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Forum Q&A Archives  » Live Forum Q&A Scott Hartsman - Trion Worlds

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71 posts found

Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 6:57:37 PM#41
Originally posted by Kinya

Concerning Defiance

- any plans for this game to go F2P?

- when do you think social aspects of this game will be changed / improved (chat, searching for clans in game or even taking screenshots)?


1) Not this instant.  Right now, the team is busting ass on DLC2 and live gameplay improvements, while solidifying the dates for DLC3-5.  (We have them approximated, but need to make sure that all partners agree ot them.)  The team's entirely focused on delivering on that commitment first.

2) This is the first time I've worked with a console MMO - I think the biggest difference to me is the rate at which one can update clients.  On a PC only title, it would be easy to say: "Yes, and here's when," because we control the end-to-end delivery.  The rules in the console world are a lot different. 

The social aspects are important to us, and prominent on the roadmap, but since we can't update console clients at the same rate as PC clients, and have to keep the entire game in sync, the timing will likely occur along with one of the DLC updates.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 35

All is fair in love, war, and pokemon battles.

10/25/13 7:01:40 PM#42

First off, glad to be participating in this! I met you once at a gaming convention when some other reporter was talking to you about WoW having such an advantage over RIFT, you mentioning how proud you were of your team, and I kinda stepped in, not immediately recognizing you, saying that I felt like WoW just had the time advantage and that I honestly felt it was Blizzard that was having to catch up to you guys. You just turned to me and said, "Let me shake your hand" and it totally hit me who you were. I was super embarrassed at the time, but obviously it's a memory for me.

Anyway, big ArcheAge fan here. I was wondering though, if Trion would give any preferred treatment to a certain fansite that's been the center of ArcheAge news since before you guys signed up to localize it. I know they've got a lot of experience with the game in at least Korean, and some of them have played several versions of the game too. Would bringing them in to test before closed beta to the general public perhaps help speed up the game's development and localization?

denngar Xfire Miniprofile

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/13
Posts: 14

10/25/13 7:02:19 PM#43

Heya Scott.

[Rift] What are your plans for PVP in rift, it's something you said would be supported at the launch of Rift but it hasn't been. In fact it's fair to say that hardly any support has been given to it. Daglar spent a "few" hours on it a few months ago on his day off, is that the type of support that PVP has got to look forward to now?  

At the current we had a Dev talk about melee changes that was like 20 odd days ago.


Thanks for your time


Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 7:05:22 PM#44
Originally posted by Melancholyx

Dear Scott,

nice to see you around! :)

Speaking for the German fans of ArcheAge I want to ask you two questions:

Question 1:

When Trion announced to bring the game to the West we were really happy to get a publisher with such a good reputation. However, over the the past year our happiness turned into huge disappointment because we feel left alone by Trion. You got any words of love to share with us?

Question 2:

Are you taking the recent drama regarding's presentation of the free-to-play model in Russia taking into consideration in your decision about the payment system of ArcheAge?



1: I bet that the 1000 words of love i replied with earlier on the subject might answer your question!

2: Yep, we read the same Internet you do. :)   We've been talking with both and XL regularly.  Everyone wants the same thing, which is great: A great game that's accessible, fair, and enjoyable to the largest number of people possible.  Truly. 

Everyone wants a great experience.  From there it's a matter of making sure that it ends up that way. 


Novice Member

Joined: 12/16/10
Posts: 3

10/25/13 7:16:53 PM#45

Scott, i've got a personal question to you:


Which games are you playing in private?

Have you already play ArcheAge?


Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 7:17:08 PM#46
Originally posted by MarkJW

Mr. Hartsman, here are my questions condensed into short form:

[1] Why hasn't Trion been showing us more of ArcheAge's localization process?

[2] Why aren’t Trion employees on fansite forums (not general purpose websites like this one) attempting to solicit feedback directly from the most knowledgeable potential customers?

[3] Why isn't there dedicated community managers for each of Trion's game properties? Is it too expensive?

[4] Why isn't Trion bringing ArcheAge to more conventions like Gamescom and PAX? Is the event budget being cannibalized?

Hi, Mark!  Thanks for the easily quoteable version:

1) Hopefully answered in the large AA answer a bit ago.

2) While we read them, we haven't had time to participate while in this quiet period of transition.  That'll change soon.

3) There are more community folks than there are games.  It's just a different structure.

