38 Studios: Requiem for a Lost Virtual World

The recent drama and subsequent bankruptcy of Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios has haunted me these past few weeks. Although I was just a bystander, I was living somewhat vicariously through Curt and his dreams to create a revolutionary fantasy virtual world. With his celebrity status, myriad of connections and considerable wealth, I figured if someone could make my perfect MMO it would most likely be Curt.

When it all came crashing down, the not only did the dreams of Curt and his employees end, it had the side effect of forcing me to confront my own dreams of creating a MMO. Most game designer have a secret video game project that they guard in their heart of hearts; designing a MMO was mine. It is these dreams that are the inspirational fuel that keeps us going when we are involved in video game projects we don’t particularly like.

What happened to 38 Studios was a jolting reality check for all aspiring MMO developers because it forced us all to ask a crucial question:

If a multi-millionaire celebrity with all of his resources and hired talent can’t even finish a MMO after spending over $150 million dollars, realistically, what hope is there for the rest of us who share similar dreams?

MMO Dreams

Since becoming an avid player of MMORPG’s like EverQuest, I have had a dream to make my own virtual fantasy world. Creating things was more enjoyable than playing things. When I played EQ I would always marvel at how things worked behind the scenes. There was always something vocational about wanting to create a living breathing world albeit virtual.

When I would take the Bartle test I would get scores that were similar to other virtual world creators such as Raph Koster. I felt that my aptitude and dreams were in good company.

While I was never quite satisfied with the virtual worlds I had experienced; I saw immense potential in the genre and wanted more. I always knew I could do better job.

Dissatisfaction Fuels Innovation

Often, it is that nagging dissatisfaction that is the wellspring of inspiration that fuels many new business startups that creates the new products that saturate our culture. Starbucks found a way to elevate a simple cup of coffee into a cultural experience. Other companies have taken similar simple concepts and transformed them into something special and unique. Who could ever imagine that a simple web interface that enables friends to “like” and “share” would create a multi-billion dollar company with 900 million users like Facebook?

For many of us who believed that revolutionary virtual worlds like Ultima Online and EverQuest could be improved upon and taken to the next level, it was only natural to put our faith in the vision of fellow travelers like Curt Schilling and R.A. Salvatore. If World of Warcraft took EverQuest to the next level of polish, then 38 Studios could take EverQuest to the next level using a different tangent with community and a dynamic virtual world as its goal.

At least that is what we thought…

But the dream is over for 38 Studios. While the assets could be purchased by another MMO company, without R.A. Salvatore on board and without former 38 Studios employees to decipher them, it’s hard to believe that the world of Amalur could ever be authentically salvaged. Assets lack meaning, without a specific design and purpose behind them. A highly prized musical instrument like a Stradivarius violin cannot play itself.

So all we are left with is the aftermath of failure. What can we learn to prevent future disasters?

The 38 Studios Spouse Speaks Out

The MMO industry is a small world. People who work there dare not speak out against former employers lest they get blacklisted by future employers. It’s doubtful that many ex-38 Studios will ever come forward and tell the truth about what happened for fear of never working again in this industry. So it is left to spouses to come foward and expose the seedy underbelly of an industry that often abuses its employees by treating them like slaves and making them work endless 16 hour days and weekends. Welcome to the glamorous video game industry!

Enter the 38 Studios spouse who put a human face on the disaster that impacted the families of 38 Studios employees with a heart wrenching tale.

Like the 38 Studios spouse, some days I feel angry at Curt Schilling and other days I feel empathy for him. The fact that he didn’t pay his employees and left them in the dark was deplorable and appalling. Countless articles have been written attacking Curt in the past month for his inadequacies and failures. I can’t think of anyone that has been attacked so viciously for failing.

Live By the Sword and Die by the Sword

Given Curt’s outspoken opinions and bravado, many have relished the day when Curt would fail. I must admit there were days that I was wishing for him to fall on his ass due to his over-confident nature. Nothing exemplifies the 38 Studios cockiness better than the outrageous “World Domination Through Gaming” slogan that seems so pathetic and laughable in retrospect.

However, the attacks on his Christian faith and his conservative politics — which have nothing to do with this issue — are reprehensible. Remove the overblown baseball personality from the equation and Curt seems like a genuinely good and decent person that valued his employees and did much to help various charities and causes. His employees seemed to really admire him — even after the company declared bankruptcy. And it’s easy to see why when you consider Curt spent 6 years of his life and lost most of his personal fortune with 38 Studios.

