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Demiurge's Reed: 38 Studios' Departure From Boston Area 'Shocking'

Demiurge's Reed: 38 Studios' Departure From Boston Area 'Shocking' Exclusive

July 27, 2010 | By Christian Nutt

Expanding on comments made in an open letter from its CEO, Demiurge Studios' studio director Albert Reed spoke to Gamasutra about the "shocking" decision made by Curt Schilling's 38 Studios to move to Rhode Island.

"This is the town that brought you Guitar Hero, Rock Band, BioShock and Asheron's Call. 2K has a studio here [Rockstar New England] that did a bunch of work on Red Dead Redemption. And it's not a bunch of disparate companies that don't' talk to each other. There's very much a community here," said Reed, in an impassioned defense of the region.

"We have, in Boston -- I think more than anywhere else in the country -- we have this really wonderful, tight-knit, game development community where it's been very organically grown from studios that are old as stone like Irrational and Harmonix, and they've just been around making games for forever," says Reed.

Reed seems to suggest that decisions like these undermine the human part of the game development equation in favor of financial rewards. 38's decision to move was founded on the fact that the Rhode Island state government will guarantee a loan of $75 million dollars for the studio.

"Our attitude at Demiurge has always been that the ideas will come, and the great projects will come, if you have the talent -- if you have the right people. It's our most precious resource. And not everybody is going to stay if you just pick up your studio and move it 60, 80 miles away," says Reed.

Reed suspects, in fact, that 38's talent pool may suffer thanks to the move. "I know a bunch of people there who are super, super talented and they love their jobs," he said, "and to give that up seems... Well, I guess it is worth a 75 million dollar loan. That's a big chunk of change, for sure."

While the pecuniary benefits of the Boston area may be less robust in the case of 38 Studios, having a development community is its own reward, Reed argues. "It's so helpful professionally, it's rewarding, and it makes our jobs more fun," he said. "There's just so much here. It's shocking to me that anybody would pick up their company and move it to another location that doesn't...already have a talent pool."

Demiurge has collaborated on Borderlands with Gearbox, the PC version of Mass Effect with BioWare, and most recently Green Day Rock Band with Harmonix. The full interview with Reed, which touches on many other topics, will be published in the near future on Gamasutra.

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