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Friday, May 18, 2012

Curt Schilling makes first public comments on 38 Studios controversy - Business - The Boston Globe

What’s the point of giving a check that can’t be cashed?

On Thursday, 38 Studios hand-delivered a check for $1.1 million to state officials. But the state returned the check to the company after learning that “there were insufficient funds to cover the payment,” according to a spokesman for Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. The company also advised the state that it would be unable to pay employees this week.

Previously, Schilling has said he invested roughly $30 million in 38 Studios, a significant portion of his personal fortune. Separately, the company told investors it used the state-backed funds to help pay off a $2.5 million credit line that the company had taken out and Schilling had personally guaranteed.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 18, 2012 at 01:16 PM | 70 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: curt schilling, retiree, special topics

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   1. spike Posted: May 18, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4135120)
From Schillings' blog -

“If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.

“A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.”

2 days ago, via ESPN and multiple news sources - Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling asked Rhode Island for additional help to save his video game company Wednesday, prompting state leaders to consider whether the firm is viable enough to justify further investment.


75M in taxpayer money, in all likelihood never to be recovered. 2.5M of that to pay off a personally secured line of credit.
   2. Mattbert Posted: May 18, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4135126)
Then the conservative decides the best way to better his situation is to have some liberals take care of him.
   3. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 18, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4135127)
I can't believe a conservative ends up being a hypocritical #######. First time thats ever happened.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: May 18, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4135130)
What an ass.
   5. robinred Posted: May 18, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4135134)
“If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.

“A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.”

--

Like I have always said, Schilling would fit right in at BTF. He could post on the video game threads, the movie threads, whatever baseball threads suited him, and clearly he would fit in on the political threads.
   6. spike Posted: May 18, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4135141)
Schilling has denied media reports that he repaid his investment with the loan guarantees. It will be interesting to see if there is any official inquiry into that.
   7. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 18, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4135156)
He didn't pay back cash he put in, he paid off a line of credit that he had personally guaranteed. That's essentially the same thing. Whether that's unethical in any way, I have no idea...
   8. spike Posted: May 18, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4135160)
There are a couple of different versions floating around - Schilling claims he has invested 30M of his own money. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/14/us-videogames-schilling-idUSTRE76D5BK20110714
   9. salvomania Posted: May 18, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4135162)
From Schillings' blog -


What's the url of Schilling's blog?
   10. spike Posted: May 18, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4135173)
http://38pitches.wordpress.com/

and the content referenced above is here - http://38pitches.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/cant-help-but-love-this/

Typical Re:>Re:>Re:>FW:>FW: chain email stuff, but hilarious in light of events.
   11. robinred Posted: May 18, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4135203)
Here is the last of Schilling's lines in that blog entry:

If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.

A liberal will delete it because he’s “offended.”
   12. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4135375)
"What you mean, I'm out of money? I still have checks left!"
   13. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4135381)
Because you see, a conservative walks down to the store like this, but a liberal, he walks more like this!
   14. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4135387)
There are a couple of different versions floating around - Schilling claims he has invested 30M of his own money.

Hopefully that's true. At least there would be a silver lining to this raping of the tax payers.
   15. smileyy Posted: May 18, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4135537)
Video game companies are the new market inefficiency for former ballplayers to go bankrupt.
   16. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: May 18, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4135538)
Actually, it's more like if a liberal sees a person who is down and out, he thinks "We should help him."

If a conservative sees a person who is down and out, he thinks "Ha ha #### that loser if he didn't wanna be poor he shoulda thought of that before he decided to be poor I am so great nothing bad will ever happen to me because I'm a true patriot I wonder if that down and out guy will give me a blowjob if I pay him I'm not gay I'm not gay I'm not gay."
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 18, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4135543)
“If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.

“A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.”


A liberal is someone who gets a few thousand dollars from the government. A conservative is someone who gets a few million dollars from the government.
   18. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 18, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4135553)
If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.

A liberal will delete it because he’s “offended.”


Probably true. OTOH, if you make an offensive quip about conservatives and mail it around, the reaction would be reversed...
   19. Bruce Markusen Posted: May 18, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4135557)
Ted Williams was a conservative. That's all I'm going to say.
   20. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: May 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4135565)
Ted Williams was a conservative. That's all I'm going to say.


Schilling's head is going to be frozen?
   21. Chicago Joe Posted: May 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4135575)
Ted Williams was a conservative. That's all I'm going to say.


Had some pretty progressive views for a conservative at the time-especially on race.
   22. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: May 19, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4135576)
$30m of his own money? Damn man. Money mark.

Smart people don't invest their own money in squat. They get others to invest their money. Others who can afford to lose it.
   23. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 19, 2012 at 02:24 AM (#4135601)
   24. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: May 19, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4135646)
There are a couple of different versions floating around - Schilling claims he has invested 30M of his own money.