Businesses fail every day and it should not be crime for a business to fail.

On 38 Studio’s Inept Marketing and Bizarre Public Events

One thing that always troubled me about Curt as a MMO impresario was that he had an insatiable and near pathological desire for attention. He seemed like a modern-day incarnation of self-promoter P.T. Barnum and loved to bask in the spotlight. I always used to bristle that no matter where you saw Curt he would talk incessantly about the caliber of the team at 38 Studios but would never release details about the MMO or even its name. Even the members of his team behaved the same way with excessive and dubious appearances and interviews at trade shows, conventions and colleges.

For someone who had nothing to show, he sure had a lot to say. I was not the only person that was puzzled by this bizarre behavior on the part of Curt and some of his staff at 38 Studios. Jeff Holis has penned an outstanding article at TORWARS chronicling the strange public relations approach used by the studio.

Unfortunately, there were some odd problems from the very beginning.  At the highest levels, management at 38 Studios was very unorthodox. The management principles of 38 Studios, at least the ones that the public could see, were noticeably different from other, more established studios. In fact, the studio appeared to focus on conveying three messages to the public. One, embarrassingly unprofessional, attention-seeking behaviors are perfectly acceptable forms of PR. Two, the public will be very interested to know how really, really cool it is to work at 38 Studios. Three, 38 Studios is not going to tell you jack about the game, even after six years.

Jeff goes on to comment in great detail about other perplexing public appearances by Curt and his team. There is no doubt in my mind, that when all is said and done, the blundering of Curt and the leadership of 38 Studios were a big part of the failure of their company.

Curt Talks

Curt finally broke his long silence in recent interview with The Denis & Callahan Morning show on Boston Radio station WEEI on June 22, 2012. It’s about time, considering the field day commentators and pundits have had without any rebuttal from 38 Studios. At last Curt gave his own account of what happened and what went wrong. The biggest reason for the failure of 38 Studios is that they failed get anyone to invest in their MMO project:

Curt Schilling: We did not raise private capital.

This might partly explain why Curt felt he had to maintain such a ubiquitous public persona appearing at multiple gaming conventions and trade shows. He was probably trying to attract investors by creating a hyper awareness of his company by leveraging his sports celebrity status. It’s just too bad he had nothing to promote except himself.


Perhaps seasoned investors knew that Curt and his team lacked credibility. This might explain why 38 Studios purchased Big Huge Games as a way to instantly increase their credibility with a product (Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning) they could easily reskin and ship.

Perhaps he didn’t have enough of the cutthroat nature that is required to be successful in business. Curt was just too nice and didn’t demand enough accountability and productivity from his employees. It’s truly mind-boggling that after 6 years, 38 Studios could not produce a MMO for the $150 million that they spent. Consider that Blizzard spent $63 million to create WoW in only 4 years.

Dancing with the Devil

If he is guilty of anything it is that he wanted his dream to succeed at all costs and made a deal with the devil in the form of the government of Rhode Island. The devil is a cruel taskmaster. Curt even alluded to the EDC acting in bad faith during his recent WEEI interview:

Curt Schilling: Somebody is doing something very evil here….they (EDC) were playing a poker game…the representative at EDC hung the phone up.

After listening to the interview on WEEI, it becomes clear that in Curt’s mind, Governor Chafee and the EDC decided to sabotage 38 Studios for political reasons. From what I know about politics and the culture of Rhode Island I am not surprised in the least. Someday the truth will come out.

Further Research: For those wanting to glean some useful insight on how Rhode Island government works with systemic corruption and backroom deals, I invite you to watch the acclaimed Showtime series The Brotherhood written by New England raised Blake Masters. It’s all about the fictional struggles of a modern Irish American family — one brother is a politician; the other brother is a gangster. Watch episode 4 and you’ll see how “tax credits” (a big part of the 38 Studios story) play a huge role as the “juice” on how things get done in Rhode Island. Too bad Curt didn’t watch the series and learn these lessons.

Curt the Optimist

In his defense, Curt seemed very positive at a recent PaxEast panel in March of 2012. Till the end, it seemed he was a true believer in Copernicus MMO. This is hardly the demeanor of someone who knew the company was doomed. If he did know it, then there would be no reason for him to waste his time there.

