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"38 Studios Spouse" Speaks

Gamasutra has a story from someone they're calling 38 Studios Spouse in the vein of the "EA Spouse" whistle-blowing incident several years back. They have verified the author is married to one of the developers displaced by the studio's move to Rhode Island and closure, and her story puts a human face on the upheaval this all caused in a lifestyle that's unsettled to begin with due to the mercurial nature of game development work. Here's a portion of her account of what this has put them through:

Again, they knew the problem existed and chose to not tell us or give us any notice. On the 24th of May, my husband was laid off officially after six days of wasted gas, with no payment of wages for all of May (1st-24th), no insurance, slim chances of ever seeing any money since the State of Rhode Island would be paid first by all asset sales, and had to drive in once more to get his belongings and attend a meeting on unemployment benefits.

Ok, so time to lick our wounds, get back on the horse, and find a new job. At least we stuck it out and won't have to pay back our relocation costs according to the Chief Operating Officer. Wrong! On June 1st, we get a letter from Atlas Van Lines with 10 days to pay our overdue moving bill of a sizeable amount. Six months has gone by since our move. There was no notice at any point that this had not been paid and now we get a bill with 10 days to pay. Why now? Haven't they had 6 months to collect this? Didn't the company say we would be let out of our contract since they folded? Couldn't they have given us a head's up at any point before we were broke and our savings gone to feed our children? After all, a head's up on this might have alerted us to a problem with 38 Studios before we got to this point. Well on one page in a series, of approximately 45, we signed a document stating in tiny print that we would be responsible if the company does not pay. I don't know if most people are aware, but moving with three kids, a dog, and a cat from one coast to another is a bit tiring and this document was of course presented on the day our stuff arrived in Rhode Island, which was chaos.

So, there goes our credit rating no matter how hard we are trying to still pay for all bills with no income. We have no income, no time to prepare, and I will not let my children starve to pay for a move that did not exactly work out. Why hadn't Atlas collected from 38 Studios? We were told by an Atlas representative that they had a special working relationship with Curt Schilling, therefore they were trying to work with him. Must be nice to have at least 30 days, let alone six months to pay for this bill.

Am I angry? You bet! I have been taken for a ride and am having to take a handout from the government for the first time in my life. Who do I get to direct my anger at? Nobody! The ones responsible aren't around to chat with or pay for the consequences of their actions. At moments I think Curt Schilling trusted the wrong people, but at least he is having to deal with this mess too. At other times, I am angry and think Curt Schilling is a smart man and should have done better!

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