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    Rhode Island’s Solyndra cubed

    Rhode Island’s Solyndra cubed

    I haven’t had much time to focus on the debacle unfolding in my home State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations over loan guarantees to a company owned by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

    This Bloomberg story has the latest:

    Curt Schilling, pitching ace on the 2004 Boston team that won baseball’s World Series, may leave Rhode Island on the hook for $75 million of bonds sold to help lure his video game company to the state.

    The former Red Sox fireballer yesterday asked the state for extra time after the Providence-based venture failed to make a $1.1 million payment to cash-strapped Rhode Island’s economic-development arm.

    Schilling, 45, last year moved the company, 38 Studios LLC, from Massachusetts after Rhode Island lent $75 million from the proceeds of a debt sale in exchange for a promise to create hundreds of jobs. The state may be forced to repay the bonds if the company defaults on the loan, according to securities filings.

    DrewM at AceOfSpadesHQ sums up the “what were they thinking” aspect of this:

    450 people? To design a video game? I worked in the industry about 10 years ago on a game that became really popular and was sold to a major company for a metric butt-load of money (not that I got any of that). If there were ever more than 30 people working there I’d be shocked and they never got anywhere near $75 million in cash until they sold out.

    Of course Schilling’s company only ever had 288 people working there anyway. 288 people? On development? For a game not even ready for preview at E3? Oh dear God! …

    People in government don’t even know how to run a government. Why do they think they are qualified to be investors?

    Via The Boston Herald:

    As bad as Solyndra was for the U.S., it’s far worse for a small state like Rhode Island.


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    Aarradin | May 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    As a former game designer and producer, I have to say this whole thing stinks.

    You can produce quality games for 5-10 million each with teams of 30 or so people per product (MMORPG’s have bigger staff, but then they have a monthly revenue base from their players). I’ve personally produced games that sold over 250k units for under $500k with a team of only a dozen.

    Also, gaming is a HUGE market, comparable in many respects to the film industry. There’s no shortage of private capital willing, indeed eager to invest.

    Schilling is PERSONALLY wealthy enough to finance multiple successful product lines, if he had the slightest idea what he was doing.

    Ace’s analysis is dead on, in every respect.

    SeanInLI | May 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    “450 people? To design a video game? I worked in the industry about 10 years ago…”

    Please tell this dummy that a console or PC game designed 10 years ago are pale shadows of video games designed today, let alone an MMO (which the loan was to pay for). It cost between $150-200 million to develop the recently released “Star Wars: The Old Republic” MMO.

    Uncle Samuel | May 18, 2012 at 6:32 am

    How many other Blue/Democrat States have invested (aka laundered) huge amounts of public funds in short term/high expense crony greasing ventures?

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | May 18, 2012 at 6:33 am

      Make that crony political machine greasing ventures.

        Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | May 18, 2012 at 6:37 am

        FOLLOW THE MONEY and maybe we can rid ourselves of these parasites for good.

        Next question – are the Republicans playing the same games?

        Mitt Romney certainly did in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

        Drain the DC Jacuzzi aka Cesspool.

        It’s time to end the permanent political class.

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