The claims that Schilling extended a LOC to the company and that he invested $30 million in the company are not in conflict. The company existed for 4 years before the RI loan, spent a lot of money getting talent and buying another company, and there are no reports of other investors. Schilling was the major source of cash before the first game. The LOC is just a small part of his financing the company and there would be nothing wrong with it being paid off from new financing as long as the company didn't stiff earlier creditors or violate the terms of the RI loan.
   25. spike Posted: May 19, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4135648)
38 Studios scraped together the 1.1M, and is to apply for another 18M in tax credits - it appears the state cannot legally refuse. And documentation of the so-called $30M investment of Schilling's hasn't really turned up anywhere but in statements from Schilling - it may well be that the repayment of the credit line has repaid all of his investment. The state is conducting an independent audit. The company missed payroll.

http://www.boston.com/businessupdates/2012/05/18/facebook-curt-schilling-denies-paid-himself-back-with-money-thanks-supporters-ailing-studios-video-game-company/cfmCzT1AuMiqH1Nx0WlJuM/story.html

   26. caprules Posted: May 19, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4135673)
And documentation of the so-called $30M investment of Schilling's hasn't really turned up anywhere but in statements from Schilling


I'll admit to not being knowledgeable in this, but what kind of documentation would be available to the public for investment in a private company? Do you doubt that $30 million has been invested, or that Schilling did it? If you believe that documentation should exist of private investment, who made that investment?
   27. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 19, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4135703)

Had some pretty progressive views for a conservative at the time-especially on race.


Doesn't hurt that his mother was Mexican-American, IIRC. Moreover, there was a lot of difference between the Rockefeller style conservatism of the 1950s and the Southern Democrat conservatism of the same time. A lot of Southern Democrats were New Dealers who supported public works and welfare programs to help the white working class in what would today be considered straight up socialism and which the Rockefeller wing would generally view as too much government. At the same time, they'd go ballistic if blacks were allowed into the same programs and got equal opportunity, whereas without Northern and Western Republicans the civil rights movement could never have succeeded in passing legislation.

As for Schilling, people are confusing guaranteeing a loan with actually putting money into the company. Schilling guaranteed a 2.5m dollar line of credit for the company, which was paid off with a portion of the loans that the state of Rhode Island guaranteed as part of the deal for 38 Games to move there. The only thing Schilling is getting out of that is that he's no longer liable if the company failed to repay a part of that line of credit, moreover there's multiple good business reasons why a company would want to consolidate it's debt, and we don't know the terms of the 2.5m dollar loan, it's payoff date, or it's purpose. It doesn't strike me as sketchy, the real problem is that 38 Games miscalculated the time and expense of creating an MMO. And they're hardly the first company to do so, just as Rhode Island is hardly the first state to lure companies via tax benefits and loan guarantees and have it blow up in their face. There's no bad guy here, even though RI was dumb to make the deal, just people being too optimistic.
   28. spike Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4135755)
I'll admit to not being knowledgeable in this, but what kind of documentation would be available to the public for investment in a private company? Do you doubt that $30 million has been invested, or that Schilling did it? If you believe that documentation should exist of private investment, who made that investment?

I would think the capitalization of a company would be part of it's audit trail. You can't just put stuff in a corporate bank account and not document where it came from. If not in the articles of incorporation that show who has what equity stake, then surely in the P&L statements. It's not in their disclosure statement - which documents Schilling having the LOC retired with public funds. And indeed I do doubt that both 30M of private equity has been invested or that Schilling is in at that level. The only people who do that kind of investment are stupid or on the take or both. Given the shadiness of the deal done by a lame duck gov. (that was massively opposed by the citizens) that brought them to RI, this really sounds like a scheme that is just waiting to be uncovered, now that the stuff is hitting the fan.

http://blogs.wpri.com/2012/05/14/38-studios-finances-under-scrutiny-ri-taxpayers-75m-at-risk/
   29. caprules Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4135764)
And indeed I do doubt that both 30M of private equity has been invested or that Schilling is in at that level.


How did the company exist for years before it moved to Rhode Island and how did it acquire Big Huge Games before it got the government loan to relocate?

You can't just put stuff in a corporate bank account and not document where it came from.
\

Sure, but is that public knowledge?
   30. Swedish Chef Posted: May 19, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4135785)
Isn't the reports of private firms with less than 500 shareholders non-public?

The only people who do that kind of investment are stupid or on the take or both.

Smart people throw money at all kinds of half-assed things. Schilling had a vision, and he is a rich man. I'm sure he was less than rational because invested in things he were passionate about.
   31. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 19, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4135792)
A liberal is someone who gets a few thousand dollars from the government. A conservative is someone who gets a few million dollars from the government.

