Will MMO Millions Pay Off?

Will MMO Millions Pay Off?

* Editor’s Note: Article syndicated in partnership with Gaming Business Review.

Privately held game developer Trion Worlds revealed that it has spent more than $50 million developing the platform for its first crop of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, including debut titles Rift: Planes of Telara and End of Nations. Both are due out next year.

Trion’s first officially announced game, Rift: Planes of Telara, has been in development from the time the company opened shop in 2006. Since then, the Redwood Shores, California-based game maker has started developing End of Nations and an unnamed project for cable’s SyFy Channel, all based on the same proprietary MMO platform.

Talking to UK magazine Develop, Trion head Dr. Lars Butler attributed the large budget to creating a proprietary MMO game engine. Lars told the magazine, “One of the first questions we asked before we started the Rift project was, why cannot online games be of the quality of video games?”  He said the fruition of that endeavor is a platform that enables MMO and real-time strategy games that “are more real time and dynamic, so we can deliver storylines on a daily basis.”  Lars said the amount of money the company has invested in developing the platform is a sign of how serious it is about the MMO genre.

Trion has raised $100 million in two rounds of funding since launching. The company, which also has offices in San Diego and Austin, is backed by elite venture capital firms Rustic Canyon Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media, DCM and Trinity Ventures. It has also garnered investments from equity funds backed by entertainment powerhouses NBC Universal and Time Warner.

About Gaming Business Review
Meelad Sadat is a 10-year game industry veteran. Prior to joining Gaming Business Review, Meelad headed corp comm, product PR and marketing strategy at both publisher and developer levels. He has more than a dozen shipped titles under his belt.

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