Trion's David Reid: 'New era' of premium games inevitable


It's a brutal, cutthroat world in the MMO industry, Trion Worlds' David Reid admits, and he thinks that companies that can't adapt to the rapidly changing scene need to get out of the pool so others can swim.

Talking to a crowd at GDC Europe, Reid spoke on an inevitable "new era" of premium games that are being fashioned in the forges of increased competition, challenging business models, higher development costs, and lower social interaction. "It's a lot harder to make your money back in the premium games space than it used to be," he said.

Reid used Trion's approach as an example of how MMO studios need to be at the top of their game when developing games, including "AAA ambition and polish, massive scale, persistence, and customization."

RIFT, which he cites as having over a million customers and holding the number two spot in the West, made sure that high-quality visuals were a key part of the experience, but also that the team was willing to listen to player feedback when preparing future content. He also pointed to End of Nation's free-to-play model and Defiance's synergy with the Syfy TV show as ways to captivate player interest and stay on top of the game.