This does seem to be how modern capitalism works. What are you gonna do, it's China Town.
   32. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4135968)
Certainly documentation exists of any money that went into or out of the company, etc., but it's unlikely to be publicly available unless that was a requirement of the state's loan guarantee.

It wouldn't surprise me if Schilling put $30 million of his own money in...athletes go bankrupt this way all the time, although usually it's someone else's crazy idea and not their own, and I would guess it's usually less than $30 million. Luckily for Schilling he made $114 million (pre-tax) in wages alone during his career, so he likely has enough to live quite comfortable even if that entire $30 million is a doughnut.
   33. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 19, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4135985)
Actually, it's more like if a liberal sees a person who is down and out, he thinks "We should help him."
Or, rather, "Someone should help him. The rich, not me."
   34. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 19, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4135988)
Or, rather, "Someone should help him. The rich, not me."

I laughed, I admit it.
   35. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 19, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4136002)
A liberal is someone who gets a few thousand dollars from the government. A conservative is someone who gets a few million dollars from the government.


I certainly can't disagree with the old adage, "Never steal anything small."
   36. Swedish Chef Posted: May 19, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4136006)
I certainly can't disagree with the old adage, "Never steal anything small."

I thought that post would be:
"A conservative is someone who gets a few million dollars from the government or the Yankees."
   37. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 19, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4136036)
Thass because when a conservative is driving, he holds his steering wheel like this, but a liberal, he's headin' down the road all like this!
   38. spike Posted: May 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4136301)
How did the company exist for years before it moved to Rhode Island and how did it acquire Big Huge Games before it got the government loan to relocate?

They may well have done it the same way every almost every other startup does it - leveraged credit from institutions that were willing to take a bigger payoff in lieu of collateral, or small private investors who were smitten by a "ground floor opportunity!" with Schilling. And in any event 30M is a TON of dough - many companies exist "for years" on a lot less than that.


It wouldn't surprise me if Schilling put $30 million of his own money in...athletes go bankrupt this way all the time, although usually it's someone else's crazy idea and not their own, and I would guess it's usually less than $30 million.

A 30M cash investment in a video game startup would be an epically large, and epically stupid thing to do, even for a well-heeled athlete. It's going to take a lot more than Curt's say-so to convince me that this is so.
   39. caprules Posted: May 20, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4136317)
They may well have done it the same way every almost every other startup does it - leveraged credit from institutions that were willing to take a bigger payoff in lieu of collateral, or small private investors


You questioned Schillings investment because there is no documentation. Where is this documentation, then?

And in any event 30M is a TON of dough - many companies exist "for years" on a lot less than that.


Not for a company that wants to produce a major MMO. Certainly not for a company that is developing a MMO, bought an established company and produced a game that has sold over 1 million copies.

A 30M cash investment in a video game startup would be an epically large, and epically stupid thing to do, even for a well-heeled athlete. It's going to take a lot more than Curt's say-so to convince me that this is so


Schilling understands that some people will call it stupid

How many of us have sat down with a game and said, "Wow, This really sucks. Why didn't they do this? Why didn't they do that?" I'm the guy that took the next step of investing everything I've ever made into actually making a game. Call it lunacy, stupidity, whatever you want, but I have a deep-seated passion for it.


He's clearly exaggerating when he says he put everything he ever made into the game, as he later say he invested a lot of his own money.

And here's something I didn't know

I was always an MMO fan. I'm playing World of Warcraft in the clubhouse and J.D. Drew and Coco Crisp saw me playing. They came over and got interested and they wound up creating accounts. Coco now runs an 85-person guild with a top tier rating in WoW—it's 85 major-league players. J.D. still plays as well. Fantasy is ingrained in everybody. The magic is when people see it and react to it.
   40. tshipman Posted: May 20, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4136322)
I was always an MMO fan. I'm playing World of Warcraft in the clubhouse and J.D. Drew and Coco Crisp saw me playing. They came over and got interested and they wound up creating accounts. Coco now runs an 85-person guild with a top tier rating in WoW—it's 85 major-league players. J.D. still plays as well. Fantasy is ingrained in everybody. The magic is when people see it and react to it.


I'm pretty sure this is bullshit. There are 750-1200 active players in MLB. Schilling is asking me to believe that roughly 10% of them play WoW. He's then asking me to believe that enough of these guys are hardcore to run a raiding guild with a "top tier rating". Generally, that would mean that 30-35 of them would be regular raiders. When would they play? Baseball players don't have regular weekly schedules that are reliable (unless they're playing after games, which I find highly unlikely).

Furthermore, he's asking me to believe that of all these hardcore jocks, there's enough healers to support a raiding guild. That might be the most unlikely claim of all.

