Schilling’s got game
Curt Schilling, aka the Big Lug, looks like he might be pitching a perfect game.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning came out this week amid great expectations. Pre-orders of the $60 game totaled 300,000. Although some reviews have been mixed, Hiawatha Bray, the Globe’s resident geek, says Schilling’s 38 Studios LLC has a hit on its hands. Schilling himself told G4, a video game website, that the game mixes two genres – action and role playing – perfectly. “We nailed it,” he says.
Bray reports that the team Schilling assembled to build Amalur was exceptional. It included fantasy author R. A. Salvatore, comic book artist Todd McFarlane, and veteran video game developers Ken Rolston and Ian Frazier. The game took more than five years to develop, but the hope is that it will spawn novels, comic books, toys, and perhaps even a movie franchise.
Forbes reports the game borrows many elements from previous successful games. “It’s the exact same approach that I took to pitching in baseball,” Schilling said. “I don’t throw any revolutionary pitches, or pitch as hard as some of the other guys out there. But I thought that if I went around learning from the best in the world, and taking a piece here and there, I could create something great, and something uniquely my own.”
The optimism surrounding Amalur is sure to renew the debate about whether Massachusetts acted wisely in letting Schilling and his company get away. In 2010, Rhode Island offered $75 million in loan guarantees in exchange for Schilling’s promise to create 450 new jobs. Massachusetts made no counteroffer, so Schilling moved his company from Maynard to Providence.
In our current issue, CommonWealth looks at the promise of the Massachusetts video game industry and the debate over whether it needs a tax credit to move it into high gear. That could be difficult, however, with a commission now looking to scale back tax breaks, not expand them.
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