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  1. #1
    The Lightbringer Tarien's Avatar
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    Scott Hartsman leaving Trion

    Source

    I wanted to let you know that I'm stepping down from my position here at Trion. It's been an amazing time, working with some of the best developers anywhere, getting the company's first game off the ground, taking it all the way through a multitude of amazing updates, then to Storm Legion, and even a little bit beyond.

    Thanks for all of your support and dedication throughout.

    The good news is that if you enjoy what's been going on in RIFT lately, the folks who are now in charge are the same ones who have been making all of the game-impacting decisions, both to content and gameplay, for some time now. You’ll definitely be hearing from Bill Fisher, the lead game designer soon with some exciting updates. They love and play the game a lot as well and I feel strongly that RIFT couldn't be in better hands.

    This time at Trion has truly been an amazing journey. It's been my great privilege to have been a part of it.

    And I'll still see you in RIFT.
    Scott Hartsman
    Kinda sad to see Scott go, I have loved his enthusiasm for Rift during it's first year, and have missed his contributions through various forums and social media recently. Can't wait to see what he works on next, and I wish him the best. Thanks for making RIFT so awesome, Scott.
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  2. #2
    Best of luck to you Scott, but this is quite a shock. I don't know what to say, Rift seems to be losing a lot of good people lately (Baconham, the 30 people that were laid off) . This can't be a good sign for the game...
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  3. #3
    Sometimes folks go in a different direction plus we don't know what goes on in the company. A bit of a shock to see such a prominent figure leave (didn't he found the company?) but these things happen, good luck to him.

  4. #4
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Considering that he was a producer and likely had more responsibilities outside of the creative sphere, I don't really think this should cause any alarm. Especially since the more important person, Bill Fisher (Lead Game Designer) is going to probably fill that void/continue doing what he does. If you want a great old interview to get a handle on his personality, look here: http://nogamenotalk.com/2012/03/19/o...d-bill-fisher/

    Lots of great quotes that explain why Rift has been and will be a great game for the players.
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  5. #5
    Dreadlord Primalthirst's Avatar
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    Sadface

    Explains why we haven't seen him around as much recently though

  6. #6
    This is really worrisome for me. I took the 'we laid off a bunch of people shortly after the SL dev cycle ended because that's how the business works' just fine, but if people are starting to jump ship for reasons that aren't related to the high cost of MMO production, that doesn't spell good things for Rift's future. I can imagine a million things they could do with this game, but the single biggest selling point for me was the constant updates, and if the team is losing its passion then I can only imagine the same things happening here that happened to other MMOs - stagnation, boredom, no sense of progression... I paid for a full year sub because I had absolute confidence that Trion could keep doing what they've been doing so far, but this move has really shaken that confidence.

  7. #7
    Fluffy Kitten Azuri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doozerjun View Post
    Sometimes folks go in a different direction plus we don't know what goes on in the company. A bit of a shock to see such a prominent figure leave (didn't he found the company?) but these things happen, good luck to him.
    He's not the founder but was the executive producer for Rift still a key player in the nurturing of Rift but they still have a strong team so we'll watch with eyes wide open and see what tomorrow's post has to say. (If I can pull myself away from PoE, Derp!)

    Here's the exec list btw:

    http://trionworlds.com/en/about/executives/
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  8. #8
    Pandaren Monk Slipmat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doozerjun View Post
    A bit of a shock to see such a prominent figure leave (didn't he found the company?)
    No, Trion was founded in 2006 by Lars Buttler and Jon Van Caneghem as "Trion World Network. You'd be surprised where they both came from previously

    Lars Buttler came from EA, yes Electronic Arts where he was vice president for global online. Jon Van Caneghem was an Executive Producer at NCSoft, AION, Guild Wars etc so both had a good background in the games industry. Sad though to see the Hartsman move on, guy was funny, a very good interviwee and fun to watch.

    Anyhow, here's a bit of a background and stuff:

    Trion Worlds

    Trion Worlds, Inc. (Trion) is an award-winning publisher and developer of connected video games including Rift: Planes of Telara and End of Nations, boasting some of the top developers in the industry. Members of its creative and executive teams have worked on games such as World of Warcraft and EverQuest. Its mission is "to define a generation of interactive entertainment by fundamentally revolutionizing the way games are created, played and distributed.”