There are many theories of how and why 38 Studios failed. Some claim that Curt was too stubborn and he could not get investors because he didn’t want to give away ownership in his company.  My best guess is that at some point the numbers just didn’t add up but he kept making gamble after gamble hoping that new money would come in to pay the $4 million dollar monthly expenses of keeping 38 Studios going.

Curt was all in.

In the end, it was the employees and their families who suffered the most with cancelled health insurance, unpaid wages and other problems as Curt’s heroic gamble failed. To learn more about Curt’s tragic character flaw, check out former 38 Studios Creative Director Steve Danuser’s latest article.

Perfect is the Enemy of Good

There are so many ways to fail at making a MMO and precious few ways to succeed. 38 Studios seemed to have the bases of failure loaded.

Many have theorized that “feature creep” killed Copernicus MMO. Feature creep (when you keep adding new features to a video game without accounting for how you will produce them and how much time it takes to integrate them)  has killed many video games and is a common newbie game designer mistake.

Andrew Dobbs replying to Steve Danuser’s recent article on 38 Studios said it best:

If we had played to get on base instead of swinging for the fences, we wouldn’t have struck out.

Well said. Too bad that 38 Studios didn’t have the kind of open culture where somebody like Andrew could speak up and have the management listen. How many times have we heard of similar stories where the workers in the trenches knew what the problems are but the insular people at the top refused to listen?

Old 38 Studios Videos

Here are two old video gems from the IGDA 2008 Leadership Forum. The first is Curt Schilling’s Leadership in the Game Space talk. The second is Studios Heads on the Hotseat which features future 38 Studios CEO Jen MacLean (she is drinking wine in the video and this caused a bit of controversy given the “quality of life” issues that were in the news at the time) and then current CEO Brett Close.

Now that 38 Studios has gone bankrupt, going back and listening to old interviews with Curt Schilling and other team members is painful. It seemed they spent more time talking about their qualifications and MMO than actually making their MMO. Walking the walk is much harder than talking the talk.

38 Studios: The Book?

I hope someday the truth will come out about what really happened to Curt Schilling and 38 Studios in the form of a book. This book would have it all: celebrity, political corruption, misdeeds, nepotism, favoritism, incompetent executives, office drama, betrayed employees — you can’t make this kind of stuff up.

The video game industry needs a proper post-mortem analysis of arguably one of the most tragic and disastrous events of its short and colorful history. If anything can be salvaged from this fiasco it should be that valuable lessons can be taught in business and design schools as a warning to future travelers embarking on similar bold and risky ventures.

I think the best candidate for writing such a book is Steve Danuser. He was there with Curt from the beginning and was his first hire back when 38 Studios was called Green Monster Games. With his English degree and writing skills, he seems uniquely qualified for such a task. Once enough time has elapsed and he has distanced himself from the aura of Curt’s influence, I think he could offer the world with a rare insight into Curt Schilling and what really happened at 38 Studios. Nobody would blame him for taking on such a valuable and cathartic task.

Plaza of Broken Dreams

During a recent trip to the East Coast of the U.S.A., I happened to be in Providence, Rhode Island. While staying there, I figured I’d visit the 38 Studios headquarters. It was only a few minutes walk from the Hilton Hotel (apparently according to the bankruptcy 38 Studios owes the Hilton in Providence money). When we arrived at the green ivy adorned entrance of One Empire Street, all we found was a security guard, some chalk scribbling on the adjacent courtyard where the “occupy 38 studios” demonstration was held the night before.

Standing there on that sweltering June day, I tried to imagine what it must have been like to walk through those doors everyday thinking that you were involved with a MMO that would make history. I wondered how many hopes and dreams that building used to house only to vanish into the mists of time when the money ran out.

The starkness and the silence was sobering. No flowers, no candles, no vigils, no shrine, no monument, no epitaph to what once was 38 Studios.

Epilogue

One of the hidden tragedies in all of this is that an unknown and still unnamed virtual world that consumed the creative life force of hundreds of employees working 6 years will probably be lost. This loss is more common than is generally known to the public as often video game projects just run out of funding or are cancelled for other reasons. How many other fantasy worlds that live in the minds of their creators are conceived but never born?

