Gamigo formally announces the Trion Worlds buyout that manifested yesterday

    
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Oh great.

Yesterday’s surprise news that MMO company Trion Worlds had been sold to Gamigo was then all but confirmed by Trion’s Linda “Brasse” Carlson, who announced her departure on the RIFT forums, and by Scott Hartsman himself, who asked Twitter for help placing victims of the Trion layoffs in other companies. While the anonymous claim that as many as 85% of the studio’s 200+ employees had been abruptly laid off hasn’t been officially verified – and Trion itself has yet to respond to requests for comment – Gamigo has moved ahead with a formal press release talking up the acquisition and clarifying that it’s effectively an asset buy-up.

“Hamburg, October 23, 2018 – The gamigo AG („gamigo Bond“ WKN: A2NBH2 / ISIN: SE0011614445) has acquired major assets from Trion Worlds Inc., a leading US gaming company with offices in Redwood City (California) and Austin (Texas) and has as publisher and developer of online and console MMO-games, well-known games such as Rift, Defiance, Trove and ArcheAge in its portfolio. Trion was acquired via an ‘Assignment for the Benefit of the Creditors’ process, in which the buyer only buys those assets, with which he wishes to continue the business. In this process, gamigo group acquired the majority of the assets, including the platform, takes over employees to operate the business and gets the full publishing rights of the games. The IP’s of the Trion Worlds games have been acquired by gamigo’s sister company Padmapani GmbH and are made available for gamigo group, worldwide and exclusive.

“‘The successful acquisition and subsequent integration of Trion into our portfolio substantially strengthen gamigo’s position in the European and American gaming market. On the one hand, we add similar and successful brands and games to the already broad gamigo portfolio, on the other hand, we are looking to unlock substantial synergies with the group’s existing business to further benefit from the remarkable growth potential that the gaming market offers.’, comments gamigo’s CEO Remco Westermann.

Through the acquisition of Trion, gamigo’s management expects additional revenues of over USD 18 million and an additional EBITDA of USD 1 to 4 million for 2019. This estimate depends on the success of the restructuring and integration of Trion and is mainly based on potential economies of scale and synergies. The exploitation of economies of scale and synergies is an elementary part of the gamigo strategy and has been proven several times in acquisitions in the past.”

Trion ran multiple MMOs: RIFT, ArcheAgeTroveDefiance, Atlas Reactor, and Defiance 2050. Studio reps have given conflicting accounts of their prospects, given the skeleton crew remaining at the company, though we assume Gamigo didn’t buy them to close them down.

Source: Gamigo
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Feyd Darkholme

I can’t for the life of me figure out how Rift isn’t profitable… there are a ton of people playing it right now. Even between the holiday rushes there are always people around. Right now there are hordes of people playing the Autumn Harvest holiday event. There’s enough people even during the wee hours for Adventure groups 24/7… You’ve got to be a special kind of dense to manage to drive that game into the red… I really hope that Gamigo keeps it running because I really have been enjoying my time in Rift, even after so many years. It just needs to competent management!

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Danny Smith

Do you know anyone that actually spends money on rift though? i know a lot of people that played, i know one that ever spent a sent on it beyond buying the game and storm legion pre f2p.

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Feyd Darkholme

Yup, I am in a very active guild in Rift with probably 30 plus people that are still active and either sub or spend money on currency on a fairly regular basis…

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socontrariwise

“Assignment for the Benefit of the Creditors” – so Trion was bankrupt, since a while pretty much. And a trustee looking for someone to buy out assets to liquidate basically for payment of creditors? But they kept 200 people on pay roll?

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Crowe

Yeah, why/how did they buy the Gazillion assets if they couldn’t afford it? Maybe there was some promised funding for them that fell through.

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Toy Clown

Ashes of Creation picked up a lot of development stragglers from other sunsetted MMOs. Maybe some of them will find a home there, and I hope they do find new positions soon.

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Darthbawl

we assume Gamigo didn’t buy them to close them down

Like *cough* EA *cough* :P

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Bruno Brito

Amazing. Even when the company dies, The blood of PRstman is so strong that even it’s post-mortem status is full of vague bs.

Holy jesus.

