Indie Dev CEO Begs 38 Studios To Stay In Massachusetts

by Jeff Cork on Jul 27, 2010 at 06:03 AM

Yesterday, 38 Studios founder and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling announced that he was moving his company from its current Massachusetts location to Rhode Island. At least part of the decision revolved around Rhode Island dangling a $75 million loan guarantee for Schilling to relocate. As part of the terms, 38 Studios is required to bring 450 jobs to the state by the end of 2012 or risk paying a penalty.

As good as that deal might be for Schilling, some in the Massachusetts development community aren’t so enthusiastic. Demiurge Studios’ CEO William D. Reed wrote an open letter to Schilling that touts reasons to stay in Massachusetts. Some of the reasons cited include access to rail transit, a talented worker pool, and the presence of a major league baseball team.

Last week at Comic-Con, Schilling showed off the first information about 38 Studios’ debut project, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It’s being published by EA sometime in 2011.

Here’s the text of the letter:

July 27, 2010
Mr. Curt Schilling
38 Studios LLC
Maynard, MA 01754
Dear Curt,
I write to you today to address the announcement yesterday that you are moving your company away from Massachusetts to Rhode Island.

Although I understand that the enticement of loan guarantees are attractive, I ask you, on behalf of the Massachusetts game development community, to please reconsider all that you would leave behind if you go through with divorcing the Commonwealth. This state is a great place to live, work and play!   As 38 Studios’ own jobs page points out, the Boston area offers outstanding outdoor sports, world-class museums like the MFA and ICA, the best 4th of July celebration anywhere and, as you’re well aware, Boston is the best sports town in the country. Our robust public transportation system makes it easy to get around and is a huge draw for potential recruits, whether it’s the Commuter Rail out in Maynard or the subway that boasts stops near Demiurge Studios, Harmonix Music Systems and Irrational Games.

As 38 Studios’ in-development MMO grows, you will soon realize that although the capital you have secured will fund your endeavors, the most vital and necessary component to completing your project is the vast pool of talent and resources you are leaving behind. The Commonwealth has a proven, readily available and ever-increasing video game development community. As the former Director-Greater Boston Region for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development under the Romney administration, I can assure you more industry professionals than ever call this great state home.  A large number of game-focused graduates and brilliant thinkers come from our local colleges and universities, supplying the talent to meet our industry’s growing demand.   Our businesses are truly fortunate to grow in such a thriving community. 

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.

William D. Reed
Chief Executive Officer
Demiurge Studios, Inc.