"[Rhode Island] should have gotten an injunction against 38 Studios from making any material decisions like laying off employees," Dent says. "You could have put together a tax credit package for 38 Studios employees. You need these creative people to make 38 Studios worth anything."
The political fallout from the 38 Studios debacle is likely to be felt throughout the industry, Dent and Sliwinski predict. The video game industry has relied on tax credit packages in return for setting up shop in certain states. Rhode Island, and the millions of dollars it is now owed, will be fresh in politicians' minds when these tax credits come up for renewal over the coming years.
"The industry is going to have to work hard now to show that Rhode Island's problems are not the norm in the industry, but a freak anomaly," Sliwinski says.