Former 38 Studios employee speaks out
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WHDH) -- Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, laid off all of its employees Thursday. This could effectively mean the end of the company.
All 380 employees were laid off via email.
One former employee said the company was at the brink of success, it just needed a little more time.
“The governor has turned his back on a lot of tax-paying Rhode Island citizens that work here and it’s unfortunate because we’ve a lot of great people that want to contribute to Rhode Island and now they can’t,” said Steve Danuser, formerly of 38 Studios.
The company received a $75 million loan guarantee to move from Massachusetts to Rhode Island in 2010.
Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee said they’ve had trouble getting answers from 38 Studios. Earlier this month the company was two weeks late on a $1.1 million loan payment.
“It was a risky business to get in,” said Chafee. “We all knew that and I just was opposed to anything -- further tax payer dollar going into a company that didn’t have a business plan that gave us confidence.”
If 38 Studios goes belly up, Rhode Island tax payers could potentially be out more than $75 million. Chafee said his goal is to minimize that figure, not add to it.
38 Studios wanted $6 million more in tax credits. When Rhode Island denied the request, employees were fired.
“We just needed a little help and we thought that the state would have our backs on that. We thought that the governor was an ally. It didn’t turn out that way,” said Danuser.
Chafee said he was surprised by the layoffs. He added that the state will do whatever it can to recoup as much money as possible from 38 Studios.