And the indignities for 38 Studios just keep on coming.
Despite the recent cleansing of all 38 Studios owned property via auction, the state of Rhode Island is apparently not quite done wringing whatever cash it can out of the failed studio. Today, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee released a statement (via the above YouTube video) declaring that the state would be filing a lawsuit against 38 in an attempt to recoup as much of the $75 million loaned to the studio as it can.
The lawsuit specifically names 38 brass like Curt Schilling, Jennifer MacLean, Richard Wester, and Thomas Zaccagnino, as well as former Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation head Keith Stokes, financiers Wells Fargo Securities, Barclays Capital, and more.
The complaint (which can be read in full here) alleges that Stokes, along with the rest of the EDC board, never bothered to properly investigate 38 Studios' actual ability to finish its Project Copernicus MMO, which it had been tasked to do. Additionally, the suit claims that 38 Studios heads directly misrepresented numerous risks inherent to the deal, as well as more than $500,000 in hidden commissions being earned by Wells Fargo.
According to the suit, "Wells Fargo secured its hidden commissions by concealing these facts from the EDC Board, notwithstanding that the undisclosed information showed that the loan was not in the interests of the EDC and probably would never be paid back."
This lawsuit was perhaps inevitable. Chafee has been beating the drum of financial recovery ever since this debacle began, and the money recovered from the liquidation of 38's assets, as well as any eventual money from the sale of the developer's Amalur IP, wouldn't be nearly enough to cover the money lost by the state in the deal. The auctions themselves netted just about $830,000, and the Amalur IP was recently valued at about $20 million. That's a long way to go.
We'll update this story if any responses from the defendants in the suit become available.