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Public auction at Big Huge Games studio brings $180k

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The first of two public auctions of items formerly owned by Curt Schilling’s failed video game company has brought in $180,000, according to the firm’s court-appointed receiver.

Providence attorney Richard Land, the receiver for 38 Studios, said Tuesday’s auction in Timonium was robust, but he did not yet know how much it will net after expenses are paid.

Rhode Island lured 38 Studios from Massachusetts with a $75 million loan guarantee approved by the state Economic Development Corp. in 2010. The company filed for bankruptcy in June, and the state is likely on the hook for about $100 million related to the deal, including interest.

Land said Thursday that about 950 items — from computers and gaming consoles to furniture and office equipment — were sold at the former Big Huge Games, a Timonium studio, acquired by 38 Studios in 2009. A “video animation suit” attracted the highest bid, $9,500.

More than 300 people attended the auction in person, and 200 more were registered to make bids online.

“Having this many bidders helps to extract greater value for the property,” Land said in a statement.

A second auction is scheduled for Tuesday at the firm’s former Providence headquarters. In addition to sophisticated animation equipment, items to be sold include art prints of 38 Studios’ lone video game release, “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning,” signed by Schilling; a ping pong table; a massage table; and paper shredders. With more than 1,800 items up for sale, the auctioneer, SJ Corio Company, has said the auction could be extended to a second day.

38 Studios’ intellectual property, which is considered more valuable, will be auctioned off in about three months, Land said.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee said this week that every penny helps, but that he’s not “overly optimistic” that the auctions will make much of a dent in what the state stands to lose on its investment.