Pitching every fifth day for 20 big league seasons, Curt Schilling once led an ideal existence for a man with his computer-gaming passion. "I had immense amounts of disposable income. I had a ton of free time," recalls Schilling. "I had the perfect gamer's life." But in recent weeks, during the run-up to the Feb. 7 launch of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the debut game from Schilling's 38 Studios digital media company, the six-time All-Star found himself with an unfamiliar problem: a schedule too filled with promotional work to play. Says Schilling (above), "This is the first lull I've had in my gaming in a long, long time."
Thanks in part to another benefit of his past life—the roughly $114 million he earned in MLB salary—Schilling has been able to turn a consuming hobby into a second career. In October 2006, while still with the Red Sox, he founded 38 Studios, based in Providence and originally dubbed Green Monster Games before being renamed after Schilling's longtime jersey number. The company made a splash by bringing in Spider-Man and Spawn artist Todd McFarlane as art director, then in '09 acquired a developer that had been building a single-player online role-playing game. That engine was then merged with an intricate fantasy world of characters and stories that Schilling and his colleagues had been working on to create Reckoning. Schilling describes his role in the game's creation as "no different than a manager of a baseball team.... I've got incredibly talented people on my roster."
Schilling pitches Reckoning as "God of War meets Oblivion" and says his studio sought to improve on the role-playing genre by treating combat as an essential element of the game. The New York Times last week declared Reckoning "one of the finest action role-playing games yet made." Schilling & Co. are already contemplating a sequel, plus an online role-playing game dubbed Copernicus. "I want to be the best in the world at something else," the three-time World Series winner says. And, presumably, find the time to game again.