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A Dad Supreme

https://venturebeat.com/2013/08/10/trion-worlds-replaces-its-ceo-and-shuts-san-diego-studio/ It’s how he started as CEO. August 2013:

Trion Worlds names new CEO and shuts San Diego studio

“In an email to the company, Hartsman stated, “We’re going to rapidly be laying the groundwork for a new strategy for Trion — One that’s closer to the foundation of how we’ve had our wins so far, and then extending that base into the enduring success this company can, and will, be.”

We know exactly what that strategy was: P2P to F2P to P2W. That apparently was his vision.

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Bruno Brito

Even his farewell is in PR-speak.

Maybe that’s just how he communicates.

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Cosmic Cleric

… is mainly based on potential economies of scale and synergies. The exploitation of economies of scale and synergies is an elementary part of the gamigo strategy …

That’s allot of economically scaled synergy.

They must have one hell of a strategy.

Bel
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Bel

I don’t think they bought them to shut the games down, but I think they will basically put them all in maintenance mode, which would be sad, but better than nothing. I know there are several MMOs that I wish were in maintenance mode right now instead of shut down.

April-Rain
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April-Rain

It’s sad so many lost their jobs, but I lost faith in Trion a long time ago and the way they have treated their customers is why they reached this point.

I am really not confident in Gamingo and I think all these titles will slowly die a slow death.

Is it me? but Scotts Hartsmen always came across like he was out of his depth running this company.

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A Dad Supreme

“Is it me? but Scotts Hartsmen always came across like he was out of his depth running this company.”

Hartsman leaves company as employee. Game/company are in the black and profitable.

Hartsman later rejoins the company as CEO; company is still in the black when he takes over.

Several years later, company is heavily in the red with failing games and facing bankruptcy while Hartsman is CEO. Company is then sold off to German company under Hartsman’s watch for probably far less than anyone imagined.

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Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

The scary thing is I can see Hartsman starting up a new Trove type game on Kickstarter with enough stupid people investing in it to put him back in the head office. Either that or Jeff Bezos just offered him a job running a new project at Amazon Games with all that talent they pilfered from ArenaNet.

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ichi sakari

got to love Hartsman staying in character as a lovable CEO helping his kids find a place to land, basically the guy that the Undisputed Truth was warning us about in ‘Smiling Faces’

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Sorenthaz

I dunno, it can be difficult to tell. ’cause on one hand Trion seemed to be largely run moreso by the board of executives with the CEO basically bending over backwards for them after multiple projects flopped and lost Trion quite a bit of $$$. Hartsman was basically the guy who has to smile and nod and make everything look good/positive or else he would’ve likely been booted from Trion.

Also his personality in the past before he became CEO seemed pretty genuine and essentially him being CEO was to make him the face of Trion instead of Lars Butler, who screwed up massively but got to sit back within the company as a board member helping to pull the strings and whatnot.

So maybe at the end of the day Hartsman was just the PR guy who was being paid handsomely to spin things and make the ship look like it was still floating.

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Bruno Brito

and make the ship look like it was still floating.

I love this expression simply because it implies how detached this hope is.

There wasn’t even a ship anymore. The burnt carcass was already ashes.

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Sorenthaz

It was more like it was a ship with two or three massive holes in it and then only the top side of the ship (RIFT) was still above water. They tried bailing water out and patching up the Defiance branch and then expanded, but the foundation was still screwed and it was clear they were still trying to do what they could to make a profit.

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Bruno Brito

Maybe, honestly, i still only saw ashes after they brought the massive disgrace that was Archeage.

I don’t even know if RIFT was above water, the core game is great, but everything on top of it is weak, after certain xpacs.

One thing is sure, not everything that floats is a ship ( hah ), but clearly, Hartsman wanted us to see a ship til the end.

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A Dad Supreme

The only difference between Smedley and Hartsman who both will get/got golden buyout deals is that Smedley was able to sell the company and keep just about everyone working at SOE/Daybreak.

Hartsman’s only recourse after selling Trion was to send out a Twitter request basically saying “Hey, we got all these people here who need jobs. Anyone hiring?”

I got to give Smedley a lot of credit for that at least.

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Daniel Miller

They won’t get Archeage assets. Xl owns those. Trion only coulf pub, even then no idea when xl trion contract expires or what happens when its bought out.