Free is the new black, and Trion Worlds is dressed to kill.
Dead Simon (AKA Rift Senior Design Director Simon Ffinch) has been keeping busy with interviews recently. In addition to discussing PvP Dimensions earlier this week, he has taken the time to discuss Rift's recent change from a subscription based model to a free to play model. In an interview with GamerZines, Ffinch discusses the success that Rift has had over the last month as a free to play game, and why he thinks the model switch was so successful for the game.
Rift first went free to play in on June 12th, and made a number of major changes to core aspects of the game, including the addition of a new currency called REX that could be exchanged for quality of life or aesthetic additions to the game. Although he didn't give numerical changes in the Rift population, he says, "We just wanted to remove the barrier to entry that we had in Rift. It was like opening the floodgates, it was pretty amazing. All I'll say is that it has been really exciting, and has far exceeded our expectations and continues to do so. We thought we were going to see a lot of people leave, that were going to be upset by it, but I'm happy to say that didn't happen."
Ffinch credits the success of the free to play transition to remaining loyal to their existing customer base. He explains, "First we already had a large and loyal player base, and we didn't want to destroy that. They were there playing and enjoying Rift, and we wanted to make sure they could continue to do that. We didn't want to upset them and we wanted to pull in a lot more players. MMOs are more fun when there are more people. We did do it the right way and that didn't piss off our players. We'll take some credit for that, but I also think the industry has changed. Free-to-play doesn't mean what it used to. You still get people who cry, 'Oh my god, the sky is falling' when free-to-play is mentioned, but it's far more accepted that this is the way games should be going forward."
Adventure in the world of Telara as either a noble Guardian or technomagical Defiant and enter a dynamic fantasy where 8 primal forces battle for control in an ever-changing landscape. Build your own class using the Ascended Soul system and embark on epic conflicts that bring you into the story, taking your RPG experience to new heights of achievement and excitement.
Under their new model, Trion Worlds has been able to open their doors to a significantly larger audience, and with the overwhelming success of the transition, the game is as healthy as it's ever been. With years of development under its belt and a shiny new price tag of 'Free', it's no wonder that Rift has been so successful.