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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!

33. Re: Jun 13, 2012, 18:06 Tom
It sucks, a lot, but this is the chance you take when you decide to work in a career like game development. Even more so when you join a company that is clearly high risk. Everyone knows and has known that 38 Studios was at the top of the scale in that department. I don't see anyone being surprised by this collapse. Taking a job there was a high risk, high reward decision and guess what? Like most such decisions, it didn't pan out.

As for loss of income and unexpected bills, these are risks that every responsible adult should be prepared to deal with. It's called savings. Insurance. Watching your back. Keeping your options open. Having a Plan B. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

And how about the contract they signed? It was too long? They were too busy or tired to read it? The fine print was too small? Get yourself a decent lawyer if you're unwilling or unable to deal with it yourself, but signing a contract - any contract - is a BIG DEAL and should never be rushed or taken lightly. I hate to see people learn this lesson the hard way.

Obviously I don't know the whole picture but I hear a lot of blame in this story and no taking responsibility for the consequences of their own decisions. I'm saddened to see that this seems to happen far too often in modern society. But also heartened to realize that there are also people out there who got it right that you don't hear about.
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  1. Jun 13, 14:18 Re: ASeven
  2. Jun 13, 14:25  Re: Beamer
  4. Jun 13, 14:52   Re: ASeven
  5. Jun 13, 14:59    Re: Angrius Maximis
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  58. Jun 14, 18:18       Re: Flatline
  57. Jun 14, 12:45    Re: Jim
  3. Jun 13, 14:31 Re: "38 Studios Spouse" Speaks Verno
  10. Jun 13, 15:13 Re: Kajetan
  14. Jun 13, 15:45  Re: nin
  11. Jun 13, 15:17 Re: "38 Studios Spouse" Speaks jdreyer
  13. Jun 13, 15:41 Re: "38 Studios Spouse" Speaks Cutter
  16. Jun 13, 15:49  Re: Beamer
  18. Jun 13, 16:19   Re: Funkinator
  19. Jun 13, 16:21   Re: NKD
  27. Jun 13, 17:07    Re: Beamer
  34. Jun 13, 18:09   Re: Wowbagger_TIP
  36. Jun 13, 18:34    Re: NKD
  38. Jun 13, 19:06     Re: Tom
  39. Jun 13, 19:44      Re: Prez
  41. Jun 13, 20:15       Re: Tom
  43. Jun 13, 20:39        Re: Prez
  20. Jun 13, 16:31 Re: "38 Studios Spouse" Speaks Smellfinger
  21. Jun 13, 16:36  Re: ASeven
  29. Jun 13, 17:17   Re: Cutter
  30. Jun 13, 17:38   Re: Smellfinger
  35. Jun 13, 18:12    Re: Kosumo
  37. Jun 13, 18:54     Re: Darks
  40. Jun 13, 20:05      Re: Kosumo
  47. Jun 13, 21:39  Re: jdreyer
  31. Jun 13, 17:50 Re: "38 Studios Spouse" Speaks Creston
>> 33. Jun 13, 18:06 Re: Tom
  44. Jun 13, 20:40 Re: "38 Studios Spouse" Speaks ninepepper
  54. Jun 14, 07:22  Re: space captain
  55. Jun 14, 08:04   Re: Sempai
  45. Jun 13, 20:40 Re: "38 Studios Spouse" Speaks RollinThundr
  52. Jun 14, 03:06 Re: Dev
  53. Jun 14, 06:40  Re: NKD
  56. Jun 14, 09:32  Re: Beamer


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