June 22, 2012 / 7:29 PM / 7 years ago

Schilling says game firm collapse cost him $50 million

BOSTON (Reuters) - Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, owner of bankrupt 38 Studios, said on Friday that the rapid collapse of the videogame development company had cost him $50 million of his own fortune.

Schilling made the comments to a WEEI, a Boston sports-radio station, in his first interview since Providence, Rhode Island-based 38 Studios filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on June 7 and laid off its roughly 400 workers.

When it went under, 38 Studios - named after Schilling’s Major League jersey number - said it had owed more than $150 million and had less than $22 million in assets.

“I put everything in my name in this company,” Schilling said. “It’s crushing and devastating to see it fail the way it did.”

Schilling said he was financially “tapped out” and had nothing more to give in early May, when the company missed a $1.4 million loan repayment to the state of Rhode Island.

Shortly after failing to make that payment, 38 Studios missed its May 15 payroll, and senior executives started to depart.

Most of the funding for Studio 38, launched in 2006, came from Schilling, an avid gamer, and from a $75 million loan from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp in 2010 - funds made available to lure the company to Providence from Maynard, Massachusetts.

Last year Schilling said he had invested $30 million to $35 million into the venture.

Schilling told WEEI that raising money from outside investors had proved difficult from the start.

“One of the going concerns from Day One - and it was always something that we were cognizant of - is we needed to raise capital,” he said.

But he said 38 Studios was close to signing a deal with a major videogame publisher when the company’s finances started to erode in May and Rhode Island opted not to provide any additional funding.

38 Studios released its first game, “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning,” in February. The launch date of its planned online multiplayer game, code-named “Project Copernicus” was pushed back to 2013 as the company unraveled.

Schilling made about $114 million in salary during his baseball career. The 45-year-old won three World Series championships with the Red Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.

“The money I saved and earned playing baseball was probably all gone,” Schilling said on Friday. “Life is going to be different.”

Studio 38’s bankruptcy case is re: 38 Studios LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 12-11743.

Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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