“We just checked the other day, and something like a third of RIFT’s players at any given moment are people who’ve been around since near the start,” he said. “On top of those who’ve been here the whole time, there are always people rotating back in regularly — there’s a long-standing pattern of people coming back in to RIFT to check out the latest, play a while, then come back in a few months for more, which goes on for years.”
Hartsman touched on many topics in the discussion, including the soul system, PvP, and player favorites and disappointments. Regarding the latter, he points to RIFT’s business model as an ongoing source of contention.
“What we’ve discovered is that if you sell it for $40 or $50, people not only accept it, they’ll even celebrate it. If you give it away for free, and charge for optional systems or content related to that expansion to make up the difference, you not only don’t get credit for having given it away for free, you run the risk of creating disappointment. Those misalignments of expectation are the things we regret the most, and the places we’re constantly striving to do better for our players,” Hartsman commented.