When we last glanced in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developer 38 Studios' direction, trouble was afoot - but it was tiptoeing, perhaps while disguised as some form of shrubbery. Now, though, things have taken a whiplash-inducing turn for the worst. In short, Joystiq reports that former baseball star Curt Schilling's unlikely venture has borrowed a total of $75 million from the state of Rhode Island - with a $1.125 million payment due on May 1. 38 - possibly now named after the amount of money in its bank account - couldn't pay. Today, however, the company gave it a go anyway. Unsurprisingly, that didn't end well.
Here are the cringe-worthy details, straight from the office of Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee:
"A check from 38 Studios was hand-delivered to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation at approximately 5 o'clock this evening. However, upon learning from the Chief Financial Officer of 38 Studios that there were insufficient funds to cover the payment, the check was returned. The EDC remains willing to accept readily available funds."
But it gets worse. 38 also couldn't make payroll this week, and contractors and temps - in other words, anyone who wasn't a full-time employee - was given a pink slip. Moreover, in the increasingly likely event that Schilling and co can't muster the necessary funds, Rhode Island will actually assume ownership of their IPs, as 38 used them as collateral when it originally secured the loan.
The studio, meanwhile, hasn't actually made an official statement, which - in addition to painting a less-than-promising picture - shrouds the future of Rise of Nations/Legends developer Big Huge Games in question marks. I will, of course, attempt to get in touch with the 38 subsidiary, but odds are, we'll have answers to all these questions pretty soon - one way or another.
Could Rhode Island end up with a state-owned game studio?