4) Conventions are a blast - I love them.  I was raised walking distance from GenCon and practically grew up at that show, have worked every E3 (save one) since the first one existed, and even worked a PAX 3 days after a knee surgery.  Hired one of our engineers from one.  I like them too - Promise. :)

That said, the cost of doing the big convention blowout has gone through the roof over the past few years - They're the second least effective way a company can spend its money.  (The least effective being throwing it into a pile and burning it.) 

Realistically, there's a balance based around finding ways to participate without doing the expensive all-encompassing blowout.  The shows are great, especially the ones where we get to interact meaningfully with players.  Expect us to be doing more of that in the future.



Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 6996

10/25/13 7:17:39 PM#47

Hi Scott,

I'm curious what you have to say about other games. Recently in a video interview with you had some interesting things to say about what MMOs are (Civ had just been released). You mentioned how many games and platforms are MMOs even though we wouldn't traditionally think of them as such. Raph Koster, the last AMA, reflected on how we players keep clamoring for the same games and how devs/pubs keep delivering pretty much the same MMOs.

With the potential of Red Door publishing, Indies, and niche games, what potential do you see there? What do you think you and Trion could do to promote more niche mmos, different kinds of online games, and how online games could be different or how the concept of MMO could be stretched or reimagined? Basically, what would you like to do with Trion / Red Door that isn't just publishing the next DIKU reskinned (not that previous themparks or dikus are bad, just I think we're ready for something else)?

No one has as many friends as a man with many cheeses!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/25/10
Posts: 10

10/25/13 7:18:26 PM#48
Yes I'm a big fan of Rift been playing since beta i have a serious question though, we see other companies making conventions to support their player base any hope for Trion to have one of their own seeing as you guys do have lots of different aspects of games published already, here you can name it Tricon and do one where your company is located i seriously would ride out to see that convention as many others would as well. Can you please do a convention, please?

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/10/05
Posts: 5629

10/25/13 7:20:35 PM#49

1.Your company (Trion) basically set the new pace for content patches in themepark mmos. Do you think this is something that will continue to evolve? Has it created a quantity over quality issue in the industry? What are your thoughts on dev created content versus player created content? How much of the reigns would you be willing to share with your customers as an mmo evolves over years?

2.Rift is an example of an extremely adaptable mmo. Over the course of the game's life so far, you've added entire systems such as 3 faction pvp, housing, more than doubling land masses, the ability to set your level to fit zone content, wedding ceremonies.
The game started relatively small compared to other mmo launches. I know there seems to be a lot of demand for mmo premiering with months of content already made. When you look at say The Old Republilc, which launched with 17 planets, 8 unique single player campaigns, and a space mini game it is a stark contrast to what Rift launched with.
And yet both games ended up finding success in a free to play payment model.
So is it better to start small and work your way up to something bigger? Or start big and ride the wave?


Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

10/25/13 7:27:51 PM#50


1) Is TRION considering a f2p model for Defiance?

2) are there going to be more and continuing support for solo content gameplay?

3) What is your view about all the latest online game development like MOBA like League of Legend, instanced pvp games like World of Tanks, online ARPGs, and so on .. and will TRION gets into those?


Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 7:39:35 PM#51

Originally posted by Serelo

- Will Defiance on PC ever get a suitable interface with a full chat like in RIFT?

- Are there plans to make RIFT's world events more interesting? At the moment they are all a lot of grind and not very fun.

- Will German and French players get new Community Managers (not only translators like atm) with live streams and community events like Kahuna did with us?

- Any plans for a TRION party on gamescom next year?

- Are there any RIFT 3.0 mayor features in work that you can talk about?

I can't get too much into what the RIFT and Defiance folks want to talk about, but I have heard much excitement around the idea of making defiance chat behave more like one would expect chat to behave. :)

On the CM and tradeshow topics - I'd like to do all of that.  And at the same time, calling them only translators isn't necessarily fair to them - While they do translation, there's significant CM experience there as well.  It's a matter of finding the right balance.  We'll find the best one!


Originally posted by Soki123

First of all, I love Rift, but have missed your input in that game, we could tell you were gone. I see there is a new Conquest map coming, are there plans for more, and different styles of play. I would also like to know if Dimensions are getting worked on , in where we could grow gardens, fight off enemies etc. Sorta a mini game within the game.

Also is there any chance Merc type things, ala EQ2 will come to Rift. I would love to be able to tackle dungeons with my wife and our mercs, like we do in EQ2. We have subbed to EQ2 for awhile because of this feature. I know some people don t like the idea, but people are busier these days, and I think it s a nice option.

I don't want to ignore, but at the same time - I know the RIFT folks will be doing one of these, and don't want to get into spoiling anything they may be able to share then!


