"38 Spouse" Airs Grievance Letter Against 38 Studios Bosses
An anonymous letter has made it way online and it paints a rather bad picture on 38 Studios and how they treat people.
By now, chances are you've already heard what happened to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developers 38 Studios. If not, here's a recap to catch you up to speed.
Now, we have something much more juicier. An anonymous woman has sent a letter to Joystiq and in it, she states the neglect she and her husband recieved when 38 Studios was going under.
While her letter and name was kept under wraps, she and her husband's have been verified by Joystiq. One main reason she didn't want her or her husband's name being dragged into this is to not "cause any problems" with her husband getting a new job.
For reference's sake, she's called "38 Spouse." For those who don't remember, this is in reference to Erin Hoffman who published an open letter criticizing EA's employment policies under the name "EA Spouse." Hoffman's actions led to the filing of three class action lawsuits against EA and it changed how companies treated developers and its ilk drastically.
For 38 Spouse, it's too late to change anything as the studio has officially closed down. Why send the letter now? She states, "It's been a month and I really felt that now was the time to hear a different side of this story. I wanted to explain and make people aware in any industry, not just gaming, that this kind of thing happened. These employees were not a statistic, but real people with families and they believe in what they do."
Here's an excerpt of the letter she sent and you be the judge on how bad things were in 38 Studios.
So, on the 15th of May I sat down to pay bills and upon checking our bank account noticed we had not had our direct deposit made by 38 Studios. I called my husband and asked him to check on it when he got to work. When he came home that night he told me that he had to stay for a 5 o'clock meeting to find out they didn't make payroll. He was unhappy, but said that he was promised they were working on the problem and sure they would have it worked out by the next day.
The next day began at 7:30 am and ended at 7:00 pm. It took 10 ½ hours to find out that they still could not pay him and didn't have any answers. On the May 16th – 21st, my husband returned day after day, told to drive in to work and promised pay, but every day came home empty handed after late meetings and more promises. The longest day was 12 hours and each day we were spending more money on gas and more hope going out the window. During this time, we were also trying to keep our children from worrying while they spent each day hoping to catch a glimpse of their dad before they went to sleep.By the 22nd we were really scared and feeling lied to, my husband decided it's time to work from home to save the gas money as did many others at the studio. At many times it occurred to us to just give up and move on, but we didn't. There was one main reason. If we left the company we would be responsible for the relocation costs of moving to Rhode Island from just 5 months ago and we did not have the funds to pay for that after not receiving paychecks. From May 22nd - 24th my husband worked from home trying to come up with ideas to get anything out the door and bring in some money to save 38 Studios. We also get another kick while we were down on May 22nd, when one of the employee's wives is at her pregnancy check up and is told that her insurance company has notified the doctor that it was ending at midnight on the 24th of May. When confronted, 38 Studios admitted they had been aware since the 21st of May that due to lack of payment for several months, insurance was going to be canceled on May 24th.Again, they knew the problem existed and chose to not tell us or give us any notice. On the 24th of May, my husband was laid off officially after 6 days of wasted gas, with no payment of wages for all of May (1st – 24th), no insurance, slim chances of ever seeing any money since the State of Rhode Island would be paid first by all asset sales, and had to drive in once more to get his belongings and attend a meeting on unemployment benefits.
Am I angry? You bet! I have been taken for a ride and am having to take a handout from the government for the first time in my life. Who do I get to direct my anger at? Nobody! The ones responsible aren't around to chat with or pay for the consequences of their actions. At moments I think Curt Schilling trusted the wrong people, but at least he is having to deal with this mess too. At other times, I am angry and think Curt Schilling is a smart man and should have done better!Where will we go and what is next? I have no idea and am just trying to feed my family and love them and hope moving my kids again won't completely break their trust in us or hurt them too much. I think we could have liked Rhode Island. I think of all the supportive people and friendly faces and how much kindness we have been offered since this happened from people we barely know. We will probably be moving away from this state and paying taxes and working somewhere else soon. It is a shame that certain politicians couldn't get past the need to prove a point about being against 38 Studios and see they were harming their state in the long run. I mean 38 Studios was already here and the way I see it anything that could be done to make it a success would only benefit Rhode Island. As it stands, there are close to 300 very talented people dispersing all over the country and out of Rhode Island. There is an empty building with no game to be sold and a bunch of equipment that will not come close to paying for what is owed more than likely. And worst of all, there are some great people here in Rhode Island that will not benefit from the boost in economy.