PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - 38 Studios has received another hefty payout from the $75 million taxpayer-guaranteed loan the R.I. Economic Development Corporation took out to get the company to move to Rhode Island.
The video game company founded by former Red Sox pitch Curt Schilling got the $9.4 million payment last month after it confirmed plans to move from Maynard, Mass., to Providence by May 1, EDC spokeswoman Melissa Chambers told WPRI.com on Friday.
38 Studios has now received $22.4 million, or 30 percent of the loan money, in two installments. The first payment of $13 million was handed over when the loan transaction closed on Nov. 3.
38 Studios is moving to the six-story, 104,316-square-foot One Empire Plaza building in Providence, which has been vacant since Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island relocated to a new facility near Providence Place mall. Renovations are currently under way at the building, owned by Boston-based Berkeley Investments.
38 Studios' next payout will be for $17.2 million, according to a review of bond documents by WPRI.com. It can obtain that money once it relocates to Rhode Island and employs 80 full-time workers here.
The company is tentatively scheduled to have all but $11 million of the total loan money by the end of this year. It cannot receive the remainder of the money until it pays off the rest of the loan, which is supposed to happen by November 2020.
38 Studios has promised to employ 450 people in Rhode Island by late 2013 and pay back the $75 million over the next decade. If the company doesn't have the cash to cover its payments, the governor is required to ask for taxpayer money to make investors whole.
The deal was strongly backed by former Gov. Don Carcieri and just as staunchly opposed by his successor, Lincoln Chafee. Now that the loan is a done deal, the new governor says he wants 38 Studios to succeed.
"I will do everything in my power to protect the interests of the taxpayers of our state," Chafee said in November. "We wish 38 Studios the greatest success, while vigilantly protecting taxpayer interests," he added.
Authorization for the loan was included in a new $125 million Job Creation Guaranty Program created last spring by the General Assembly partly to benefit 38 Studios.
38 Studios is developing two games. The first one, "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning," is being created by its Maryland-based subsidiary, Big Huge Games. Electronic Arts is scheduled to release the $60 game in September for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PCs.
The company's massively multiplayer online game, called Project Copernicus, will be developed in Providence and is currently slated to be released in September 2012.
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