38 Studios moves a few miles down the road from Boston to Rhode Island thanks to a $75 million kickback.
Schilling said yesterday that his efforts to arrange assistance from Massachusetts met with seeming indifference. “It was very hard to get to anyone,’’ he said.
Keith Stokes, the executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., told the Globe several weeks ago that his office was originally approached by Schilling’s company. “We weren’t pursuing 38,’’ Stokes said. “They came to us.’’
Yesterday, Stokes said the state would issue bonds to generate the $75 million, and Schilling’s company would receive the cash in stages as it added jobs and met predetermined goals.
Local developers react as if Curt Schilling signed with the Yankees.
Curt, we love our home state of Massachusetts. In the end, if you really move your company down to Pawtucket, it will be a loss for the Boston game community. If anyone on the talented 38 Studios team wants to stay in Massachusetts, where we play major-league ball, they're more than welcome to join the team at Demiurge Studios, the state’s soon-to-be largest independent game studio.
And even local politicians got in the act.
A day after Schilling announced he was accepting a $75 million loan guarantee package to move his 38 Studios LLC to the Ocean State, politicians in Massachusetts and Rhode Island questioned whether the incentive deal was worth the price.
Former U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a candidate for governor in Rhode Island, even questioned the validity of Schilling’s famous “bloody sock” tale in the 2004 Red Sox march toward a championship. Chafee later backtracked from his fake bloody-sock crack.
But Massachusetts officials weren’t reversing their call that Schilling was off-base for accusing Massachusetts of not doing enough to keep his budding Maynard-based firm in the Bay State.
“I think in the end he was, I think, hoping we would get in a bit of a bidding war with Rhode Island, and we weren’t prepared to do that,” Greg Bialecki, Gov. Deval Patrick’s economic czar, told the State House News Service.
No word on how this straight-up corporate welfare grab for taxpayer dollars meshes with Schilling's long-rumored conservative political ambitions. If you're wondering why this is relevant to this blog, Curt Schilling is responsible for bringing Advanced Squad Leader back into print! There may also be something involving dark elves.