No Criminal Charges in 38 Studios Investigation, Says Rhode Island Attorney General

No Criminal Charges in 38 Studios Investigation, Says Rhode Island Attorney General

38-studios-logo-300

There won't be any criminal charges filed against Rhode Island government officials or former 38 Studios employees.

Almost everyone remembers the sudden shutdown of 38 Studios, the developer of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Founded by All-Star baseball pitcher Curt Schilling, 38 Studios received a $75 million loan from the Rhode Island government to work on the game that followed Amalur, a new MMO called Copernicus.

In the aftermath of the studio shutting down, an investigation was launched into the way the deal came about, and that investigation continued until Friday, when Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Rhode Island State Police Colonel Steven O'Donnell called a press conference to announce that no criminal charges would be filed.

Kilmartin said that "We do not possess the luxury of just being emotional when it comes to matters such as this," in defending the decision to forego filing charges. O'Donnell reminded reporters that "a bad deal does not always equate to an indictment."

The printed explanation was eight pages long, but the conclusion is where you find the most important takeaway, which reads, "The quantity and quality of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration."

A spokeswoman for Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, who promised an independent probe of 38 Studios that never materialized, said that she "has no plans to call for an additional investigation."

However, this doesn't close the investigation. Kilmartin said that the information gathered would not be released to the public, as the case will remain open, and new evidence could result in charges being filed at a later date. It also has no effect on the ongoing 2012 civil suit filed by the state against the people behind the deal, nor does it deal with the civil fraud charges that the Securities & Exchange Commission filed against the state and some of the people behind the deal.

Curt Schilling weighed in on the deal on Twitter, saying,

While this doesn't completely close the door on 38 Studios, it certainly has to make some of the people who were being investigated feel better. It doesn't do much to help offset the $75 million in lost loan repayment, nor does it address the money spent in investigating the situation for the last four years.

Source: WPRI.com

Permalink

Wait?! $75 million loan from a local government authority? So, we are just handing out money now? Wish I could get a million dollar loan.

Oh well. Back to my minimum wage job.

Parasondox:
Wait?! $75 million loan from a local government authority? So, we are just handing out money now? Wish I could get a million dollar loan.

Oh well. Back to my minimum wage job.

To be fair, that money came from a business development fund and the studio was backed by Schilling's own personal fortune as well, so it's not like they just handed 75 mil to some guy that just asked for it. It wasn't a smart use of the funds, to be sure, since development costs for games vs the number of people employed is a very risky venture, even for seasoned studios.

Parasondox:
Wait?! $75 million loan from a local government authority? So, we are just handing out money now? Wish I could get a million dollar loan.

Oh well. Back to my minimum wage job.

Well though not as much, Ontario, Canada's government have Silicon Knights a bunch of money over the years. X-Men: Destiny was funded as one such game.

Gorrath:

Parasondox:
Wait?! $75 million loan from a local government authority? So, we are just handing out money now? Wish I could get a million dollar loan.

Oh well. Back to my minimum wage job.

To be fair, that money came from a business development fund and the studio was backed by Schilling's own personal fortune as well, so it's not like they just handed 75 mil to some guy that just asked for it. It wasn't a smart use of the funds, to be sure, since development costs for games vs the number of people employed is a very risky venture, even for seasoned studios.

Yeah, the purpose of the loan was to bring tech jobs to Rhode Island; it was an idea to kick-start a tech industry in the postage stamp. Bringing in a successful game studio into the state would bring in high-paying jobs, and employees of those high-paying jobs would be spending that money in RI, taxes, encouraging growth in other businesses as the money gets passed around, etc.

Not a bad idea, but the key point was a "successful" game studio.

Oops.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here