On the day he was preparing to join the Red Sox Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012, former pitcher Curt Schilling was once again faced with questions about the demise of his Rhode Island video game company, 38 Studios.
“I had a family of 400 people that I was responsible for and I failed them,” Schilling said Friday during a press conference at Fenway Park prior to the induction ceremony. “I took a shot and tried to create something world-changing, and it didn’t work out. I gave it everything I had, literally, and now I’m just trying to manage day-by-day.”
Financial troubles at Schilling’s company — which was lured from Massachusetts by a $75 million loan guarantee backed by Rhode Island taxpayers — surfaced publicly when 38 Studios was unable to pay its bills, and missed a $1.1 million payment to the state. Within days, 38 Studios laid off all 400 employees, and eventually filed for bankruptcy.
While both Schilling and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee have tried to find backers to revive the company, most officials admit there is little of value to salvage and taxpayers are likely out their total investment.
Schilling has said he personally lost $50 million in 38 Studios and had blamed Chafee for making public comments that he believed scared off potential investors. On Friday, however, Schilling was more reflective.
“It’s been hard, but life is hard,” he said. “This is not somebody else’s fault.”
The primary reason for the undoing of 38 Studios was its ambition: The company was trying to build a multiplayer online fantasy video game, considered a high risk venture for even experienced game companies. The firm essentially ran out of money — and financial backers — before it could bring the game to market.
At Fenway Park Friday, Schilling added that he is not dwelling on how his image has suffered since the 38 Studios debacle.
“I can’t worry about people who are never going to meet me and what they might think of me,” he said. “It’s been challenging, it’s been tough, but my wife and my kids are healthy and I’m OK.”