Originally posted by shifue

I am in the Archeage boat as well i kinda got a few questions as well.

1) Are we going to hear about a release plan/date as this game is highly awaited and we have not hear anything concrete or really anything at all.

2)The westernization as mentioned above will be be just on looks and not changing aspects of the game? And if it's changing gameplay what changes are being made?

3)What is the payment model looking like for archeage as this has been a big area of discussion giving attitudes about the russian model,p2p,b2p and f2p and i know a lot of the big concern here is f2p being a botfest with gold farmers,hackers,and usually includes a fair amount of pay to win (ex items not gained in the game without someone paying real cash for that gives huge advantages) russia new model seems better but i like the buy to play myself with a fluff shop so what system is going to be in place? and details please price etc

1) Answered part of it in the first big, big AA answer. 

The best I can tell you is that we're planning on applying a similar order of events that worked exceptionally well for us with Rift  - Ensuring we have a 24/7 alpha running for stability and ongoing update testing, then expanding it into the beta, then into events, then setting the launch date once we're confident in the betas.  A good number of the same people on our side are fulfilling the same roles for ArcheAge that we did in Rift's launch.

Given the now-firmed-up plans on what XL is doing with the core game, the teams just yesterday began the process of locking down the dates for the different stages.


2) Think of it this way...  It's less about looks and gameplay, and more about languages (3 of them, remember) and operations.

On one layer, there's the mass of technical integrations and operational infrastructure work to be done.  One example: Not all companies' patcher frontend and patch server backends are created the same.  There's a dozen different ways to solve that problem.  Their way is perfectly good, but we need a way that ties into our update server infrastructure.  Multiply that kind of work across about 20 or 30 technical topics.

The next layer up is translation localization - MMO's tend to have around 2mm words.  We have 3 languages, so, let's say 6mm words.  MMO's also tend to have a whole lot of proper nouns.  Proper nouns in Korean look a lot different than proper nouns in English, so new words frequently need to be invented, and be made to be consistent across the entirety of the game.  Dictionaries need to be made and you need to make sure everything's consistent and cohesive in its new form.

The layer up from that is there's business model and accounts integration - The game needs to integrate with our account backend, and needs to integrate with our billing system, in a way that's compatible with a) the tech on both sides b) desires for business model from both us and XL and c) the gameplay itself.

That's really what we've been focusing on.  That's a massive amount of work on its own.

We are making gameplay comments after observing the existing locales, and finding that most if not all of our observed issues are already on the list of things that XL plans to address for all locales.

We don't currently have any blanket gameplay requests specific to our locales.  If there ever were any, it would result based on playtesting with western players playing the game, on our service

3) Details will be coming - We can all agree that pay to win is bad, though, that's for sure.  The best things must always be earned/played for.  If they're not an enjoyable part of the game, there's a far bigger problem than business model!

At the same time, I think there's a lot of undue concern around bots, assuming that one protects and manages their game correctly.  Granted, there have histtorically been a few MMOs that haven't done a great job here, so some amount of concern is absolutely valid. 

We'll be sharing our security and anti-botting techniques with XL if they'd like us to.  That tech has been extremely successful in RIFT.  In terms of running the service, and ensuring our CS has the same access to immediate data that they have in our existing games, they'll go at it with the same discipline in managing-out bot accounts -- The goal being to ensure that no matter what the specifics of the model are, we're in the best shape we possibly can be.


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/14/08
Posts: 26

10/25/13 7:42:06 PM#52

Hey Scott. I would first like to say that it's a great honor to even say hi to you. I respect most people in the gaming industry.

My question for you is this: I am a striving game developer and seek to fulfill my imaginations and create a wonderful piece of art. I understand it takes a ton of hard work and dedication but I'm hoping you can give me some advice. Where should I start? Where did you start? 

Thanks for your time.


Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 7:52:03 PM#53

Originally posted by SkatchKtam

I simply want to be able to inhabit,and enjoy this game as an MMO, to be my own character in the world of Defiance.

Hi, Skatch - Good to meet you. :)   I wanted to make sure to at least reply - I think you have good questions, and absolutely admirable desires -- but at that level of detail, they're better aimed at when the Defiance team jumps in here.


Originally posted by DMKano

I forgot my Archeage questions:

I play AA on Korean servers and I've heard rumors that XLgames decided to do Russia and China first and US/EU last which would mean that XLGames has unintentionally delayed the US release.

