RIFT fans with long memories will recall how the game first launched in 2011 as a subscription-only title, staying that way for about a year before going free-to-play. These days Trion Worlds is harboring a library of hybrid free-to-play and buy-to-play titles with nary a sub-only game in sight. So would the studio ever consider another sub-only MMO?
“I don’t think I would,” CEO Scott Hartsman said in a recent interview. “I don’t have a religion about business models. What I really care about is matching the design of the game to an audience for the game. If somebody said hey, here is a game and we know for a fact that the model that makes sense is a subscription. Then I’m all on board here. I’m really just about, what is the right model that will get enough players to make the game make financial sense, so it will live a happy and long life. And it’s just become more challenging to do that with subscription.”
Hartman also had surprisingly positive things to say about Defiance and its success as a console title. He said that the game sees more “organic new users” than any of its games due to the platform and business model: “The console players love the idea of just let me push play and get in the game.” Defiance is available on three platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.