford to pay for the last weeks worth of work in the first place, is? I mean, do you think they just fired a couple janitors and Schillings personal gopher? Come on man.

-Letting Derek Smart work on your game is like letting Osama bin Laden work in the White House. Something will burn.-
-And on the 8th day, man created God.-

  Deron_Barak

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/06
Posts: 1139

5/22/12 7:13:56 PM#115
Yes I read all that news already. Jokes aside you nor I know what is going on specifically but yes, I'm sure they did lay some people off. I was mearly noting that your comment of "mass layoffs" was sensationalizing your argument and didn't really have any foundation.

Just not worth my time anymore.

  liquescent

Novice Member

Joined: 1/12/04
Posts: 145

5/23/12 2:32:39 PM#116

Looks like the CEO and VP of Product Development are no longer with the company.

http://blogs.wpri.com/2012/05/23/38-studios-loses-ceo-and-high-profile-vp-linkedin-suggests/

  eyeswideopen

Tipster

Joined: 5/24/09
Posts: 2503

5/24/12 2:26:54 AM#117
Originally posted by Deron_Barak
Yes I read all that news already. Jokes aside you nor I know what is going on specifically but yes, I'm sure they did lay some people off. I was mearly noting that your comment of "mass layoffs" was sensationalizing your argument and didn't really have any foundation.

Then you may want to look at this.

I'm sure you've seen the figure of 379 employees at 38 studios as of March 2012 http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/170551/38_Studios_pays_Rhode_Island_state_but_not_its_workforce.php. Well, now the current number is 251. And a bunch of them were at a job fair held by Turbine.

Now let's do the math: 379 in March, 251 now. That's -128 people. I consider that a "mass layoff".

300 people at Turbine job fair for 50 jobs.

No specific number given for how many applicants were 38 Studios employees, but Turbine states they held the job fair in R.I. specifically because of 38 Studios employees being in need.

http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/38-studios-employees-flock-to-job-fair

-Letting Derek Smart work on your game is like letting Osama bin Laden work in the White House. Something will burn.-
-And on the 8th day, man created God.-

  Nadia

Elite Member

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11296

5/24/12 7:32:41 AM#118
Originally posted by Uhwop

the gov forced a deadline of june 2013 for the release of the MMO.  No way it's done by then, and even if they had something they could release, you know it's not going to be ready enough to succeed.

One way or the other, it's a doomed company.  The gov. is making sure of that.

i havent followed the latest news this week

but McFarlane stated 2 months ago -- that the mmo would be releasing this year

http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/03/16/todd-mcfarlane-says-project-copernicus-coming-this-year/

 

 

  Deron_Barak

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/06
Posts: 1139

5/24/12 10:59:03 AM#119
@Eyeswideopen

91 people out of that 379 figure weren't in RI, they were in Maryland at Big Huge Games. Still, that's 37 people laid of 10% which is high. Hopefully Turbine will scoop then up since thy have 50 spots.

It's not really your fault that the total facts aren't there. We shouldn't have to read through five different reports to get the whole truth.

Just not worth my time anymore.

  Deron_Barak

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/06
Posts: 1139

5/24/12 11:01:40 AM#120
Oh here's my link (from phone, sorry about that lol):

http://i.joystiq.com/2012/05/14/rhode-island-gov-working-hard-at-keeping-38-studios-solvent/

Just not worth my time anymore.

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