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Former 38 Studios Employees Discuss the Studio's Downfall

Updated Sat, Jun 02, 2012 by Martuk

Gamasutra has put together a detailed report about the collapse of 38 Studios citing several anonymous sources formerly employed by the studio. Several of the sources told Gamasutra that “the characterization of 38 Studios as a heavily-funded studio that bungled its resources at taxpayer expense is not entirely accurate” and referred to Schilling as a “kind patron and supportive leader” with “naive optimism” that was manipulated by executives and politicians.

The story further explains that the studio didn’t indulge in lavish spending and only filled the office with what was needed to work. The sources point to Governor Lincoln Chafee’s characterization of 38 Studios as one of the main reasons for the developer’s downfall. Accusations that Chafee leaked misinformation that scared off investors and mischaracterized the Rhode Island loan deal also get touched on.

One source referred to Schilling as "one of the good guys" despite the way certain media is potraying him and points to the 38 Studios VPs.

He was a naive sucker, and I think his VPs played him, but he always had the kindest intents for everyone, and was never malicious or manipulative. He deserves that much to be known."

The sad part of this story is about aftermath that left 38 Studios and Big Huge Games members without pay or health insurance following the studio's shutdown. If you’ve ever been laid off and put in a rough spot before, some of this story will probably strike close to home.

Source: Gamasutra

Wow, now that answers some questions. I knew the idea that this was a problem with high-rolling execs bleeding a company dry was a ridiculous assumption. To hear employees speaking so highly of Schilling is really awesome too. Contrary to popular belief, I think most CEOs actually do care a great deal for their teams. Not only is it just purely good business, but I think many folks who make it to that level do it with the goal of providing as good a home for their folks as possible, and truly care deeply about accomplishing that goal.

I ma not surprised to hear him described as naive. As it was clear to the entire industry for years that 38 had no idea what they were doing on management level.

ANY CEO though has to take the blame for their company failing, to one degree or another. He had a lot of advantages, including state backing that most studios would kill for. He may be a great guy, but he had no business trying to run a business he knew nothing about.

That speaks to ego. The *first* people he should have found and hired were good top level advisers, and then he should have listened to them. The ruble I hear from the industry is that he did the opposite-- surrounded himself with opportunistic yes-men.

I ma not surprised to hear him described as naive. As it was clear to the entire industry for years that 38 had no idea what they were doing on management level.

ANY CEO though has to take the blame for their company failing, to one degree or another. He had a lot of advantages, including state backing that most studios would kill for. He may be a great guy, but he had no business trying to run a business he knew nothing about.

That speaks to ego. The *first* people he should have found and hired were good top level advisers, and then he should have listened to them. The ruble I hear from the industry is that he did the opposite-- surrounded himself with opportunistic yes-men.

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