Does Trion solely get to decide on US/EU release dates, or does XLgames also plan the release dates?

Also it seems that XLgames is working on adding a lot of new content (including new races, Dwarves and Warborn - yeah!) and revamping some early themepark-style elements into more sandboxy elements - is Trion and XLgames planning to have this completed first before the game is ready for US/EU?

1. Hopefully addressed in my first massive AA reply!

2. We have to plan and execute on them together - Since MMOs are online services, launching them isn't at all like doing a territory launch for a single player game.  The teams physically at XL and at Trion both have to be working on the same launch at the same time.  Kind of addressed this in my massive AA reply.

3. That's one of the big considerations in choice of launch date. If we both decide that having improvements in place will make for the best western launch, it is absolutely possible.  We're both aiming for the combination of "best" and "most reasonable."


Originally posted by DMKano


In a massively interview you stated the following:

"The traditional AAA style of development and distribution' is broken"

followed by

"With any luck, we'll see more endeavors where the balance of power returns to the product creators and the audiences they're trying to serve in the most direct relationship possible -- where everyone involved is a "product person" whose sole mission is to best serve the customer. That's powerful and exciting."

It seems that the current model of crazy-expensive games that nobody gets to play until they've been in dev for years is completely ineffective and far too risky.

it's a lose/lose/lose situation when the AAA game ends up bombing:

- $100s of millions (potentially) of dollars wasted

-Years of developer time wasted

-Disappointed players (after following the game dev for years, the first beta bombs)



How will Trion change the future game development to avoid the above AAA pitfall?

When can we expect more information on that new game that you hinted at in a recent MMORPG interview "not ready to talk about yet" 

1. By being unafraid to do entirely new types of experimental development and get folks involved with our efforts a lot earlier in the development cycle.

2. Ask me that question in like a month? :)


Originally posted by Viciskander

Hey Scott,

It's Erik! ;) Are there any plans for an official ArcheAge forum and how is your community management? Is this Interview the beginning for more community work? And, last but not least: is the ArcheAge EU release still going to be accomplished by Trion?

1. Hi Erik!

2. Yes, we're sorting through the specifics around the next iteration of what we do for both forums and blogs across the company right now.

3. Overworked, but in general, they seem all right.

4. I hope so!

5. Yes! See previous Huge AA Answer. :)

Originally posted by Hanthos

Concerning ArcheAge:

1) Are there any plans to revert any of the crafting mechanics back to their Korean CBT state, such as item decay?

2) Has any consideration been given to different rule/server types?

1. We don't have specific gameplay requests for AA West  at the moment --  XL is already starting to talk about their future plans with their live players, and we'll be following on there.

2. Not at the moment - That said, I also love the concept of those in general, but they take a shockingly large amount of work.


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/12
Posts: 315

10/25/13 8:03:06 PM#54


Defiance is seriously lacking a social element, whether it be via mapchat, guild chat, social hangouts, vistas, etc.  It lacks any reason to interact with anyone else in the open world.  Like many, I feel like I am playing a single player game in an open world MMO space. 

What  plans, if any, are in place to address the 'multiplayer' aspect of the game?


Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 6996

10/25/13 8:04:01 PM#55
As a gamer, what would you like to see the industry focus on or encourage? What do you want to see out of games (single player, online, multi-player, whatever) that just isn't being done or that is rare? What games would you like to see made?

No one has as many friends as a man with many cheeses!


Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 8:06:02 PM#56

Originally posted by bcofido

Hello Scott,

my name is Fido and i am the operator of "Let´s Play ArcheAge - The german video magazine" on Youtube. At first I want to thank you for being our "interview partner" tonight. Don´t worry, i´ll make it short, the other guys here will ask enough questions about ArcheAge  :)

1. A few months ago the german ArcheAge community held the community event "A letter to Trion Worlds". Some of the letters were handed over to your ArcheAge team at the E3, the complete collection was sent to you by air-mail from Germany. At the time the event happened you didn´t work for Trion Worlds I just wanted to know: Did you ever get these letters?

2. More an invitation: If you´d like i invite you to be my guest in my Let´s Play series, some chatting and chiling in the sun of Ark included. We can do this in english language of course ;)

Haha - Thanks, Fido :)

1. Was gone for quite a while. Didn't know about them - I clearly need to find out what happened to them!

2. Would love to once life gets back to some semblance of a more calm pattern, as I also mentioned to another gentleman earlier in the thread.  Definitely better for both of us that it would be in english!

Originally posted by davidber
As a person who has played Rift since Alpha, why is there no compelling reason to stay a patron? 

