When Giants Fall
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a DIE-HARD Red Sox fan. This hasn’t been the best of years for Red Sox Nation. In fact when there’s a year like this year, often you think back to better times. One of my happiest Red Sox memories is game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. Curt Schilling came back from a torn tendon in his ankle and pitched a fantastic game very shortly after having his ankle surgically prepared. The surgical technique they used was new. So new they named it after Schilling. The doctors warned him that if it failed he might lose mobility, maybe even the ability to walk normally. He stumped out to the mound and beat the Yankees with 7 innings of 1 run ball. For those of you not from the US, that’s like your football goalie coming out on a surgically repaired ankle and giving up 1 goal against the best offense in the game. In their own stadium. In the playoffs. He took the “refuse to lose” attitude to a whole new level.
What’s this got do to with EvE? Schilling is a bit of a gamer. He founded and funded Multi-Man Publishing to keep Advanced Squad Leader alive when Avalon Hill foundered. When he couldn’t participate in the annual tournament in October because of the playoffs, he started a tournament in January so he could take part in it. He also plays World of Warcraft and played Everquest and EQII. I can only imagine how he’d react to EvE. In fact I’m going to ask him on twitter at some point. Possibly repeatedly.
In 2006 he founded a company that would come to be known as 38 Studios. Their only game of note was Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. I say was because last week they couldn’t make payroll and struggled with a loan repayment after begging Rhode Island for more funds. This was particularly humiliating for Schilling because politically and economically he is very conservative, and has spoken out publicly against government bailing out private companies. So now he’s facing the ruin of his company, possibly his own finances, and the knowing the consequences of his actions will be visited on his former employees. Clearly this wasn’t in his plans. Things went wrong, and now he’s in a situation where all his decisions are bad. There’s no magic bullet, there’s no easy answer. Depending on the extent to which he has personally invested in the company he could lose anything from his investment to everything he owns. I don’t think he will go bankrupt, he’s a smart guy who has probably done quite a bit to protect himself financially.
Rumors always surrounded Schilling that he was planning on running for a seat in the Senate. Forget it. Most likely he’ll have to move out of New England entirely, possibly back to PA. For years he couldn’t buy a drink in Boston because of his postseason heroics. Now he can’t buy one because they won’t serve him.
The heroes in all this? Turbine has already swooped in to hire people. CCP is heading in soon. The good news is it looks like at least some of the people lost in the shuffle will find themselves new employment, even if it means having to move across the country.
Honestly this story has hurt me more than I expected it to. You don’t expect your heroes to be perfect. You don’t expect them to win every battle. You expect them to win the war. You expect them to win the ones that count. Having a giant fall hurts having one put his own weaknesses on display hurts. It reminds you of your own vulnerabilities and moments of darkness just as seeing them succeed against the odds reminds you of their victories and your own potential. Excuse me I need to find my game 6 DvD.