Rhode Island Governor: 38 Studios’ Copernicus Is Junk


Lincoln Chaffee is focused on getting cash back rather than assigning blame.

38 Studios’ assets were auctioned off for $320,000, but one item that didn’t sell was the studio’s MMO Project Copernicus, the game that killed the company and took Rhode Island’s cash with it. Now Governor Lincoln Chaffee has stepped forward, saying he isn’t surprised Copernicus failed to sell. It’s just “a lot of junk,” so no wonder no acceptable offers were made at auction.

Chaffee ascribes the disaster to panic over the state’s collapsing economy, which prompted the state government to give Schilling a huge amount of taxpayer cash, even though he had no business experience. He may be right, at least about the lack of experience. When Schilling recently claimed Kingdoms of Amalur could be a billion dollar franchise, Cliff Bleszinski stepped forward and stated the obvious: nobody gets that lucky straight out of the gate. Sustainable growth over time, not a sudden leap forward, is how a game becomes a viable franchise.

Few outside the 38 Studios crew really know what Copernicus is. Schilling calls it “breathtaking and awe inspiring” and writer R.A. Salvatore says it would blow you away. Schilling claims Chaffee’s really the one to blame for the studio’s collapse, scaring off investors when they were most needed. If that were so, you’d think at least one of those investors would have bid on Copernicus when it came up for auction. If anyone knows how much it’s potentially worth, it’s those unnamed money men.

Chaffee says he’s not interested in assigning blame. All he wants is the state’s cash back, or as much of it as possible. Clearly he and State Senator Dawson Hodgson have different goals. Hodgson has already filed a motion to establish an independent commission, to determine the role state agencies may have played in 38 Studios’ collapse.

Source: Game Politics

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