Rhode Island Governor Outs "Project Copernicus" Launch Date

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
Rhode Island Governor Outs "Project Copernicus" Launch Date

The "Project Copernicus" MMO is coming next summer, but Rhode Island is done helping.

It's not often that a videogame is dated by a top-ranking state official, but that appears to be what we have in the case of "Project Copernicus," the MMO being developed by the struggling 38 Studios. The game doesn't even have an official title yet, but in a press conference held today, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee said he was told that it's scheduled for release in June of 2013.

That's assuming the studio lasts that long, of course. 38 Studios was given a $75 million loan guarantee in return for relocating to the state and has thus far received more than $49 million of that, all of which has apparently been spent. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation is hiring an outside auditor to see if that's actually the case and until that determination is made, the studio will not receive any tax credits. Chafee also said the state is going to change eligibility rules for motion picture tax credits in an effort to avoid giving the company any more money.

"I'll do anything under the law to protect the taxpayer and also not break the law," Chafee said. "My goal is to protect the taxpayer now."

Meanwhile, RIEDC Executive Director Keith Stokes, who headed the agency when the deal with 38 Studios was made, has unsurprisingly resigned [http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/providence/edc-director-keith-stokes-resigns] from his position, although University of Rhode Island Professor of Economics Leonard Lardaro said Stokes is being unfairly scapegoated for the mess made by the previous administration, which wanted the 38 Studios deal. "He is absolutely first-rate," Lardaro said. "We can't afford to lose really good people like that. We're not going to get anyone better."

Source: WPRI [http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/politics/local_politics/gov-chafee-news-conference-38-studios]



Insert one-liner here.
Sep 13, 2010
So... Chafee is basically changing the rules at the last minuite to backstab 38 and get out of giving them the rest of the money they promised...

Protecting the taxpayers? Yes. Legal? Im not so sure.


New member
Jan 12, 2012
"That's it man, game over man! It's GAME OVER! What the fuck are we gonna do now? Whadda we gonna do?!"

"Maybe we could build a fire, sing a couple of songs huh? Why don't we try that?"


High Priest of Haruhi
Aug 22, 2008
gigastar said:
So... Chafee is basically changing the rules at the last minuite to backstab 38 and get out of giving them the rest of the money they promised...

Protecting the taxpayers? Yes. Legal? Im not so sure.
I'm 99% certain this isn't about saving taxpayer money but saving his ass instead. He doesn't want to risk a $75 million albatross hung round his neck when reelection time comes back around.


New member
Jul 31, 2009
KoA wasn't that great for me, and I know I'm far from singular in that opinion.

I got Dead Kell, but not Naros DLCs, and wish I hadn't honestly. The game was fun for maybe 7 hours then with the exception of maybe 2 bosses its really easy and really repetitive.

I played as a Champion or whatever the warrior/mage hybrid was because I hated pure warrior since I never used the skills and pure mage as I could just cast meteor and thunderstorm to kill everything in under 6 seconds for the entire game.

Finesse was not my thing although its what I started out as. I never really used any of the non buff skills and I grew tired of the crap damage that I was doing with melee and the crap aiming I was left with once I got scattershot for my bow.

In the end I had a tank that used hammers and chakrams and whenever I grew bored of combat I just used thunderstorm from inside my blue safety bubble.

One thing that was furthest from my mind the entire time I played it was the lore and the characters. I didn't care in the slightest, they were completely generic and unimpressive. As a matter of fact I've gone from complete indifference regarding Salvatore's works to actively wishing to avoid them now. McFarlane has never been my go to guy for art style either.

I bring this up because I imagine that the 2 things that will definitely carry over to the MMO will be the established lore and the art style. I've actually read all the lore right before the game came out, and it amounted to zero relevance in the actual game of course.

I've also found that the majority of the detractors of the game share the sentiment that the game is too easy, but if you bar that reason for disliking it they more often than not cite that the story and world at large are just not at all enthralling.

Which for an action rpg is bad business, when you have boring easy combat AND people don't care for your world you've created.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that thinks that Rhode Island was pretty ignorant of the realities of development hell, and took ridiculous liberties with taxpayer money for what amounts to a mediocre game that sold as such and the promise of an MMO in the same universe (only thousands of years in the future) is poor comfort.

Seriously why in the hell did they feel the need to LURE a non-established game company with boatloads of money to settle in their state based upon a track record of zero games made? Correct me if I'm wrong about it being their first game, but isn't that like bribing an author with millions to write their first book in your hometown?

Now, "mysteriously" they can't pay back the money despite "good" sales of KoA. I with that they could just cut their losses and stop working on Project C, because the amount of pending litigation for defrauding the state of RI in a year or so when said MMO fails miserably due to a complete lack of anyone giving a shit is gonna cost them much more.


New member
Apr 16, 2012
Can I hear anyone scream "train wreck!"? Oh Government, why do you fail at quite literally everything?


Apr 28, 2008
I kind of thing more video game companies should be subject to external auditing.


Need superslick, Kupo.
Dec 7, 2009
Chafee made the right call.

Additionally, as someone who attended URI and has personally met and talked to Leonard Lardaro, I can tell you to take anything he says with a grain of salt. He consistently has terrible ideas about how RI should deal with its economics.