Trion is basking in the glow of RIFT's successful Storm Legion expansion launch here in the States, things aren't looking as rosy abroad. You might recall that Trion exported its subscription-powered fantasy opus to Korea and China earlier this year, but now the former is offering up the first 49 levels of gameplay for free in an effort to "save sliding player numbers," according to a report at MMO Culture. The free-to-play version of RIFT Korea goes live on November 20th.
Meanwhile Chinese publisher Shanda is under fire from a third-party group that performed translation services on RIFT's localized client. The outfit is claiming that the publisher owes it nearly $75,000 in unpaid wages and is staging a protest outside the Shanda office building for the second straight week. MMO Culture says that Shanda has not issued an official reply as of yet, but we'll update the story if and when it does.