December 14, 2013

No acceptable bids made for Schilling video game

The former Red Sox pitcher’s company is now defunct, and Rhode Island is on the hook for about $90 million.

The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The flagship game under development by Curt Schilling's defunct video game company failed to sell at auction because no "acceptable" offers were made, and only two pieces of intellectual property went for $320,000, the firm's court-appointed receiver said Friday.

The receiver, Richard Land, said he will continue negotiating with interested parties to sell that game, code-named Copernicus, and the other assets for which no acceptable bids were made.

Land said five parties participated in Wednesday's telephone auction by Global Heritage Partners. More than 20 had expressed interest.

Schilling's company, 38 Studios, had been developing a "massively multiplayer" game at its Providence headquarters with the help of a $75 million loan guarantee from Rhode Island's economic development agency. The company filed for bankruptcy last year, and the state is on the hook for some $90 million related to the deal.

Rhode Island is by far 38 Studios' biggest creditor, and the auction was an attempt to recoup some of what the state stands to lose. The quasipublic Economic Development Corp. is also suing the former Red Sox pitcher, former 38 Studios officials and some of its own ex-employees, saying they knew the company was on course to run out of money by last year and misled the board into backing the loan.

Schilling's attorneys have called the claims baseless.

Land said the two lots that sold at auction were the "Rise of Nations" and "Rise of Legends" games and associated intellectual property, and the trademark for Big Huge Games, a Maryland company that 38 Studios acquired in 2009. The winning bidders were not disclosed.

A message left for Gov. Lincoln Chafee's spokeswoman seeking comment on the results was not immediately returned.

Industry analyst Michael Pachter told The Associated Press in September he doubted the flagship game, "Copernicus," would be worth much or that many parties would bid, because it could cost anywhere from $20 million to $100 million to finish it. He predicted it would go for $1.

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