Trion Worlds and Tiny Speck are two MMO studios that have made waves in 2011 with their ambitious plans and potential profit margins, according to the Wall Street Journal. The publication's article examines how these companies are running contrary to Zynga's model by producing top-tier content without trying to nickle-and-dime customers.
Trion's story is seen as one of high risk and higher rewards, especially considering that it was bringing in no revenue before last March while developing three titles. "RIFT has had tremendous success -- the commercial results are just astounding -- but we've got two more big games coming... There is no joy in Mudville," said Trion's David Reid. The article notes that once a MMO breaks even, the profit margin can be as high as 70%.
Trion is reportedly adding 100 new people to the team in the first part of 2012, which will put this studio in giant-sized territory: 520 employees in total.
Tiny Speck may not be as large, with just 41 employees, but the team is growing due to Glitch's success. Even though the potential to make money is there, co-founder Eric Costello says that the team puts in long hours as primarily a labor of love: "The game industry is famous for running their employees into the ground, and we definitely don't want to do that, but we've also found that building a game is a lot harder than we thought it would be."