Let’s not forget the loss for the fans and the fan web sites. Although not as tragic as the loss for the families, the impact of Copernicus MMO being shelved has affected many of the faithful cheering silently on the sidelines. It’s such a shame that Curt and his merry band of top talent never bothered to share anything substantial with their fans. A highly motivated fan base could have made all the difference in the world but 38 Studios chose to disrespect their fans by not including them.

If there are any silver linings in all of this, it is this: the failure of 38 Studios’s Copernicus has given me a strange new appreciation for existing MMOs due to the fact that somehow they came into being from sheer force of will and many thousands of hours of intensive labor. Like baby turtles born on the Galapagos Islands, virtual worlds are delicate organisms and many if not most will die.

As I mentioned in my previous article (incidentally released before some of the big players in the MMO blogosphere echoed similar sentiments), I think the days of the big budget AAA+ MMO are over. The decline of the current MMO let’s make another World of Warcraft paradigm is clear for all to see. Perhaps someday the cost of creating a MMO will decrease and democratize to the point that someone with the imagination of J.K. Rowling can create a virtual world without having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars.

I used to think there would someday be a great MMO that would come on the scene that would dethrone World of Warcraft and get this genre back on a righteous track. I no longer believe it will happen anytime soon. I think the entire banal MMO industry will slowly slide into obscurity and oblivion. Thanks to the clever money men in suits, MMOs have lost their distinctiveness and have become McHappy Meal pedestrian fare. This is what happens when something you love becomes a fad; you can kiss it goodbye.

Goodbye Copernicus, we hardly knew you.

-Wolfshead

8 thoughts on “38 Studios: Requiem for a Lost Virtual World

  1. Don’t let mismanagement at one company kill your MMO development dream. I’m living mine now. 150M dollars would be nice, but it is hardly necessary. I’m making a little MMO, but it is the game I’ve wanted to play for years. Taking on a project like this is a bit scary, but also kind of amazing.

  2. I believe the biggest mistake is in using high labor cost US/Euro programmers/artists. Just like most anything else today, the Chinese (or Indian or Eastern Euro or Russians) can do programming/artwork just as well for 1/4 the price. The first thing any MMO designer should figure out is what exactly HAS to be done in the US and what can be done with a low cost labor base.

  3. Try this: stop living in a virtual fantasy world and make a computer game that actually teaches people to THINK and acquire skills that are applicable in real life and not sword and board land? I’m so glad I left gaming behind 15 years ago. Try it and you will too.

  4. I absolutely agree that this is a disaster for MMOs. As much as I respect Mr. Basler’s work, the reality is that many elements of MMOs require budgets larger than “indie” scale. Indie MMOs will still be around, but this has been a devastating blow for commercial MMO development. I’ve personally seen investors walk away from funding discussions after news of this broke.

    And while I think personal attacks are uncalled for, I will disagree that Curt Schilling’s political stance is not important to this discussion. Mr. Schilling was a small-government (Tea Party) conservative that publicly belittled people for using government support when he turns around and does that exact thing himself. Saying one thing and doing the opposite is hypocrisy, and that’s not an admirable trait for a business person no matter what your political stripe.

    Look, I respect you tremendously, Wolfshead. We certainly don’t agree on politics, but you usually have tremendous insight into game issues. I think your bias has blinded you. Your attempts to make the sweetheart government loan look like a “deal with the devil” to get funding is ridiculous on the face of it. Rhode Island actually changed the law to allow this deal to go through; originally the limit on funds was $50 million, but the government under a Republican governor changed it to $70 million to accommodate the deal. These types of funds are generally intended to support a wide variety of small businesses with the understanding that many will fail, but a few successes will repay the total investment. Giving so much money to one large source means that someone was ignoring the intent of this fund to give one person a tremendous advantage.

    This isn’t just a case of someone taking advantage of an offer that the government offers to anyone. Arranging such a deal was obviously something that required the concerted support of the company that benefited. And even after the writing was on the wall, people within the company still tried to blame the government for their problems when it was probably that government support that let them go as long as they did. And I refuse to believe that Mr. Schilling is so ignorant to not understand what 38 Studios’ failure would mean to the money they took from the state and how that would affect the citizens of the state; I suspect he just didn’t think it as possible for him to fail.

    Maybe I’d buy the “deal with the devil” explanation if there had not been an observable pattern. Being unwilling to give up control to get private investment. Employees being blindsided by not getting paid with absolutely no warning. Health insurance premiums going unpaid putting people at risk of not having health insurance coverage. Houses not being sold when the company said they had been. Repeatedly we see abuses of trust. The management team is not the victim of unfortunate circumstances in this case.

