Thursday, September 13, 2018

Rift Prime – Has It Worked?

Rift developers Trion Worlds first released their beloved MMO with a subscription-based payment model. It seemed like the right way to go at the time, especially when you’re trying to match the success of something as massive as WoW. But some years later, they changed over to free-to-play, and like with any MMO that’s done that in the past, it didn’t work out as well as they had hoped.

Moving over to F2P means having to lock content behind a paywall, which means that the players who play the game without spending any money generally lose interest once they get to a certain point. It also allows developers to install costs into a game where those costs shouldn’t exist, and the general consensus on Steam and other review platforms is that Rift’s F2P model didn’t work – and many saw it as the developers falling into a cycle of greed.

Things Have Changed
Things have changed, however, and just like the NZ sports betting enjoys has progressed, Trion Worlds announced earlier in the year that they would be switching back to their old sub-based model, but only for a specific server: namely their Rift Prime server. Rift Prime, which they describe as a “time-locked progression server” is completely different from its F2P counterpart.

How Does It Work?
It’s pretty straightforward: the player pays a monthly subscription in Prime Rift, which allows them to play through the game in its original state, totally devoid of loot boxes and the in-game store. Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman explained to reporters at the time why they decided to move back to their old payment model

“In any game that converts from subscription to free-to-play, there’s always going to be some people who preferred it the way it was before,”, especially those on a budget, Hartsman stated. “And the games themselves can go on to huge future success in the new model, but there’s always that group of people that would love to re-engage if the game only had its previous business model.”

The Idea behind Rift Prime
Trion World also noted that, for the most part, their player base has remained stable. The only time the number of players increases is when a big update it released. Players will return, enjoy the new content, and inevitably move on to something else. The first month of Prime proved to be a monumental success, and although no real updates were released, Trion Worlds has stated that they couldn’t be happier with the player turnout.

Rift Prime is meant to provide returning players the chance to stay long, providing more engagement and hopefully retain the higher player numbers the MMO receives during updates. It’s all a part of Trion World’s new plan to produce content that engages players for longer periods of time, and to clamp down on the fluctuation that most MMOs feel around content updates.


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