I am willing to believe that there is a WoW guild with MLB players in it (why they wouldn't just play with their friends, I don't know). But I don't believe that the MLB guys are hardcore raiders. And I don't believe that the guild is even mostly made up of MLB guys. It just doesn't make sense.
   41. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: May 20, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4136323)
Or, rather, "Someone should help him. The rich, not me."
You're not enough of an idiot to honestly believe that "taxes on the wealthy should be higher than they are right now" is equivalent to "taxes on the wealthy should be higher than they are right now, and taxes on me should not exist". I think.
   42. caprules Posted: May 20, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4136336)
There are 750-1200 active players in MLB. Schilling is asking me to believe that roughly 10% of them play WoW.


Or he could be calling anyone who ever made the major leagues a major leaguer and this guild includes players no longer active.

When would they play? Baseball players don't have regular weekly schedules that are reliable (unless they're playing after games, which I find highly unlikely).


It's when Schilling played. If Crisp got into WoW playing with Schilling, that would have been when they played, and it's presumably when Crisp would start playing with other players.

Furthermore, he's asking me to believe that of all these hardcore jocks, there's enough healers to support a raiding guild. That might be the most unlikely claim of all.


How hard is healing in WoW, on a raid? (that's a genuine question). I have heard that there are interfaces that players can download that tell them when to heal. Could a player multi-box and play a healer and their preferred class?
   43. tshipman Posted: May 20, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4136344)
It's when Schilling played. If Crisp got into WoW playing with Schilling, that would have been when they played, and it's presumably when Crisp would start playing with other players.


So you're telling me that 85 young men, rather than going out to bars or nightclubs and picking up women, or even just hanging out with teammates, are making a raid schedule? The other thing about that is the time differences. You'd have to agree to play at like 2-5AM EST due to the time zone differences between who's on a road trip and who isn't.

It's really, really improbable, and this isn't even taking into consideration hotel WiFi as a limiting factor. Having a tank on a hotel WiFi (even the Four Seasons, which is where most MLB teams stay) is a recipe for wiping.

How hard is healing in WoW, on a raid? (that's a genuine question). I have heard that there are interfaces that players can download that tell them when to heal. Could a player multi-box and play a healer and their preferred class?


Depended on the raid/content cycle. Healing varied between the easiest and hardest jobs in a raid, and nearly everyone used/uses a mod to heal with, as the default UI sucked ass (I understand it's been improved). It is not possible to multibox a healer and DPSer for various technical reasons (and multiboxing mostly died as of late 2010).

But that's not the real reason. The real reason is that jocks don't heal. Healing is non-competitive and mostly collaborative. It's a cliche, but there's a stereotype that women heal. Obviously, that's not true of all women, or of all healers, but generally speaking, it was extremely hard to recruit regular male healers, and it generally wasn't their preferred class/playstyle.


Running a raiding guild is a non-stop series of logistical hassles when dealing with college kids and young professionals. It would be borderline impossible when dealing with professional athletes--especially ones with asynchronous schedules and time zone availability.
   44. caprules Posted: May 20, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4136361)
So you're telling me that 85 young men, rather than going out to bars or nightclubs and picking up women, or even just hanging out with teammates, are making a raid schedule? The other thing about that is the time differences. You'd have to agree to play at like 2-5AM EST due to the time zone differences between who's on a road trip and who isn't.


You just provided the explanation. Guys in the east coast and central time zone would have time to go to the hotel bar or a nearby bar, pickup a woman, have some fun, kick her out and be able to start playing at 1 or 2 AM. Guys on the west coast and mountain could play for a couple hours, then go out at 2 am and pickup whoever is still out.

How often does a guild have to raid to be considered top tier?

]Obviously, that's not true of all women, or of all healers, but generally speaking, it was extremely hard to recruit regular male healers, and it generally wasn't their preferred class/playstyle.


I think that says a lot more about the typical WoW player than it does about anything else.

Schilling clearly exaggerates, so I won't blindly accept anything he says. But I also wouldn't give stereotypes more weight than the experiences of someone else.

   45. tshipman Posted: May 20, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4136363)
How often does a guild have to raid to be considered top tier?


Generally at least three times a week, three hours per raid. Immediately after a patch, this would be 4-5 times a week, 4 hours + per raid, at the end of a content cycle, might be down to twice a week, two hours per raid. This is another part of why I consider this to be extremely unlikely for professional athletes to do at 2AM.

I think that says a lot more about the typical WoW player than it does about anything else.

Schilling clearly exaggerates, so I won't blindly accept anything he says. But I also wouldn't give stereotypes more weight than the experiences of someone else.


Suit yourself, but in my experience, it was extremely difficult to get young men to heal. WoW is fun and relatively easy to play, but healing was much more stressful (since failures are generally noticed once people die).