    Make no mistake, this situation touches me deeply on a personal level. I’m sorry to see a dream come to this. It’s pretty obvious that Curt Schilling himself is financially much worse off after this chain of events. It breaks my heart that 300 people are put out on the street so suddenly. It irritates me that this is causing blowback for legitimate projects with actual business acumen behind them. But, I think that the level of political hypocrisy is absolutely a vital piece of the puzzle to what happened to the company.

    • I have a lot of respect for you Brian and we do see eye to eye on many points in this story but I have to disagree with you on a few issues. I created a rather long reply to you with a lot of background on this story with explanations of why the media has attacked Curt Schilling with ferocity but I decided to keep it a bit shorter.

      Let me also say that the MMO blogosphere is dominated by people who are left of center politically. As a MMO blogger who is a political conservative, I have a right to my opinion in a country that is still free and I hope you will appreciate my rare perspective in a milieu where most people think the same way.

      Much has been made of the “Curt Schilling is a hypocrite” meme. Since this is an election year, I understand quite well why many on the Left have decided to demonize — with outrageous and over the top hyperbole — Mr. Schilling for his conservatism and right wing beliefs. (By the way, he’s not even a registered Republican and hasn’t been for 5 years).

      Others such as Scott Jennings have predictably labelled him as a “raging hypocrite”. I disagree with this disproportionate characterization because there is little to no serious and substantive evidence to support this accusation. (Jennings is a master at using deceptive anchor text that links to dubious source material ).

      Just because Curt Schilling campaigned on a stage with John McCain in the 2008 Presidential election and was interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News does not make him a raging hypocrite by a long shot. This is the old guilt by association fallacy which may fool many of the rubes on the Internet but not me.

      I also see no evidence to support that fact that Curt “publicly belittled people” for using government support. That’s a very strong and serious accusation to make about a fellow game developer and if you can back it up with transcripts I’d be happy to take a look at it. It it not up to me or Curt to disprove these allegations, it’s up to you and others.

      Even if I concede that Schilling is a hypocrite, his hypocrisy would have nothing to do with the failure of 38 Studios. Hypocrisy didn’t kill 38 Studios, bad management and (I believe) the political ambitions of the new government of Rhode Island did in my opinion. Since all of the facts are not out and the investigations of this affair have not ended the jury is still out and the post mortem has yet to be written.

      The charge of hypocrisy is probably the weakest charge anyone can make about a fellow human being. I supposed I could easily knock on the door of most people in my town and shout at them for being hypocrites for something or another. They would rightly slam the door in my face.

      If hypocrisy was a crime 99.9% of the population would be in prison. We are all hypocrites in some way. He who is without sin, cast the first stone.

      That said, I do think that people and organizations should try to be as consistent as possible with their views as it speaks to their credibility and character. I just feel that the charges of hypocrisy leveled at Curt are weak at best and reveal the level of desperation and obsession that some on the Left have.

      I think Curt was desperate and turned to the government of Rhode Island because he was all out of options. Every bit of that $49 million that 38 Studios borrowed from the Rhode Island was meant to be paid back. It was not a handout. Besides that found would have vanished if 38 Studios didn’t apply for it. Curt didn’t earn one single penny from any of the loan and lost $50 million of his own money. That’s $50 million that he invested into the lives and talents of fellow programmers, designers, artists, producers and other support staff. I wonder how much money his harshest critics have invested into the lives of the people in the video game industry?

      The bigger picture here is that the multitude of attacks on Curt Schilling are all about a concerted pattern of demonizing and silencing conservatives in America. A few years ago, Rush Limbaugh an outspoken conservative radio host tried to purchase part ownership of an NFL team but faced opposition from the organized Left in this country.

      After all of the vicious attacks and smears that Curt Schilling and his family has endured these past few months, do you really think another wealthy conservative will ever bother to think about investing and risking his millions to create a MMO?

      We both have blogs about game design. I try not to introduce politics and my beliefs into my articles if at all possible. But this time I could not bear to see Curt Schilling attacked so unfairly hence the reason I briefly mentioned it in my article which took Schilling and 38 Studios to task for their many failures.

