(Bloomberg) -- In 2012, former baseball player Curt Schilling abruptly shut down his video game company 38 Studios without giving about 400 employees their final paychecks. Nine years later, many of those people are finally seeing some money -- although it’s just a fraction of what they were owed.
Many of the staff who worked for the volatile game developer in either its Rhode Island or Maryland offices will receive payment of about 14% or 20%, respectively, of what the company owed them before it ran out of money and was forced to shut down on May 24, 2012, according to bankruptcy documents.
After nearly a decade of litigation through a Delaware court, final payouts were decided in June and recently began being distributed to staff. One former 38 Studios employee told Bloomberg News they received their check this week. Other employees said their checks had been sent to old addresses, as many of them have moved multiple times for new jobs in the years since 38 Studios closed.
Schilling founded 38 Studios in the twilight of his baseball career in order to make his dream game, an online role-playing game that would take on the popular World of Warcraft. But his inexperience and mismanagement led the studio to collapse before the game was finished.
In 2011, 38 Studios moved from Massachusetts to Rhode Island as part of an elaborate deal in which the state government served as a guarantor for a $75 million loan that was meant to support several years of development. But 38 Studios only received about $50 million and spent lavishly, leading Schilling’s company to run out of money in just one year.
When the company closed, some employees were forced to pay bills that they thought 38 Studios had handled. A few found themselves saddled with mortgages from old houses in Massachusetts that the company had promised to take on until they were sold. Some employees offered canned food and other supplies to help those who were suddenly out of money.
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