As Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios prepares to move from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, lured in part by a $75 million loan, stipulations of the agreement between the game maker and the state are coming to light.
One provision of the deal dictated that 38 Studios would eventually ramp up to 450 employees. According to WPRI.com, if Schilling’s company fails to meet that goal by August of 2013, the developer would have to pay the state $7,500 a year for each absent job.
Schilling himself estimated that Electronic Arts has invested upwards of $50 million into 38 Studios as a partner and eventual publisher of the just-revealed role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. That figure was called “enormous” by Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey, who intimated that EA may be supporting 38 Studios’ development costs as well with such a princely sum.
Meanwhile, Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson worried that such an investment would limit 38 Studios’ earnings, since it would have to repay EA for its investment first.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, more discussing the developer’s massively-multiplayer online game in development (codenamed Copernicus), told the publication, “My guess is that [38 Studios] will succeed, but it's really hard to forecast without seeing the game.”
Pachter further stated, "38 Studios is doing everything right to minimize the risk of failure."
Wilson added, “As a state, if you want to start attracting more talent either in tech, media or entertainment, then video games I think is a good place to do that.”