File this one under “huge things that rudely happened while we were all in the middle of recording the podcast”: Trion Worlds has apparently been sold to Gamigo. Here’s the official statement as posted on the RIFT forums:
“Greetings — We can confirm that there has been a transaction involving Trion Worlds and its games. While many of the names and faces you’ve come to know in our studios will remain on through this transition, others will not be making the journey. To those who are leaving us, we are forever grateful for your incredible work and contributions over the years. We’d like to assure our communities that the games will continue on in capable hands moving forward, as everyone involved is aiming to make this transition as smooth as possible for you. We will have more information to reveal as soon as we possibly can.
“From the bottom of all of our hearts, we thank you for your time and dedication to our games and hope that you’ve enjoyed the experience as much as we have. From spending time with you in game, to seeing you at conventions, to talking with you on livestreams and forums, it’s been our pleasure to be a part of this exceptional community with you since our first launch more than seven years ago. Please know that you have our deepest gratitude. As for our games, we hope you continue to enjoy playing them far into the future.”
Among those being laid off today are Linda “Brasse” Carlson herself. “I’ll be here until end of day and will either answer or forward your questions to the team,” she writes. “It has been a rare honor to share Telara with you all! I will still wander its pathways as an ordinary citizen. =)”
Gamasutra is reporting that only 25 employees remain with Trion: “A source speaking to Gamasutra, however, has indicated that those layoffs may have affected the vast majority of the studio. According to that source, only 25 or so employees were given the opportunity to continue on with the studio. According to that information, the remaining developers at both the company’s Redwood City, California and Austin, Texas offices have been affected by the layoffs. Prior to this, Trion Worlds employed over 200 people.”
The post on the ArcheAge forums says that the 5.0 update is still scheduled to launch Wednesday as planned and that both Khrolan and Socke remain with the team. “I want to make sure you know that the games will go on!” Brasse adds. Khrolan himself, however, seems much less optimistic about that date:
“I don’t have a lot of information to provide currently. I can confirm that the news Brasse mentions (edit: about the acquisition of Trion) is accurate. A press release and public facing messages will follow. I’m still here currently and will be providing insight as soon as I can. A lot is in flux right now but I’m committed to providing you with accurate info. To set expectations, details will become available over the course of this week. I do concede that the release date for 5.0 may be delayed.”
MMORPG players will recall that Trion runs Trove, Defiance, Defiance 2050, and Atlas Reactor, in addition to RIFT and ArcheAge. It recently picked up the remains of Gazillion and Marvel Heroes too.
We’ve reached out to (what’s left of?) Trion for more. Our hearts go out to all of the rank-and-file developers affected by the layoffs.
So the news is out. @TrionWorlds was sold to @gamigo. A majority of my old Trion co-workers are now unemployed. My heart goes out for them, and I will help y’all in any way I can. 2018 sucks for the games industry. #TrionJobs #TrionWorlds
— Seraphina Brennan (@Sera_Brennan) October 22, 2018
Hell of a day. Plenty of time to talk later. For now, GAMES/TECH, RECRUITER/HIRING MANAGER FRIENDS: If you're looking for great folks and are open to being contacted directly, please DM: name, email, company, roles, location. Thanks!
— Scott Hartsman (@hartsman) October 23, 2018