Oh, and just a sidenote. I can't find it anymore, but a long time ago someone linked to Schilling's WoW character. There were a number of ... questionable choices which leads me to believe that Schilling is most likely innacurate about his claims about MMO's. He might be a fan, but that was about it as I recall.
   46. caprules Posted: May 20, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4136377)
Why is it so hard to believe that ballplayers could start raiding at 2 AM and play till 6 AM? They don't have to report until 3 or 4 PM for a night game.

WoW is fun and relatively easy to play, but healing was much more stressful (since failures are generally noticed once people die).


I think this would be an area where major league professionals are more suited than the typical young male. Hitters are used to failing and they accept the notion of sacrifice for the good of the team.

Oh, and just a sidenote. I can't find it anymore, but a long time ago someone linked to Schilling's WoW character. There were a number of ... questionable choices which leads me to believe that Schilling is most likely innacurate about his claims about MMO's. He might be a fan, but that was about it as I recall


Schilling has said that he has been in hard core guilds and that he has played WoW. Some people who only know MMOs through WoW thought that meant that Schilling was saying he was a hardcore WoW raider when that wasn't the case.
   47. spike Posted: May 20, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4136381)
You questioned Schillings investment because there is no documentation. Where is this documentation, then?

WTH? It's Schilling's assertion that he invested 30M in the company and incumbent upon him to back it up. The inability, or disinclination, to disprove a claim does not render that claim valid. I merely pointed that companies need not have massive equity financing from one of the founders. Do you really require documentation of this?

Not for a company that wants to produce a major MMO. Certainly not for a company that is developing a MMO, bought an established company and produced a game that has sold over 1 million copies

The "established company" 38 Pitches acquired was spun off from THQ, which was losing hundreds of millions of dollars at the time and had announced they were going to close Big Huge Games if no buyer could be found. Financial terms were not revealed, so it's far more likely they were acquired for merely taking on Big Huge Games liabilities or other non-cash considerations. And the game 38 Pitches released wasn't even the one they were borrowing money to create - nothing but a trailer (released oddly on May 12th when the heat was full on) and a few stills for Copernicus. Where did all this money go? 30M of Schilling's and 50+M from RI taxpayers at least - all gone apparently - and nothing but vaporware to date. So, yeah, I am exceptionally skeptical - this sounds a hell of a lot like the script from "The Producers".


   48. caprules Posted: May 20, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4136387)
It's Schilling's assertion that he invested 30M in the company and incumbent upon him to back it up.


Why is it incumbent on him to back it up?

I merely pointed that companies need not have massive equity financing from one of the founders.


Why did you point that out, how is that at all relevant?

Do you really require documentation of this?


You are the one who started off asking for documentation.

And the game 38 Pitches released wasn't even the one they were borrowing money to create


Nobody is saying it was. But money was needed to complete that game.

Where did all this money go? 30M of Schilling's and 50+M from RI taxpayers at least


It went into producing an MMO that is a year away from release, per the studio. That seems to be about on track for an MMO that would take $100 million to produce. Of course, if the studio thinks it's a year away, its probably two years away and the eligible tax credits probably aren't going to be enough to completely fund the project.
   49. spike Posted: May 20, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4136402)
I am no expert, but are you aware of what logical fallacies are and how they work?

Schilling: I invested 30M in this business.

Me: That's some claim. I can't really find anything to support it.

You: Why is it incumbent upon him to back it up?

Because the burden of proof is on the party making the assertion. Schilling is implying that his level of investment in the game puts him at risk as well, and any ill that befalls the company will impact him significantly.



You: It takes a lot of money to start and run a video game company.

Me: maybe, but companies are founded all the time without significant equity stakes from the owners.

You: How is this relevent?

Because if no equity stake is required, the fact that these companies need a lot of money isn't any proof at all that the money invested was Schillings'



You: Well you are the one who asked for documentation

Because the party that makes an assertion is responsible for the burden of proof.



Me: it sounds pretty fishy that all this money was raised, and yet no product exists.

You: They put it into the game. It's a year or two away

And yet somehow there's been a ton of money already spent, years of r and d and no demo, no trailer until this week quite coincidently, and little else. Apparently that's enough for you. I am still highly skeptical.

I just don't get your hostility to this line of questioning.






   50. BFFB Posted: May 20, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4136403)
But that's not the real reason. The real reason is that jocks don't heal. Healing is non-competitive and mostly collaborative. It's a cliche, but there's a stereotype that women heal. Obviously, that's not true of all women, or of all healers, but generally speaking, it was extremely hard to recruit regular male healers, and it generally wasn't their preferred class/playstyle.