Hi!   Absolutely appreciate the support, and hear what you're saying.  While I don't want to stomp on the RIFT team's future answers, It may be wise of us to take a look at what Patron means globally for Trion.  It's a great concept, and we would also like to make sure that folks see it as valuable.

Originally posted by Kiwidream

I love Rift, thanks for coming back to keep steering our game. We have just seen Shard Unification take place and I keep reading Daglars statements over and over but the wording implicates more than states so my main questions is:.

Is this the beginning of the possibility EU & NA shards becoming one region?

I am also a fansite for Dimensions - - and thoroughly appreciate all concepts. Thanks so much! My other inquiry is with Raiding. This current tier of content is so awesome but because of how long it took to get here we have lost many endgame guilds. I fear we will have no hardcore raiders left soon because this content will also be conquered shortly. My inquiries are:

Will there be any changes in the pace of 20 man content being released? Is there any hope for current raiders to keep playing into 2014?

Thanks for taking the time Scott and Aloha Grakulen, Chief & everyone at Insomniac Gaming especially Kel :)

PS Sorry I started a new thread same questions then saw this.

Hey, Kiwi! No worries.

1. Unlikely on a single region - If only to ensure that there's an optimal experience for folks on both continents (since the EU servers are phyiscally in the EU).

2. Again, without stepping on RIFT team future answers, the subject of pacing vs update size has been one we've been discussing across both currently live games of late.  That's the most I can really say right now - The owners of the respective games are absolutely trying to do what's best for both groups of players.



Novice Member

Joined: 12/16/10
Posts: 3

10/25/13 8:31:03 PM#57
a 24/7 alpha


Where may i register? ;-)


Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/13
Posts: 582

I like this planet, YOU get off!

10/25/13 8:37:44 PM#58

Hi Scott!

With how important it has become for continues innovation, or atleast the feeling of innovation, how much do you think is really viable? We see many different games trying different kinds of release schedules, like Gw2 with its 2 week updates, Wildstar with "shooting for 5 weeks" and even Rift tried a mostly monthly schedule but those slowed down and have not really returned. Just how much change is really viable over time and still keep your playerbase? Koster's collected "Laws of game design" implies that no matter what you do your player base will shrink as you shed those players who really are not the target of your experience and any attempt to bring in new players will be seen as a betrayal by that player base. Is there a reasonable solution? Only WoW seems to have been able to hop this hurdle and even that appears to be losing the battle.



Novice Member

Joined: 3/04/09
Posts: 395

For me, the gates will open.

10/25/13 8:44:18 PM#59

Not rally a question. I take part in extra life every year since RIFT first introduced it to me. I thank you for all the goodies Trion gave extra lifers this year. If anyone wants to check out extra life, here is a link through Team KFM, my Extra Life Team.


Thanks again for introducing me to this wonderful charity.


Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 8:51:24 PM#60

Originally posted by SilverFang89

Hi Scott I wanted to thank you for being our guest tonight.

 Now for my question the last news I heard about the release date for Archeage was the end of this year beginning of next. Is there anyway you can give use a more concrete release date?

Thanks! Good to be here.

Addressed the release process and how we go about determining the dates each step of the way in another reply - Hope that answer works for you!

Originally posted by sliverbaer

Any status on the memory leak that plagues the PS3 Defiance players?  

Disconnects, Lag, and Lockups are not fun.

The game is pretty awesome though.  It also got me interested in Rift.

Overheard an update on this topic today, I don't think the Defiance team would mind if I added a little of their info on this one: Yes, it's absolutely an important topic that's being worked on.  The exact specifics of what's causing it are a little over my head technically, since I've never dealt with memory and PS3, even in my engineering days. 

Very glad you enjoy it!

Originally posted by SlothnChunk

Defiance is one of the most fun MMOs I've ever played. However, the DLC releases are way too slow! You can only run around the map killing random enemies and engaging in sieges for so many hours after completing the main quests.

What are you doing to speed up DLC development for Defiance?

The time between launch and DLC1 was really about all of the activities that a game team has to undertake just to get through the day to day of launching their MMO, and dealing with all of the inevitable issues in the weeks and months following.   That they managed to launch DLC1 when they did was pretty heroic. At the same time, I understand that from the outside perspective, that's really not your problem - I do just want to make note of their massive efforts. :)

From there, the Defiance team at Trion HQ was really only formed up this past month.  They've been working on a rollout plan that has the next DLC coming out toward December, and the rest in a more regular cadence thereafter.  This sounds like snark, but I promise it isn't: "Releasing DLC...faster," now that the game is launched and operating in a more stable manner, is really the truth.


