October 23, 2012

38 Studios items again hitting the auction block

ERIKA NIEDOWSKI/Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The remnants of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's defunct video game company — from graphic animation equipment to model airplanes he is said to have made and kept in his office — are being sold off at the company's former Providence headquarters.

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FILE - This Aug. 3, 2012 file photo shows former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling smiling after being introduced as a new member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame before the baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park in Boston. Schilling might have to sell the famed blood-stained sock he wore during the 2004 World Series to cover millions of dollars in loans he guaranteed to his failed video game company. Schilling, whose Providence-based 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy in June, listed the sock as collateral to a bank in a September filing with the Massachusetts Secretary of State. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The second of two auctions of 38 Studios' assets is set to begin Tuesday morning at the firm's old office building downtown, where Schilling and nearly 300 employees used to work. About 2,100 lots are slated to be sold off during an auction expected to run at least a full day.

A room that once served as the employee gym is now filled with computer monitors tagged and ready for bidding, which can be done in person or online. Another has hundreds of computer towers, all wiped clean and reloaded with operating systems. There's office furniture galore — including Aeron chairs — along with a 38 Studios sign, several prints autographed by Schilling, figures of characters from the game "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning," and a ping pong table.

One lot consists of all manner of random items left at employees' desk after they were laid off suddenly in May, including a "Green Monster" piñata and what looked to be an animal cage.

38 Studios' intellectual property, including an unfinished video game that Schilling hoped would be a blockbuster, will be sold off in a separate auction in a few months.

Rhode Island lured 38 Studios from Massachusetts with a $75 million loan guarantee approved by the Economic Development Corp. in 2010. The company filed for bankruptcy in June, likely leaving the state on the hook for some $100 million related to the deal, when interest is factored in. Rhode Island is by far 38 Studios' biggest creditor.

"We're trying to raise as much money as we can," Sal Corio, the auctioneer, told reporters during a Monday preview of items.

The bidding is expected to raise more than last week's auction at Big Huge Games, a gaming studio in Maryland bought by 38 Studios in 2009. That one grossed $180,000, according to 38 Studios receiver Richard Land.

Corio said he hopes Tuesday's auction doesn't primarily attract those seeking memorabilia.

"We don't have the bloody sock," he said, referring to the famous sock an injured Schilling wore on his team's way to the World Series title in 2004.

Schilling may have to sell or part with the bloody sock himself to cover millions of dollars in loans he guaranteed to 38 Studios.

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