I was a healer and rolled a female character, I'm not sure what thay says about me...
   51. tshipman Posted: May 20, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4136410)
I was a healer and rolled a female character, I'm not sure what thay says about me...


I healed, too. Mostly because I was the RL and the guild needed it, but I enjoyed it.


I think this would be an area where major league professionals are more suited than the typical young male. Hitters are used to failing and they accept the notion of sacrifice for the good of the team.


No offense, but I really just think you don't know what you're talking about here.


Why is it so hard to believe that ballplayers could start raiding at 2 AM and play till 6 AM? They don't have to report until 3 or 4 PM for a night game.


Because it would just be out of keeping with everything I've heard about the MLB lifestyle. Yeah, theoretically possible, but seriously unlikely.
   52. McCoy Posted: May 20, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4136414)
They don't have to report until 3 or 4 PM for a night game.

Well, that ain't true. I don't have the schedule in front of me but generally the bus is picking them up from the hotel before noon for a night game. I think it was 11:00am pickup time if I remember correctly.
   53. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: May 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4136430)
Guilds? Raids? Healing? Vay iz meer. I'll stick to golf.
   54. stratosaur Posted: May 20, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4136439)
I think it's more like: A liberal sees someone who needs help and thinks "The government should help him. Let's tax business, tax rich people (ie anyone who makes more than I do) or print more money to pay for it just so long as someone else picks up the tab".
   55. caprules Posted: May 20, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4136470)
I am no expert, but are you aware of what logical fallacies are and how they work?


I think you are projecting here. Your own logic is failing. Part of your doubt is that you can't find anything to back it up. However, with a private investment, there wouldn't be anything public to search. Part of your questioning has no logical base.

Because if no equity stake is required, the fact that these companies need a lot of money isn't any proof at all that the money invested was Schillings'


Why is this even in question? Is Rhode Island questioning the investment that Schilling has made?

And yet somehow there's been a ton of money already spent, years of r and d and no demo, no trailer until this week quite coincidently, and little else. Apparently that's enough for you. I am still highly skeptical.


I've followed a couple of MMOs before launch. There are some zealots that will love the game, but after a time, there can be constant criticism with each morsel of knowledge, each screenshot, each video. Schilling knows what kind of game he wants to create. He's played with people and knows what they want in a game. He's building that game. There's no benefit to release game info that will change during development. There's no benefit to releasing any twist he's going to take to let another company implement.

I just don't get your hostility to this line of questioning.


I'm not hostile to questioning. I am hostile to your claim of a scheme and I wonder how much your own biases are influencing your doubts.

No offense, but I really just think you don't know what you're talking about here


You clearly don't actually know what you are talking about here. You are basing everything on stereotype and then assuming your experience with selfish players you know means that other young males will exhibit the same attitude. I don't know why you cling to the stereotype rather than imagine that major leaguers don't all fit into the same box. Ray Allen visits art museums. Dicked climbed Kilimanjoro. How many people would have suspected major league players were playing Everquest until Jason Stark shared the Schilling-Glanville story?

I don't have the schedule in front of me but generally the bus is picking them up from the hotel before noon for a night game.


There may be a bus that leaves at noon that players can be on, but I would love to see something showing that players are required to be at a game 6 or 7 hours before it starts. Do you believe that Cubs players are typically at the stadium at 6 or 7 AM for a 1:20 PM start, or are they spending a couple of hours after the game at the stadium?
   56. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 20, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4136520)
Because the burden of proof is on the party making the assertion.
Only if that person is trying to prove it. I see this fallacy all the time. There's no "burden of proof" on him at all.
   57. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4136566)
Guilds? Raids? Healing? Vay iz meer. I'll stick to golf.


As was explained in excruciating detail to me on the Pujols thread, you, sir, are out of touch with the American psyche & might as well be dead.
   58. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4136574)
When would they play?

In the clubhouse over beer & chicken!
   59. zenbitz Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4136583)
HJow many of us have sat down with a game and said, "Wow, This really sucks. Why didn't they do this? Why didn't they do that?" I'm the guy that took the next step of investing everything I've ever made into actually making a game. Call it lunacy, stupidity, whatever you want, but I have a deep-seated passion for it.


The stupidity, Curt, is not having a basic understanding of the BUSINESS of MMORPGs before investing $30 million smackeroos.

A game like a MMORPG needs *subscribers* to survive. They need to be paying money, $5, $10, $20/month whatever. You need thousands of players - hell maybe even 1,000,000 players given that only some fraction of them will really pay into your system.

