38 Studios Spouse
On June 13, 2012 Gamasutra News posted a verbatim article from a woman who called herself 38 Studios Spouse. Her article chronicled the story of how her husband was offered a job at 38 Studios in Rhode Island and moved their family across the US to work there. Five months later he was laid off and 38 Studios was closed: '38 Studios Spouse' speaks out
The story also ran on other game industry sites:
- Massively: Jun 13, 2012: Alleged 38 Studios spouse outlines family's financial struggles after company's closure
- Polygon: Jun 13, 2012: '38 Studios spouse' says company knew about cancelled insurance
- GamesIndustry International: Jun 13, 2012: 38 Studios employee's wife pens personal account of studio problems
Interestingly, Joystiq reported that the author of 38 Studios Spouse did not knowingly mimic the now common tagline in other 'tell-all' social media posts (see EA Spouse of 2004 and Rockstar Spouse of 2010): '38 Spouse' explains decision to speak now, never heard of 'EA Spouse'
The fall-out from the story of 38 Studios is large and fingers have been pointed at pro-baseball star and founder Curt Shilling, at local and state politicians, and at company executives. From the moment it was lured to Providence, Rhode Island with taxpayer-backed bonds, it seems the studio was embroiled in political maneuverings. For insiders at least, the writing was on the wall for much longer than employees were led to believe. The question of why employees were not told sooner is one of the main issues of 38 Studios Spouse and other disgruntled employees who were cut off from wages and health care with practically zero notice.
The following is a sampling of commentary on the studio closure that highlights some of the controversy as everyone seeks someone to blame:
- Shacknews: May 24, 2012: 38 Studios and Big Huge Games lay off entire staffs
- Gamasutra: Jun 1, 2012: 38 Studios' Downfall: The Gamasutra Report
- Shacknews: Jun 7, 2012: 38 Studios declares bankruptcy, federal investigation underway
- Boston Globe: July 6, 2012: Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and wife Shonda Schilling defend failed video game company 38 Studios
- Polygon: July 24, 2012: 38 Studios burned through $133 million before bankruptcy
- Polygon: Nov 1, 2012: Curt Schilling's 38 Studios sued by Rhode Island over $75 million loan guarantee
Some positive spin has resulted from the closure of 38 Studios, in that some other game studios have been quick to pick up the available talent. For those with experience or particular expertise, and who don't mind moving again, the cycle begins again: 'Epic Baltimore' rises out of the ashes of Big Huge Games