38 Studios makes loan payment, proves MMO project exists
After it emerged yesterday that Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios had bounced a $1.125 million USD cheque to Rhode Island as part of a loan-repayment plan, it seemed the company was in deep trouble. That may still be the case, as the developer also found itself unable to pay its workforce.
Short-term, at least, the company lives on. Today, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee confirmed that the first loan repayment of $1.125 million had been made. 38 Studios has so far received $49.8 million of an agreed $75 million loan from the state.
The company’s next major payment date is November, when it will owe $2.6 million in debt service. Following that, the studio will have to make a payment of $12.6 million in May 2013.
Keith Stokes, former head of Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and one of the men behind the $75 million guaranteed loan to lure 38 Studios to the state, resigned on Wednesday over the affair.
Governor Chafee has been meeting with Schilling and other 38 Studios directors and says he told them that 38 Studios must raise additional money through private channels. The problem is, according to Chafee, “access to private capital hasn’t materialized”.
“My goal is to protect the taxpayer now,” Chafee added, stating that 38 Studios would not receive any additional funding from the state of Rhode Island.
In an interesting twist, Chafee also revealed the schedule release date of 38 Studios’ long-term MMO development, dubbed ‘Project Copernicus’. The Rhode Island Governor said the game’s release date had been pushed back from September 2012 to June 2013.
Perhaps in response to this, and in an attempt to deflect some of the terrible news surrounding the developer at present, 38 Studios has released some in-game footage from ‘Project Copernicus’, showing a fly-by of some locations in the title (below). Whether the team will be able to even complete this project with their current financial problems is unknown, however.
Meanwhile, Chafee (who opposed the 38 Studios deal when running for Governor) stated that such a deal would “never, never” happen again while he remained in charge.