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RIFT in China: 'Biggest game deal ever' for a Western MMO

Jef Reahard

How big is RIFT? Big enough to attract one of China's heavyweight MMO houses, apparently. Trion has announced a partnership with publishing giant Shanda that will bring RIFT to the Chinese gaming market, and CEO Lars Buttler tells Gamasutra that expanding the game's global reach is only the beginning.

"We do a lot right, but we think there's so much to learn from Asia, and a company like Shanda that has been in the market so long, and has innovated in so many ways, is a great partner to work with and learn from," Buttler says.

Trion is flexing its muscles -- and broadening its horizons -- on the strength of a banner year that included a hefty influx of investment capital as well as RIFT's $100 million revenue windfall. Trion is also developing an MMORTS called End of Nations and an MMO shooter called Defiance. Additionally, the firm is fleshing out its Red Door program, which will outsource its development platform and distribution channels to third-parties.

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