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38 Studios…

March 29, 2010

This blog is a wonderful tool. No one has to listen, no one has to hear anything I have to say, unless they choose to. I assume there are more than a few gamers out there that drop by every now and then, and I would also assume some folks in Rhode Island and Mass are doing so as well given the news the past few weeks.

So I once again can use the forum to speak to rumors and innuendo that have ‘leaked’ about 38 Studios.

First, to be clear, 38 Studios is not looking for ‘handouts’ or ‘tax breaks’. Any responsible entrepreneur exhausts every avenue of potential funding when running a start up company, we’re no different. In fact given the talent here I’d say we’re ahead of the game. Secondly, there are over 180 some odd families who’s livelihood is based on 38 Studios. I don’t want them to read it, or hear it, from someone outside this company. It’s their lives and their families that matter most, and with that comes the responsibility as leaders to provide job security for each and every one of them. Without them none of this would matter.

About 18 months ago we received a call from some folks who worked in the government of a city not in the U.S.. They went on to tell us why their city would be the perfect venue for 38 as it prospered and grew. Obviously we talked, and afterward we explored and talked more, with more locations. This did, and still does, include Massachusetts. This is and has been my home, our home.

38 Studios (originally Green Monster Games) was founded in Maynard, Massachusetts. To be honest when the company was founded there was intense push back that doing this here, in Massachusetts, would in and of itself cause failure. “People WON’T move from San Diego, Seattle, Austin, to Boston, no way.”

My thought then, and now, is the same. If what we are offering, from culture to benefits to a long term vision, is not powerful and compelling enough to get you to ‘want in’, that’s cool. If moving to Boston stops someone from accepting a job at 38 Studios it’s not a fit anyway.

I feel every bit the same, if not stronger, about that today than I did 5 years ago. We’ve built an insanely talented and deep team, and continue to add incredibly talented and passionate new members every week.

We were founded here, in Massachusetts, and it’s where we would love to stay, and grow. But (and there’s always a but) our first responsibility and priority will always be the long term health of the company and the companies families. To not explore and pursue these conversations with other cities would be the height of negligence on our part, and that’s just not going to happen.

These people trust us to do right, and as leadership we will.

So no, we aren’t out shopping ourselves, we are doing what any business would in its early stages which is planning for the health and well being of its employees, and the long term health of the company. Given that we currently employ almost 160 people and that number is conservatively projected to grow by 2-3 times in the next 24 months, in this economy, we’ve become a desirable asset for any city trying to create jobs.

So contrary to written reports I’ve never said or will say “give us tax credits or we bolt”. I don’t work that way, and we won’t as a company work that way. The company is financially healthy, the publishing deal we recently inked with EAP means our first product (Mercury) will get to market when it’s ready, on time and on budget, and Copernicus is growing daily in ways that seemed a pipe dream just 3 short years ago.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. realisticradical permalink
    March 30, 2010 12:26 am

    Interestingly after the end of PAX East this is something I’ve been thinking about a fair bit. (By the way, did you get to see much? It was pretty amazing. I met a few 38 Studios employees randomly one night. Unfortunately I forget their names but I did enjoy talking to them.)

    The rumors that you might be moving 38 Studios out of Massachusetts actually came up in the first panel I went to, “Grassroots: Why Gamers are Getting Involved and Why You Should Too”. One of the speakers brought up the fact that getting behind gaming from a jobs perspective is a good way to swing political support. I can understand why different states would be courting an up and coming company and why incentives would sway your decision one way or another. It often is simply a business decision much like some of the things you said about baseball free agency a few years ago.

    There are some things you didn’t mention that I think are worth considering. I think there is a lot of potential for the Boston area to become a game development center. Currently you, Harmonix and Turbine are here along with some ‘indie’ companies. (They had some stuff at PAX East that was pretty neat.) Also Pax East shouldn’t be overlooked for its ability to highlight local companies. (Harmonix had an entire room as well as its own panel. I believe Turbine did as well.) There’s something to be said for having a lot of excellent talent in the same area. Simply look at the way the biotech industry works here. Having MIT and RISD near by can’t hurt a video game company much either.

    I think I’m writing this mostly to say Hi and mention this thought that I’ve had that I hope will come true. It would be nice to see a large area of video game development on the east coast. Perhaps I’ll also be writing a letter to my state senator saying that keeping video game development in Massachusetts is a good thing.

  2. johnjwall permalink
    March 30, 2010 6:48 am

    For all the politicians talking about “creating jobs” it seems it’s easier and/or cheaper to do business in any other state or country than Massachusetts.

  3. March 31, 2010 10:53 am

    You’ve always been a stand up man Curt so we don’t suspect anything different in your business ventures.

    Thank you for helping to create jobs.

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