The recent decision by Trion Worlds to set up what many see as a gear-related paywall in RIFT certainly has cause quite the discussion this week. The studio hasn’t been ignoring the controversy, but unleashed Director of Community Relations Linda “Brasse” Carlson on the forums to lay out the case for Trion’s balancing of its need to finance operations versus its desire to provide as much as possible for free.
“RIFT is not dying, not by a long shot. What is happening now is a shift in how we ask for support to keep the game healthy and moving in the right direction,” Carlson wrote, going on to state that only a small percentage (seven to 15%) of players subscribe or purchase items from the cash shop. She said that she wished the studio had rolled in the new changes more gradually but didn’t apologize for the company’s need to make bank.
“It’s not a choice based on greed,” she wrote. “It’s a choice based on the reality of running a business, ANY business, be it retail, service, or even non-profit venture.”
On a separate thread, Carlson defended RIFT’s inclusion of lockboxes, saying that they were on par with opening packs in trading card games like Hearthstone. “Lockboxes work because they allow for the element of surprise and anticipation, which humans (and Dwarves) love. Endless reams of data support the fact that people enjoy being surprised, and will support lockboxes far more than buying individual items on the store.”