By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer
(Updated, 11 a.m.)
PROVIDENCE – Computers, chairs, a 5-foot battle hammer and everything else a $75 million state loan guarantee can buy is available today at 38 Studios’ Rhode Island bankruptcy auction.
The video game company founded by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is being liquidated to recover some of the $150 million in debt that caused it to fold last spring. First in line for repayment is the state of Rhode Island.
At the scheduled auction start time of 10:30 a.m., the line to get inside 38 Studios former headquarters at One Empire Plaza was so long, bidding was pushed back so more people could register.
“We should have had a cover charge,” said Auctioneer Sal Corio standing outside the building around 10:40 a.m.
Those standing in line were mostly targeting computer equipment and specialized tools for digital animation.
“Servers, networking equipment and office supplies,” said Ashton Buse, a computer engineer of Jamestown when asked what he was at the auction for.
Doug Thomson, the owner of an antique business in Providence who was looking for a cheap laptop, said the number of inexperienced auction-goers could lead to high sale prices and fewer bargains.
“A lot of these people are not auction savvy,” Thomson said.
The auction, held by SJ Corio Co. of Warwick, is the second under the 38 Studios bankruptcy. Last week an auction in the company’s former offices in Maryland raised $180,000 from a little less than half the items available at the Providence auction.
The items up for bid at the auction run the gamut from the technical, professional audio recording equipment and digital animation tablets; to the fanciful, figurines and signed posters of creatures from the virtual Kingdom of Amalur; to the personal, the elliptical exercise machine that dominated Schilling’s fifth-floor corner office.
Perhaps the most sobering item on the auction block is a collection of office decorations and personal effects left behind by 38 Studios workers, which will auctioned together in a single lot.
Interested bidders will need to post a $100 refundable deposit to participate.