Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's troubled video gaming company, lured to Rhode Island with a $75 million US state loan guarantee two years ago, filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday, and federal authorities have begun an investigation into it.

The filing by Providence-based 38 Studios, which laid off its staff last month, was made in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, where the company is incorporated as a limited liability corporation. Its sister operation in Baltimore also filed for bankruptcy.

The Rhode Island company owes $150.7 million and listed its assets at $21.7 million, according to court filings. 38 Studios Baltimore owes more than $121.4 million and has assets of more than $335,000, the filings show.

The company is seeking liquidation. In both filings, the firm lists its biggest liability as $115.9 million in debt from bonds backed by the state, interest on the bonds and fees to Rhode Island.

Schilling, who also pitched for Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia and Arizona and won the World Series three times, owns 83 per cent of the company, according to the filings.

Jim Martin, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Rhode Island, said his office had been in contact with the FBI and state police but didn't say exactly what it's investigating.