This is what I pulled out with 3 minutes of googling:

World of Warcraft – 12,000,000 (2011)
    
Aion 3,400,000 (mid 2010)
    
Runescape – 1,300,000 (2009)
    
Lineage – 750,000 (2009)
    
Lineage II – 750,000 (2009)
    
Dofus – 520,000 (mid 2010)
    Final 
Fantasy XI – 350,000 (mid 2010)
    
Eve Online – 325,000 (2011)
    
Lord of the Rings Online – 210,000 (mid 2010)
    
City of Heroes/Villains 125,000 (2009)
    
Age of Conan – 120,000 (mid 2010)
    
Ultima Online 100,000 (2009)
    
Everquest 100,000 (mid 2010)
    
Warhammer Online – 80,000 (2010


souce - with caveats that these numbers are not accurate and probably cooked.

Basically - if you are making a $50M game you are going to need 100K subscribers. This means that all your little gamer nerd tweaks about what makes a great game are not really going to cut it. There is a reason all these games are basically the same, and why they are all eating each other's lunch.
   60. yb125 Posted: May 20, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4136594)
Hmm so just to throw in my probably useless acnetoes about gener and class riles.

So in the one WoW guild I was really every in, our main healer was male marine, he healed mainly because it was easy and the guild needed it. My main was originally melee DPS but the guild really needed a raid healer so I rolled a druid and that more or less became by guild main. The lead members of the guild, also both male and one ex service, both healed as needed. Looking back at it no one in our group really wanted to heal mostly everyone wanted to DPS but the lead guildies (most of which were male) would heal because of need. In fact for a long while I was the only female healer in our raid, with the other women in the raid DPSing however when I left for work reasons a women did take my place as raid healer.

Anyways I never notice in WoW a thing about gender and healing, most folks healed because it was easy* and/or their guild needed it and they ahd worked a deal that they could get gear for their DPS set as well.

* I stopped playing during after WoLK, I tried to go back during Cata, but my guild had fell parts and it's just not fun without friends playing.
   61. tshipman Posted: May 20, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4136595)
You clearly don't actually know what you are talking about here. You are basing everything on stereotype and then assuming your experience with selfish players you know means that other young males will exhibit the same attitude. I don't know why you cling to the stereotype rather than imagine that major leaguers don't all fit into the same box. Ray Allen visits art museums. Dicked climbed Kilimanjoro. How many people would have suspected major league players were playing Everquest until Jason Stark shared the Schilling-Glanville story?


Dude, have you ever played WoW? Ever raided? If you're just being argumentative on the internet, that's cool and all, but you really don't know what you're talking about.

Sure, Ray Allen visits art museums and Dickey climbed Kilimanjaro. Most MLB guys are married, have a kid, and don't have any interest in 20 hour a week plus hobbies. Allen visits art museums, but does he spend 20 hours a week in them? Did Dickey climb Kilimanjaro during the regular season?

I'm not basing it on stereotype. I'm basing it off my experiences, the experiences of other guilds on my server, and the knowledge of how progression guilds operate. There's no ####### way there is or ever was a progression raiding guild filled up with only MLB players playing during the season. Maybe some guys play during the offseason. I doubt it though. WoW tends to be a hobby for broke people because it is cheap.

Schilling is a habitual exaggerator. I think he's full of #### in this case.
   62. caprules Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4136610)
Dude, have you ever played WoW? Ever raided?

Not to a serious degree. I downloaded the free version a few years ago, got up to level 10. Had fun, but wasn't going to subscribe because my friends were playing Everquest. As far as raids, I've done a few raids in Everquest. They generally took up a Sunday afternoon and weren't all that thrilling. But it doesn't matter what my personal experience is, because I'm not going to call someone else a liar using only my experience and stereotypes as evidence.

I'm not basing it on stereotype. I'm basing it off my experiences, the experiences of other guilds on my server, and the knowledge of how progression guilds operate.

You are basing it on your experiences. You have no actual knowledge of how many players are playing, when they would play, any of that, and feel comfortable that the limited view we get of players outside lives through the media gives you any actual knowledge to have an informed opinion.

Most MLB guys are married, have a kid, and don't have any interest in 20 hour a week plus hobbies.

I get the impression that lots of families don't travel with the players on a regular basis. In fact, Schilling enjoyed MMOs on the road for the specific purpose that it helped him occupy his time after games. As far as 20 hours a week, sure, that would be extreme, but based on your previous response, it sounds like there are times where a guild can maintain top tier status playing as few as 4 hours a week.

If you're just being argumentative on the internet, that's cool and all, but you really don't know what you're talking about.

Another interesting case of projection. You are calling a guy a liar based on no actual contradicting evidence.

   63. CrosbyBird Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:04 AM (#4136621)
I was a healer and rolled a female character, I'm not sure what thay says about me...

It's been at least five years since I've had a paid subscription to an MMO, but I've played a few female healers as well. Healers, because there always seemed to be a group willing to add a healer. Females, because you spend a good deal of time looking at your character from behind.
   64. villageidiom Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4136684)
Because the burden of proof is on the party making the assertion.

