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Curt Schilling wanted his video game to have “mounted combat on flying pigs.” Yet it somehow failed.

Apr 26, 2013, 2:29 PM EDT

Schilling 2

Jonathan Mahler of Bloomberg View has a story about Curt Schilling’s business failures at 38 Studios. The difference here: he found a business school case study from 2009 in which Schilling — pre-failure — was interviewed about his plans and ambitions. And once you read it, you won’t be all that surprised that it failed.

Among the highlights:

  • “I wanted to make a difference in the world and take one shot at getting Bill-Gates-rich,” he told the study’s authors;
  • “Schilling had no idea how much time and money it took to build the software required for such a game. And he didn’t exactly help matters by weighing in with suggestions of his own. There was, for example, that instance when he mentioned in an e- mail that it might be cool to have mounted combat on flying pigs. The design team worked on nothing else for a week.”
  • He once asked the president of 38 Studios if employees got weekends off. Another time he suggested that they work 14 days straight so as not to lose their momentum.

The article paints a picture of an in-way-over-his-head megalomaniac. The only reason the company didn’t fail sooner, I assume, is because that mounted combat on flying pigs thing was a FANTASTIC IDEA. Just imagine how big a disaster this would have been if it weren’t for that.

  1. manute - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    No link? #imlazy

    • manute - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      Thanks. The NYT article that Mahler links to is a great read too.

  2. jarathen - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    What the article glosses over is that 38 Studios did actually develop (or co-develop) a well-received game in Kingdoms of Amalur: Recknoning.

    The rest was a garbage barge on fire, but hey, it wasn’t all terrible.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      They didn’t really develop the bulk of that, as I understand it. Big Huge Games did, and 38 studios bought it and retrofit the game world so it would be the same one they were going to use in their big MMO game which never happened.

      Though I guess they did ensure that the Big Huge Games game got published, and that ain’t nothing.

  3. professormaddog31 - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Wow, Craig, you are batting .1000 today for HBT unity. Loria, Schilling…next thing you know, we’ll all be holding hands and singing Kumbaya. 😀

    • Jeremy T - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      He’s only 1 for 10? And why the extra digit of specificity?

      • professormaddog31 - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        Crap. I did that on my phone and I didn’t notice the period. Well played, sir.

      • Jeremy T - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        And here I was assuming I was going to have to apologize for being a snarky a*hole

  4. crispybasil - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    The New York Times Magazine had a good piece about 38 Studios recently as well. There was really incompetence all around. Schilling had no idea what it took to develop a video game, but Rhode Island also loaned money to a company that no VC firm in Boston wanted anything to do with.

  5. dondada10 - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    In an attempt to become “Bill Gates Rich” he accidently coined the concept of be a “Curt Schilling Sized Duchebag.”

    • cur68 - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Today, in stead of “douchebag” can we go with “Jabroni”? Just for for variety sake, eh?

      /hat tip to Ron Darling

      • heyblueyoustink - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        I second the motion.

    • cardinalcrazy - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      Now Bill Gates has a term he can use with his other wealthy friends … “Curt Schilling Poor”.

  6. shaggylocks - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Well, let’s have a little perspective here. It’s not like his monomaniacal failure ruined his employees’ lives or anything. Oh, wait….

    God, what a raging schmuck-stick.

    • jarathen - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      And that’s just it. Wasted gobs to taxpayer money but also ultimately had no regard for the lives of his employees, who often lost their HOMES because of this.

  7. billybawl - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I wonder if Lenny Dykstra touted 38 Studios as a good investment.

  8. Professor Longnose - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    I always thought Curt Schilling would be worth giving money to when pigs fly.

  9. Ben - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Still probably be a better game than the new SimCity. 😦

    • Jeremy T - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      I thought the complaints were mostly about server issues? The game itself was supposedly really good.

      • Ben - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        It’s a dreadful bug-filled mess. There is absolutely nothing good to say about it other than the graphics. The game is broken to its very core.

  10. giantssb42champs - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Gross incompetence should be fraud. Yes I know it’s not, but just saying.

  11. look8me - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Hey it worked in the 80s to have a man with a lance on a flying ostrich.

    • number42is1 - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Super Mario 2?

    • Jeremy T - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      Joust? I wasn’t born in the 80’s when it would’ve been in arcades, but we had that game on an old mac and I used to play against my brother all the time.

  12. look8me - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Super Mario was a good one too but I was going with Joust. I spent many a quarter on that game (and Karate Champ).

    It makes me feel like 38 is the new 70, so for all you young whipper-snappers out there –

  13. caeser12 - Apr 26, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    What’s the deal with the “Glamor Shot” pic?

  14. flamethrower101 - Apr 26, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    “Mounted Combat With Flying Pigs?” Did I read that right? Oh, OK.

  15. jayquintana - Apr 26, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Bill Gates has as good a chance of being a professional athlete as these professional athletes have of being the “next Bill Gates.”

  16. anxovies - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Mounted combat on flying pigs and it failed? There is no longer any hope for enterprise.

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