In a new interview on MCVUK this week, Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman dishes on the state of the MMO industry and making inroads into the Chinese market. For starters, he says the MMO market is “in very good health.”
“The thing that people are comparing it to – erroneously – is the launch of World of Warcraft. It was 2004, there were about six MMOs out there. [Editor’s note: Quite a few more than six, we hasten to add, but point taken.] You look across the landscape these days and there are hundreds. Players are spread across so many more games. As long as the number of titles keeps growing, they’re going to keep spreading out. What we are also seeing is that the generation of people who grew up playing MMOs for four hours a night are now more interested in games they can play for ten minutes at a time. We’re seeing a shift. Online is still strong. A lot of classic MMOs have become more approachable online.”
Hartsman argues that China has traditionally been PvP-focused but has become more receptive to creative and co-op offerings; consequently, Trion has attempted to shift away from making games that are “products of the territories they launched in” like RIFT and instead focus on games that have potential overseas and on multiple platforms.
“The way we make games, especially with the way free-to-play economies work, means you always want to be in front of larger audiences because then you’re making more money to invest in your games,” he says.