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Thursday, February 9, 2012
Curt Schilling's new role: fantasy game creator

During his playing career, pitcher Curt Schilling took his day job pretty seriously; just look at all those stats (and rings) he produced with the Orioles, Astros, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox.

But at the end of the day -- each day, really -- he was done with baseball.

"There wasn't a lot of interest in pitching against the Giants and then going home and replaying that on the XBox," Schilling said.

In its place: fantasy games, a natural choice for the longtime Dungeons & Dragons/J.R.R. Tolkien fan. And now it's paying off. Fantasy has become reality. Schilling's company, 38 Studios, released its first game on Tuesday: the role-playing "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning."

It took five years to produce, with fantasy/gaming luminaries such as R.A. Salvatore, Todd McFarlane and Ken Rolston playing major roles. In the moments following its release -- with "amazing" feedback from users and strong reviews from places such as IGN 9 out of 10 -- Schilling said it felt just like his baseball days.

"In the 30 minutes after I would pitch and we would win a game, [you'd see] what you played for," Schilling said. "You understood why you were doing it."

But the key there is "30 minutes." With a sequel in pre-production and another offering -- a massive multiplayer online game code-named "Copernicus" -- in the works, the release is a lot like any victory that doesn't clinch the World Series.

"[Tuesday] was the first day where you had that post-win feel, and that was very exciting," he said. "And it's gone. Now we're on to the next thing and it's about focusing and continuing to focus on what it is we have to do as we move forward."