Only if that person is trying to prove it.
Which is another way of saying "Only if that person is trying to get other people to accept the assertion as true, and by 'other people' I mean those who don't just accept whatever people assert."

I think spike is saying Schilling has the burden of proof if he wants people to believe his assertion. It appears Schilling made the assertion because he wants people to believe he has not acted improperly here; otherwise, there's really no reason to make the assertion at all.

I'm pretty sure Schilling doesn't give a rat's ass whether spike believes him. I'm also pretty sure spike isn't inclined to believe Schilling without more than an assertion. Everything else is just daily internet umbrage.
   65. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4136699)
Where did all this money go? 30M of Schilling's and 50+M from RI taxpayers at least - all gone apparently - and nothing but vaporware to date. So, yeah, I am exceptionally skeptical - this sounds a hell of a lot like the script from "The Producers".

How much do you think it costs to employ 379 people?

The company was founded in 2006. According to this article, the average video game industry employee earned about $80k in salary alone in 2010. Assuming $95k all-in compensation when you include benefits, and they only have to have averaged 150 employees over the last 6 years to blow through $85 million. They have 379 employees today, so to me that's not a stretch at all. That's not including overhead costs, debt service, the cost of the acquisition they did, plus IT costs (it's also not including revenues, which I assume were relatively small). I'm sure Schilling didn't skimp on any of this stuff.

When I worked there, one of my former employers founded a startup subsidiary that burned through about $25 million in less than 3 years. They were carrying a lot of employees, IT and working capital added up, and the expected revenues just never came.
   66. BFFB Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4136706)
It's been at least five years since I've had a paid subscription to an MMO, but I've played a few female healers as well. Healers, because there always seemed to be a group willing to add a healer. Females, because you spend a good deal of time looking at your character from behind.


Heh. Guess it says that we are both pervs...

I did it for the extremely shallow reason that Shamen sounded cool and ended up healing because my class could. Not played in years, though.
   67. spike Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4136956)
Why is this even in question?

Because the equity of the company is part of the collateral on the loan, for starters.

http://media2.wpri.com/_local/pdf_files/EDC_38_Studios_fact_sheet_5-16-2012.pdf

Secondly, banks require a downpayment on a home loan because the equity of the borrower motivates them to avoid foreclosure. This loan looks shady enough as it is, but if it was granted and it turns out that Schilling has little to no equity in the company, or used loan money to buy out some or all of his equity, then it's a much bigger deal - either Carcieri/Stokes knew there was no equity in the company and made the loan anyway or the amount of equity was not properly represented.

   68. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4137414)
Because the equity of the company is part of the collateral on the loan, for starters.

http://media2.wpri.com/_local/pdf_files/EDC_38_Studios_fact_sheet_5-16-2012.pdf

Secondly, banks require a downpayment on a home loan because the equity of the borrower motivates them to avoid foreclosure. This loan looks shady enough as it is, but if it was granted and it turns out that Schilling has little to no equity in the company, or used loan money to buy out some or all of his equity, then it's a much bigger deal - either Carcieri/Stokes knew there was no equity in the company and made the loan anyway or the amount of equity was not properly represented.


I don't understand what you are saying. Equity in the company cannot be collateral for a company loan. Equity is held by investors. The collateral for the RI loan is company assets, mostly the company's IP.

My larger question is how you believe that Schilling had a low equity position or used funds to buy out his equity. As pointed out above, the company is six years old and its costs are mostly salary and benefits. Its only assets are leases and barely realized computer games. Costs are huge with zero revenues. There is nothing to lend against and there are no reports of other investors. Who provided the money since 2006 if not Curt? How did the loan "buy out his equity"?
   69. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4137426)
the typical factor of salary plus benefits is 1.25 meaning you take the person's salary and multiply it by 1.25 to get the total cost of the employee. sure it varies. can be less. but 1.25 is pretty common.

and if the gaming industry's average employee is making 80k in this economy the gaming industry is paying a few people a who lot of money throwing the average out of whack because there are oodles of kids out pounding the pavement who will take 35k to be creative and be fine with it
   70. Swedish Chef Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4139601)
38 Studios lay of all staff. It's sad for the staff, I even feel a bit sorry for Schilling, idiot as he may be, never mind the money now he never will get to play the MMO of his dreams.

and if the gaming industry's average employee is making 80k in this economy the gaming industry is paying a few people a who lot of money throwing the average out of whack

Those kids that earn 80k at game studios are taking a significant hit to work with what they love. They could make 150-200k in other kinds of software development.

because there are oodles of kids out pounding the pavement who will take 35k to be creative and be fine with it

This isn't unskilled work. And those who work on the art side where there is a surplus of talent are making much less than the developers.

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