Trion Worlds was just acquired by a company called Gambino. No wait, it’s Gamigo.
I don’t have much to say about this except I’ve never heard of Gamigo before. I’m hardly an expert in the global operations of every company in the gaming industry, but it does seem a little bit strange that the name Gamigo has never crossed my MMO radar in the last twenty years. They seem to be based in Germany, so maybe it’s not that surprising. The first impressions I’m hearing from people on social media are not particularly good.
People seem to be interpreting this news as if Trion is shutting down. But as far as I can tell, it’s just changing hands. “Just” changing hands, of course, still affects a lot of those redundant job positions, which is a real shame, but in terms of the development and operation of the games, it doesn’t seem that changes are expected (pending future news)*. At some point I suppose the branding on the launcher will change from “Trion” to “Gamigo.” And inevitably they will probably ramp up the cash shop sales to milk those whales who can’t leave a game once they’ve invested a lot of money in it. (And they will probably add one of those dumb anti-cheating spyware things too, since everybody overseas seems to like those.)
* Morning Update: MMOGames suggests only 25 employees will remain at Trion, which certainly implies that Gamigo will be handling whatever development might occur on the games in the future. It might not tell the full story, though, because Gamigo could (and definitely should) hire the same developer personnel to continue work on the games. If they don’t, though, we can probably assume they are just going to keep the servers running to collect that sweet, sweet long tail of revenue, and whatever work they do to the games will probably be strange and unattractive. But as they say, we don’t really know anything yet, and it’s all speculation at this point.
This probably explains why Trion themselves were ramping up the attempts to pull in more cash over the last couple of years. I think I even recall them saying flat out that they really needed their games to make more money. (Maybe they didn’t say it in those exact words, but that was certainly the message I received.) Of course I can’t find any sources to cite, so that might be entirely in my imagination.
I can’t help but wonder if this was the reason Trion acquired Gazillion’s assets a while back: To make their company look more attractive for acquisition. The Gazillion purchase didn’t make much sense at the time, and it still doesn’t make much sense, but that’s at least a possibility.
To be perfectly honest, I greeted this news with a resounding, “Okay, whatever.” I haven’t played RIFT since the couple of weeks I played RIFT Prime. RIFT has largely been dead to me since the last expansion got on my nerves. As much as I loved playing it, it’s pretty obvious that RIFT’s salad days are past.
I should emphasize here that I’m not one of those people who hates Trion with a burning passion because of some perceived personal slight in the past; I don’t have any particular ill will toward them at all. It’s just that I’ve basically finished playing all of their games.
It’s terrible that people have to lose their jobs, but if I haven’t said this before on this blog, I’ll say it now: Do not enter the games industry if you are looking for job security. Only enter the games industry if you can tolerate risk and have a solid backup plan. I remember telling a Quake clanmate that in the 90s, and it’s still applicable today.
- Gamigo formally announces the Trion Worlds buyout that manifested yesterday. From this I mainly learned that we’re supposed to write “gamigo” instead of “Gamigo,” which I personally will have a great deal of trouble with.