Trion Worlds' CEO Lars Buttler has never been one to pussyfoot around his competition, and at this year's E3, Buttler bluntly addressed what he saw as the failings of both 38 Studios and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Buttler talked about said studio and game in light of the perceived crumbling of the AAA MMO segment. Citing different issues between the two companies and projects, he said that "process management" was 38 Studios Achilles' Heel: "38 Studios had a concept they couldn't deliver on... It was too big of a scope. It was too much. It just went broader and never narrowed. They never even came close to the finish line."
In the case of SWTOR, Buttler sees BioWare fumbling where Trion's RIFT has stayed consistently strong: "I don't think [SWTOR's] business model was necessarily the issue, but I think it was content updates, and what to do in the game, and how you can play it without it becoming repetitive."
So what is the key to success for an MMO? "You have to be able to keep people interested," Buttler concluded. "The key about an online game is that it's a live service. If you make it more like a packaged goods game, people will stay about as long as they stay with a packaged goods game."