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38 Studios' loan from Rhode Island detailed in new report


Thanks to documentation from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, we now have a better idea of the terms involved in 38 Studios' controversial move from Massachusetts to R.I. Obtained by WPRI, the report kinda explains what's going on: 38 Studios will receive $51 million from the state; $13 million as soon as Curt Shilling's studio signs the contract to move and another $38 million as the company achieves milestones over the next 15 months. The remaining $20 million is held in some reserve to assure three years of debt payment, which is tied to other caveats.

38 Studios also has a strict job creation schedule over the next three years. The developer must have 125 full-time jobs within a year of signing for the loan, another 175 the following year and 150 more the year after. That may just be numbers to many of you out there, but industry human resource representatives and studio directors just spit coffee all over their monitors. The studio will be penalized $7,500 per year for each of the 450 jobs it doesn't create. Obviously, if you do the math, it's cheaper not to hire for the full-time job and take the penalty.

38 Studios must also announce the location of its new studio operations and corporate headquarters by November 30, 2010 -- note: the company just has to say where it's going, not actually get there. Also, the closing of the loan requires a "signed, enforceable" 10-year lease for 38 to stay in Rhode Island. Looks like R.I. wants to make sure that it's not paying to raise a studio -- which, to date, hasn't released a single project -- and watch it leave for California or Canada after it gets all that cash.

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