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Less Money For 38 Studios' Rhode Island Transplant

Less Money For 38 Studios' Rhode Island Transplant

September 8, 2010 | By Kris Graft

September 8, 2010 | By Kris Graft
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Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's 38 Studios will now receive a loan of $51 million instead of $75 million for transplanting his game company from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, according to a report from Rhode Island's WPRI Eyewitness News.

About a third of the original $75 million amount, around $20 million, will be kept in a special account to cover three years of payment to investors, the RI Economic Development Corporation said.

The EDC did not say if the money held in that reserve account would eventually be granted to 38 Studios if the money is not used to pay investors.

The studio's first game will be the single-player console and PC RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, due in fall 2011. The game was already in development when 38 Studios acquired Maryland-based developer Big Huge Games in May 2009.

38 Studios is also working on the MMOG codenamed Copernicus, a fantasy online game built from the ground up at the studio.

The amount of 38 Studios' loan has raised eyebrows from gubernatorial candidates in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with the politicians expressing concern that taxpayers could be left with the burden if the risky venture fails.

The transaction is not complete, but in the final stages, according to the report. The agreement between Rhode Island and 38 Studios would require the developer to move from its current Maynard, MA base to Rhode Island, creating about 450 jobs in the state by the end of 2012.

The loan, taken out by the state on 38 Studios' behalf, equals 60 percent of a $125 million pool of loan guarantees meant to stimulate Rhode Island's economy.

The report said that 38 Studios would be considered in default of the loan if it moved operations or established substantial operations outside of Rhode Island. Initially, the studio would receive $13 million from the loan, and then receive the rest of the $51 million over the next 15 months, provided the company meets milestones on job creation and development of its game.

38 Studios is due to announce the site of its Rhode Island office by November 30, WPRI said, attached to a 10-year enforceable lease to encourage the studio to stay put.


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