Originally posted by krondin

Dear Scott .

     I want to ask you a specific question that's a little different then most others you may get here today. I believe there is a great deal number of people who are really looking for this one answer above all else or details about specific games.


Here it goes.......

We want to know if you and Trion are something we can "Believe in".  A Person/Company we can trust and stand behind .

We are tired of being mislead , lied to, deceived, and let down, we want a Company to "Believe" in and support.

HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER THAT QUESTION TO GAIN OUR TRUST? < Give us something to believe in. Say what you mean and Mean what you say, no BS! >

I personally played rift in beta and 1.5 yrs more, and play defiance since beta. You becoming CEO is the only reason i still want to give trion a chance for my long term game playing dollars. If you had not come back to lead trion i would no longer be playing anything by them. I hope you can give me and others a statement to give us the Hope we want, then Deliver on it in the near future. This is how your foundation is being built as a CEO. What you do and say that ,we the players, believe of it, is how you will be future judged on all things.  

I Thanks you for reading this and await a reply....

Happy to: We play games too. 

I got into this business precisely because I am one of you.  You don't take a 25 year path up from the bottom unless you truly love having the privilege of being able to entertain people. 

Most of the time, I want the same things you do.  When I hear we can't do something because we don't have X, or we have to rebalance away Y to make sure that we ship at the right quality, sometimes my heart breaks a little too.  

That said, I want nothing more than to prove that providing genuinely good experiences for gamers, and a great place to work for our teams is the winning, long-term strategy behind successfully operating an online games business.

We have some karmic digging out to do, no doubt, but if we can make it, it'll be amazing.



Originally posted by Lanfea

1) when do we get back the necessity to socialize in mmorpgs?
2) after f2p opened the door to the two-class-society (poor and rich) why don't take publishers one more step and offer f2p and p2p servers for the same game?
3) at which point will investors get that quality makes more money in a long run?
4) if you, trion worlds, intent to develop a new mmog (read some rumors about) how would you compensate the explosion of costs (i guess it nearly quadruplicated in the last ten years) to present us a high quality game?
sincerly yours


Hi, Lanfea!

1.  Honest answer - When enough people vote with their feet that's the type of game they want to play -- That that aspect is so much more important to them than any other, that they gravitate toward games that contain that type of gameplay, in large numbers.  To date, the opposite has proven the case, despite many attempts at including strong interdependency in different elements in many games.

2. At least one major MMO has tried this - Since I know the president of that company, I know he's a rational decision maker.  If it were best for his game/company/audience to have kept it that way, he would have.  I have to conclude that it wasn't.

3. They absolutely do get that.  What they also need, though (since they're responsible for every dollar they choose to invest), is certainty that a game will make enough of a return to justify the cost of high quality.  That's a difficult bet to make.  They have bosses too - When they make bad bets, they lose out the same way that you or I would lose for doing poorly at our jobs.

Unfortunately, spending large sums does not always equate to the kind of quality that is guaranteed to generate returns on their investment.  (Remember: That's their one job.)

Add on to that that quality alone does not always equate to success.  (e.g. You could get knocked out by 2 other quality titles releasing the same month, who just happened to spend 10x more on marketing than you could.)   Things start to get more complicated.

It's a huge reward if you can make it through those risks, but those risks tend to be pretty extreme.

4. By experimenting with different types of development and starting out by taking more risks across less expensive games, probably across multiple games over time.


Originally posted by IceAge
Hartsman , who's idea was to make a banner with the following message "You're not in Azeroth anymore", when Rift launched? 

An agency we were working with came up with the idea for the slogan and campaign. 

We had a relatively modest amount of money to market with, in a market where people had a lot more than we did to work with.  We needed Rift to be a seven figure seller, which meant having a lot more people know who Trion was and what Rift was about.

The head of publishing walked up to me showing me this deck, and my first reaction was to simultaneously be appalled while laughing.  I believe my exact reaction was: "Holy shit.  Are they insane?!  There's no WAY we could ever go out with that!"

He didn't say anything for a beat. 

And then I caught up to where he was already thinking: "Yep.  This is how they'll notice.  Okay.  I'm in."

Rift did what it needed to do.  We survived the launch and beyond.  

I did get a couple good-naturedly pretend-annoyed, "Did you really just do that?"-type IMs from friends at Blizzard.  They saw the humor in it as well, which was important to me.

And that's the story of that.

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