House Oversight Committee Continues Hearings on 38 Studios

Aug 8, 2013

A legislative committee Wednesday held the fourth in an ongoing series of oversight hearings on Rhode Island’s investment in failed video game company 38 Studios. Committee members had different views on the value of the meeting.

The House Oversight Committee reconvened to examine the state's failed investment in video-game company 38 Studios.

The discussion focused on email sent before 38 Studios obtained a state-backed $75 million loan guaranty in 2010. House Oversight Committee chairman Michael Marcello called the information very significant. He says the details highlight problems with 38 Studios’ business plan and raise further questions about oversight in 2010 by the state Economic Development Corporation.

“EDC laid out a good plan of due diligence, but they wanted an economic development impact statement in March and they get in December – long after the bonds are approved. So I’m concerned about what they set out to do and what exactly they did," said Marcello.

Other committee members said it remains unclear why politically powerful public officials supported such a dubious deal. Legislative critics were frustrated that key players in the meltdown of 38 Studios weren’t called to testify. Marcello said that was due to pending litigation about the failure last year of the video game company

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