Curt Schilling has remained quiet since 38 Studios declared bankruptcy, but the failed company's founder and public face came out Friday morning to own up to his many mistakes that led to its collapse.
Speaking with Boston sports radio show Dennis and Callahan in his first interview
after the Rhode Island-based developer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
, Schilling took responsibility for not informing employees about just how much trouble the MMO developer was in.
"The employees got blindsided," he said. "One of the many, many mistakes I think that was made -- or that I made, or that we made as a leadership team -- was that this came out of nowhere for them."
He said the company's nearly 400 employees learned about 38 Studios' financial difficulties when Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee told the public that the developer was struggling to stay solvent
. The company collapsed soon after that, and was forced to lay off all its workers
when it couldn't make payroll.
Schilling said, "They didn't deserve it. It was not how we ever did business. The employees were everything. That was what the company was and it was about. … I always told everybody, if something were going to happen you're going to have a month or two lead time. And I bombed on that one in epic fashion."
He added that the primary reason 38 Studios ran into so many problems and was unable to make its loan payments to the state is that the company failed to raise private capital. But Schilling claimed Governor Chafee wanted to see the developer fail, and that his public comments scared off potential investors
that were poised to save the studio.
"I think he had an agenda and executed it," said Schilling. "If you remember, after Governor Chafee went into office, he came by the studio, he had made a public comment that he was against the deal before he got elected but now that he was in the office he was going to everything he could do to help this company succeed. And that absolutely unequivocally never ever happened in any possible way."
Schilling also admitted that he invested over $50 million in the company as it toiled for more than six years on its MMORPG Project Copernicus
, but despite all of the company's work and money poured into the title, it wasn't anywhere near completing the game before the studio declared bankruptcy.
"I put everything in my name in this company," he said. "I believed in it. I believed in what we had built. I never took a penny from this company. I never took a penny in salary, I never took a penny for anything."
Now the former Red Sox pitcher being sued for millions
over loans given to 38 Studios, and the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's office, and local authorities are investigating the company.
Though some 38 Studios' former workers
have said that Schilling's naivete led to the company's death, some have called him one of the "good guys" throughout this ordeal, and insisted that the media's negative portrayals of the founder are undeserved.
"I'm not asking for sympathy," said Schilling during his interview with Dennis and Callahan. "That was my choice. I chose to do this. I wanted to build this. I wanted to create the jobs and create something that had a very longstanding world-changing effect. We were close. We were close to getting there. It just fell apart."