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 Rift  MMO hit hard by layoffs at Trion
Rift MMO hit hard by layoffs at Trion
December 11, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

December 11, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing, Recruitment

As much as one-third of the development team working on MMO Rift at Trion Worlds was let go on Tuesday, Gamasutra has learned.

An affected source tells us that the number of developers out of work today -- developers spanning several disciplines, including artists and designers -- numbers somewhere in the neighborhood of 40.

The company confirmed that there were layoffs today "in response to market conditions, product timelines and the natural evolution of our company," though refused to confirm either the number affected or whether it was the Rift team specifically.

The first expansion pack for Rift launched just last month. Trion does not share its subscriber numbers (or the sales of expansions such as this), but it may be worth noting that the expansion became accessible for free to lapsed subscribers just one month later as part of a promotion.

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Philip Wilson
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...and right before the holidays. I'm sure the execs making the calls on those layoffs still have a job & pay while those who shed their blood, sweat and tears will have to search for a new gig.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Matt Boudreaux
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The Exec has a responsibility to the studio to do whatever he/she can to keep the doors open. I suppose they could just not lay off anyone, continue to operate in the red, and end up laying off the entire studio if you'd prefer that instead.

Best luck to those affected in the lay offs.

Kadan Sharpe
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This is saddening to hear. I love Rift and really hope this isn't an early indicator of a Free-To-Play conversion in effect.

Simon Ludgate
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Always tragic to see people let go :(

"but it may be worth noting that the expansion became accessible for free just one month later as part of a promotion."

This is worded in a misguided manner: it's only a weekend-long free trial, the expansion is not itself free.

To put it in context, Trion has free weekend access to Rift about every other month, usually to promote each new content patch, available to former subscribers as a means of showcasing new content and getting former subscribers back on-board. This "try the expansion for free" promotion is the same deal: users can play for free for a weekend, but still have to buy the expansion and pay for a subscription if they want to keep playing after that.

Alex Gochenour
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Wait, I thought he meant that the expansion set (Storm Legion) would be offered free to all who by 12-month subscriptions.

Simon Ludgate
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Well the free expansion for a 12-month subscription was there since the expansion was announced, so that offer wasn't "one month later" after the release. In fact, that offer was available months before the expansion actually came out, as a pre-order bonus!

Plus, in the article, he does link to the current promotion I was talking about...

Devin McCamey
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Look. There's a job posting for Trion Worlds right here on Gamasutra in the New Jobs section to the left. Hmmmm.

Ramin Shokrizade
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There was a shakeup recently on Trion's End of Nations project. Seems like a bit of volatility there these days.

Charlie Helman
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When ISN'T there volatility in this industry?

All of the affected, I wish you the best. File for unemployment right away, especially if you didn't get a severance package.