      As an aside, I wonder why both you and Scott Jennings didn’t speak up when the original deal with Rhode Island was made? Why did you save your indignation for after 38 Studios failed? I suppose it’s easy to kick a man when he’s down. I’ve done it myself in various articles over the years and in retrospect I’m ashamed of myself.

      Brian you see this is a political story because that’s what you want to see, I see it as the failure of a MMO company story because that is what I want to see. I suppose there is enough blindness in both of our eyes to each other’s perspectives. Glass half full or glass half empty. We both have our reasons and let’s just agree to disagree.

      • People have said a number of times on the Fire of Heavens guild board (which is a huge community beyond just that guild, where Mr. Schilling posts under the handle “Ngruk”) that he has used the term “liberal” as an insult when talking to people and told people they should “bootstrap” themselves rather than looking for a handout. Unfortunately, the posts in question are not on the board anymore. So, maybe this is a coordinated conspiracy to discredit Mr. Schilling, but that seems a bit far-fetched.

        I disagree about hypocrisy being a minor issue. Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another. In business, that’s also known as “acting in bad faith”. As I pointed out, 38 Studios did this multiple times. Mr. Schilling said he would warn people when bad things were happening, instead he kept silent and then later says he merely “dropped the ball”. The company said houses were going to be sold when they were not. The company said moving expenses would be reimbursed, when they were not. I’m sorry, this shows a deep and troubling pattern of behavior for someone who is supposed to be running a business, providing livelihood for hundreds of people. This almost certainly an indication about what went wrong with the rest of the company and why we’re reading all these news stories about what could have been. This goes beyond simple lies to prevent panic to outright abdication of responsibility.

        And, sorry, that wasn’t a loan from the state. Loans are taken out with the reasonable expectation that they will be paid back. By the time 38 Studios was looking to Rhode Island, they were in pretty dire straits according to the article I posted in another comment today. They needed that money to keep the lights on. That means that he knew there was a good chance that money would not be repaid. Think of him like those people who took out the NINJA loans that caused the housing crisis, but Mr. Schilling doesn’t have the benefit of saying a loan officer lied to him to make a commission.

        Personally, I couldn’t give a shit about his political leanings. Sure, I might roll my eyes and sigh when I read some of the political stuff he wrote, but it’s really this bad business behaviors that just exasperate me. You work in games, Wolfshead, you know how scary smart a lot of us are. But, you also know the people who let ego get in their way; they hate not being the smartest guy in the room, and they will stubbornly refuse to be proven wrong. This is a dumb attitude to have. As I’ve said before the reason why I wrote Business & Legal Primer for Game Development is not because I have a passion for business, but because I saw how much it had hurt people I knew NOT to know about how business works. I’ve repeatedly taken steps to make sure that I learn from others. It’s obvious that Schilling might have hired smart people, but the story repeated from a lot of sources was that he didn’t listen to those people. He was antagonized by people who didn’t agree with him. That’s a foolish and dangerous attitude to have. Yes, there’s something to be said about being persistent and not letting a few failures deter you. But, there’s also something to be said about being pig-headed stubborn to the point where you cause your family financial ruin.

        Worse, he shat where the rest of us have been trying to eat. As I said, investors we were talking to walked away the week that news came out. Wolfshead, you of all people should be fucking furious at how things turned out. This has absolutely killed the era of the big MMOs. You will not see a return to the old EQ style of MMO for many years, if ever, because of this. Any chance you had of seeing your perfect game realized once again died with 38 Studios.

        As someone who has spent a lot of time learning about business, this wasn’t a case of a bunch of bad breaks for all the articles I’ve read, this is a case of someone not knowing how to run a business and causing tragedy and destruction rather than get help (and compensate that help) that he needed. So, yeah, I’m angry. Because if I weren’t, I’d be crawling into a hole and giving up completely right now. Luckily there’s still a bit of fight in me yet.

  5. Here is an excerpt and link to an article that Brian Green sent me from Boston Magazine that takes an inside look into the failure of Curt Schilling and 38 Studios:

    Curt Schilling set out to build the greatest video-game company the world had ever seen, and to get rich — Bill Gates rich — doing it. Instead, the whole thing exploded in his face. Drawing on exclusive interviews with the Red Sox legend and his former employees, Jason Schwartz takes us inside the chaos, arrogance, and mistakes that led to the destruction of 38 Studios and the loss of $75 million in taxpayer money.

    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/2012/07/38-studios-end-game/print/

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