So once I decided not to start my own company, I started looking around for a company in the games industry that really had employees, and more importantly, employees' families at the forefront of their priorities. I wanted a place I could raise kids, have a life, and make great games with my friends.
38 Studios stands head and shoulders above every other company in the industry in this respect. 38 Studios was founded by Curt Schilling, former Red Sox pitcher, and his passion is building teams. He knows that to create a great game you have to have great people, and treat them and their families well.
Curt will move heaven and earth for his family, and if you're on his team, you're family. Rarely have I met anyone as genuinely passionate and good hearted as he is. He has strong opinions, but he is also wise enough to trust his team and value their opinions and expertise.
When I came to visit I was very impressed by everyone I met. They are smart, nice, and honest with themselves and each other. They realize they have a tremendous task in front of them, creating a company, creating a great game, creating a world. But each time I've seen them approach a problem, I've seen them solve it in innovative and great ways. Each time I've seen them choose between the expedient path and what's right for the team, they've done what's right for the team. Not only does that hold true at the top levels, but that attitude, flexibility and self-empowerment is there in everyone I talk to.
38 Studios faces challenges, for sure. They are trying to do something that hasn't been done before. They are a privately owned company making an MMO, and trying to do it in a healthy sustainable way. They are growing quickly and trying to prepare themselves for the transition to a service organization while at the same time creating a quality content game. They are trying to find the right formula and the right people and they're trying to do it in a realistic time frame.
Can they do it? I don't know. But I am incredibly motivated to help them try, because if they can pull this off, this is my dream come true. A great company, great people, and a quality life for my family and me.
My first day starts tomorrow. Wish me luck! :)