Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball, which presumably means he's going to quit screwing around with playing games and focus on making them instead.
Schilling walks away from the game with a 216-146 record as well as three World Series championships and the World Series MVP Award for 2001, six All-Star selections and numerous other individual awards. He rang up 3116 strikeouts and a 3.46 lifetime ERA over the course of his career, along with a reputation as one of the most reliable post-season pitchers in the history of the game.
And why do gamers care about some retiring baseball player? Because Schilling has a second career on the go as the founder and chairman of 38 Studios, a Massachusetts-based developer currently at work on an MMOG code-named Copernicus. Schilling founded the company in 2006 and originally called it Green Monster Games, although he claims the name didn't come from the infamous left field wall in Boston's Fenway Park.
"The GMG name was, and I know this is going to be impossible to believe, not named after the left field wall at Fenway," Schilling wrote in a message on the Fires of Heaven Guild forum. "The name was made up by someone who knew next to nothing about baseball and isn't even from this country." He's right, I don't believe him. It was renamed to 38 Studios in spring 2007.
"The game always gave me far more than I ever gave it," Schilling wrote on his official blog. "The game was here long before I was, and will be here long after I'm gone. The only thing I hope I did was never put in question my love for the game, or my passion to be counted on when it mattered most. I did everything I could to win every time I was handed the ball."
Virtually nothing is known about the Copernicus project at this point but the studio has managed to attract numerous respected industry veterans as well as celebrity comic book artist Todd McFarlane, the project's executive art director, and best-selling fantasy author R. A. Salvatore as "executive creator of worlds." Copernicus is currently scheduled to launch in late 2010 and if Schilling invests the same passion and dedication into this game as he did into his first one, it could very well be one worth watching.