In case you've been living under a rock the last 24 hours or so, one of the biggest stories in the gaming world right now is the collapse of 38 Studios and Big Huge Games. We didn't really cover it, since we're a World of Warcraft-focused site, but we're all gamers here. It stings to see an MMORPG crash and burn, but it hurts even more to see the devastation that the sudden fall of two companies in the industry has caused.
The situation for folks at 38 Studios is somewhat grim right now, though that's nothing new. Most of them had been working without pay since the beginning of the month. A lot of them were depending on the health insurance their job provided -- coverage which has since expired. All of them were just like us -- gamers at heart who just wanted to do something really cool to entertain you. Twitter has been rallying to help, but it's impossible to look at the situation without wishing there was something more you could do.
Beyond the employees, there are a lot of other victims of this debacle too. The taxpayers of Rhode Island are on the hook for a massive loan made to keep 38 afloat -- a loan which could total over $112 million by the time all is said and done. That's a $100 charge to every man, woman, and child currently living in the state. A number of Rhode Island officials who stuck their necks out for 38 have resigned in disgrace, though arguably, they had a lot to be disgraced over. I guess what I'm saying is that it's a bad situation all around.
Well, almost all around. One of the few people who got away clean, ironically, is company founder Curt Schilling, the baseball player who inexplicably started a video games company. He wrote himself a $4 million check from the 38 Studios bank account a few months ago, money that could have -- and should have -- gone to pay his employees that he watched work without pay. As someone from "Red Sox Nation," I feel I have the right to say this: Screw that guy.
So yeah, before we head into this week's WRUP, I want to have a brief moment of silence for 38 Studios and all the folks who were hurt by its downfall.
The bonus question for this week: By the time you start reading this, I'll have started my epic roadtrip from Boston out to my new life in California! So, I'm looking for advice: Where should I stop off at? What kind of podcasts should I download to listen to in the car? What do I do if my car gets surrounded by rattlesnakes?!
Alex Ziebart (@alexziebart) Some Diablo III and some Mass Effect 3 this weekend. You should stop at the Bronze Fonz, listen to My Brother, My Brother, and Me, and scream real loud at the rattlesnakes. They have very delicate ears.
Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) This weekend will be spent writing and roaming around on the beta most likely, with a little Diablo III sprinkled in if I'm lucky, but it's not likely. Bonus question: I don't know about music or any of that, but as far as snakes are concerned, a grill-sized meat fork works great for pinning a snake behind its head so you can toss it safely into bushes far, far away. Don't ask me how I know this.
Dan Desmond (@antigen_) I will be out of the state (the entire state!) for most of the weekend putting in an appearance at a friend's wedding, so I won't be jumping on WoW or Diablo III until at least Sunday. Fox, I would definitely recommend renting a marmoset for the trip and equipping him with a thumb tack or two (and a cute little hat, but that's obvious). Those constant little jabs should definitely keep you alert through the one giant field that makes up Kansas, Nebraska, and most of the other states in the middle of the country that nobody can really remembers.
Daniel Whitcomb (@danielwhitcomb) Mostly I am playing "heal my mouth after having 4 wisdom teeth pulled at once," but I also hope to get through Act III of Nightmare in Diablo III on my witch doctor, as well as promote a few characters for Operation Shieldwall on Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer. As far as road trip recommendations: Listen to some My Brother, My Brother, And Me. The McElroy brothers are hilarious. Like, the new comedy troubadours of our generation and stuff, I swear. If you're not listening to MBMBAM in 20doz, you're missing out. Also, stop at the first In And Out you see and get a Double Double, Animal Style, with a Strawberry Shake.
Elizabeth Wachowski (@leeatwaterlives) Diablo III, and probably seeing how my new laptop handles some other games, like Fallout New Vegas and Borderlands. I've been resisting the temptation to download Skyrim until it drops in price, but I'll probably give in just because my Xbox version so rarely works. For your trip, just avoid the traffic nightmares of Chicago and Atlanta, and never drive horizontally across Pennsylvania, vertically across Illinois, or anywhere in Ohio.
Fox Van Allen (@foxvanallen) I can't play things while driving, stupid. And I'm really bad at offering advice to myself. Hmm. Oh, yeah -- you should totally follow me on Twitter or Instagram (also @foxvanallen) or whatever to follow my trip cross country. I'll try to make it interesting.
Kelly Aarons (@Cadistra) Hoping to be lucid enough to play more of my lady barbarian in D3, and Sunday I'm a volunteer at the Vancouver Comic Art Festival (VanCAF)! I'm from the great white north, so I don't know anything about locations, but if you want something a bit more fun or philosophical to listen to, I'd recommend either the "Stuff You Should Know" podcast, or the NPR podcast. The SYSK series also has a history version which I love. Finally -- be safe and have fun!
Mathew McCurley (@gomatgo) WoW, LoL, seeing The Avengers with my buddy Will (because we tried to go two weekends ago but the bulb burnt out 10 minutes into the movie and we couldn't wait for the next show), and probably having a fun time. Fox, you should be listening to the WoW Insider Show podcast.
Megan O'Neill (@slowpoker) Beta + beating Outland things in the face with axes on my enhance shammy. Bonus: some people like audiobooks, but I take soundtracks and rearrange them in the movie/show's order if they're not already (like The Lion King soundtrack has all the songs and instrumental pieces separated -- that's not cool). I hate driving in Pennsylvania regardless of direction since it's never not been under construction for me.
Michael Gray (@writegray) This weekend, I'll be having a baby shower. Aside from that, Diablo III, right? Snakes: Obviously, depends on if they're already rattling. If they're not, sit in your car and wait patiently. If you're truly surrounded, backing away slowly isn't an option. You just have to wait. If they're already rattling, gun it, get down the road.
Olivia Grace (@oliviadgrace) WoWing up the place! Arenas, hoping for some 3v3 on my priest, and working on my fire mage. What's a D3? As for the bonus, living in a different country I'm not best placed to comment on the route, but how could I not recommend the @darkmoonherald podcast? Such nice guys! Oh, and run over the snakes with your car, surely. Don't stop for a picnic.
Robin Torres (@cosmicgeek) Diablo III. As far as where to stop off, it depends on which route you're taking. I really liked Memphis and if you're into fresh caught catfish, that's a good place to get it. If a big breakfast is your thing -- and big breakfasts are great for road trips -- any hole in the wall in the south makes a better breakfast than in any other state. I don't know why that is, but I've driven cross country a few times and that's always been my experience. Ooh, I hope this sparks a breakfast war in the comments.
The weekend is the perfect time to kick back, relax and enjoy some game time. Are you an achievement junkie? Can't get enough raiding? Rolling a new alt? Considering taking the leap into roleplaying? Whatever your favorite way to play World of Warcraft, let us know in the comments what you're playing this weekend!