    Trion's investors include important media companies and venture capitalists including the Time Warner Investments Group, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, and Trinity Ventures. The company has been selected as one of the top ten fastest growing startups in the San Francisco Bay Area by StartUpHire

    Company History

    Trion Worlds, Inc. was founded as Trion World Network by Lars Buttler and Jon Van Caneghem in 2006. Buttler formerly worked for EA as vice president for global online, while Caneghem was an Executive Producer at NCSoft. Trion immediately began developing the Trion Platform, a server technology via which both Trion "and external partners" will deliver games, one that is less heavily client-based than other games and helps to enable large-scale battles.

    Trion also began developing Heroes of Telara in 2006, emphasizing the game's ability to trigger events, its unique class system, and its easy-to-learn combat system as selling points[9] Over the following years the company added industry veterans to its executive and developer teams, including

    Glen Van Datta, formerly Director of Online Technology at Sony Computer Entertainment America ,
    David Reid, formerly president of publishing at NCsoft West, and
    Scott Hartsman, who has shipped more than a dozen EverQuest-related titles with Sony Online Entertainment

    In 2010, the company was renamed as Trion Worlds, Inc., and Heroes of Telara was renamed as Rift: Planes of Telara.

    Employees

    Trion has an estimated 200 employees. The following employees are known to be working on Rift: Planes of Telara:

    Executive

    Lars Buttler, CEO. Twitter.
    Scott Hartsman, Chief Creative Officer and Producer.

    Community Managers

    Cindy "Abigale" Bowens, Senior Community Manager
    Ron Meiners, Senior Community Manager
    Julien 'Midoh' Crevits, French Community Manager
    James "Elrar" Nichols, ommunity Manager

    Producers

    Adam Gershowitz, Producer.
    Hal Hanlin, Design Producer

    Lore

    Morgan Lockhart, Defiant Lore Lead[14], "doomcookie" Twitter.
    Nick McDowell, Guardian Lord Lead[15]

    Art

    Darren Pattenden, art director, goes by Bloodylovingit.
    Brian Clark, Lead Environment Artist,
    Kevin Bjorke, senior technical artist, goes by Bjorke.

    Russell Cahalan, lead animator

    Technical Designers


    Andrew "Avarem" Krausnick, Rifts systems designer
    Nicholas McDowell, designer, goes by Captaincursor.
    Gina Reams, systems designer, goes by Epochlulz.
    Will Cook, designer and rift events lead, goes by WillardV.
    Daniel Steamer, content designer, goes by ExcelsiorH.
    Adam Hetenyi, Instances/dungeon team

    Engineers

    Drew Tennenbaum, senior software engineer.
    Peter Ju, lead engineer.

    Music

    Inon Zur, Lead Composer (Contractor).
    Rob King, Composer (Contractor)
    Paul Romero, Composer (Contractor).

    Sound

    Yannis Brown, Senior Sound Designer & Audio Director.
    Don Diekneite, Sound Designer.
    Jason Clark, Sound Designer.
    Andrew Crosby, Sound Designer.
    Liam Price, Sound Designer (Contractor)
    Rob King, Senior Sound Designer (Contractor)
    Craig Selmeier, Junior Sound Editor (Contractor)

  9. #9
    Ah ok. Still though, a bit of a shock as Scott was the most visible of the top executives. I remember Jeff Strain (top man there) leaving ArenaNet about a year before gw2 released to make his own company to make zombie games. So it could be just something like that.

  10. #10
    Really sad since storm legion came out and defiance is right around the corner.

    Hope it's of his own free will and not some eternal affairs bull crap.

  11. #11
    Trion needs to sue Petroglyph until they are dust. End of Nations caused this and letting Hartsman go is pretty much a guaranteed sign they are heading towards a F2P payment model. He fought it tooth and nail at Eq and lost now history has repeated itself.
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  12. #12
    The Lightbringer Tarien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puremallace View Post
    Trion needs to sue Petroglyph until they are dust. End of Nations caused this and letting Hartsman go is pretty much a guaranteed sign they are heading towards a F2P payment model. He fought it tooth and nail at Eq and lost now history has repeated itself.
    As long as the content continues, who cares?

    EDIT: Obviously I care that Scott is gone, but if it goes F2P (which I really doubt) as long as the content continues, who cares?
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Puremallace View Post
    Trion needs to sue Petroglyph until they are dust. End of Nations caused this and letting Hartsman go is pretty much a guaranteed sign they are heading towards a F2P payment model. He fought it tooth and nail at Eq and lost now history has repeated itself.
    So because he fought it at SoE Trion Worlds MUS be doing the same thing. It's not like they have shown time and time again that they are different from the other guys. It's not like they came out and said in an interview at one point that they intend to provide a service worth subscribing too. Nope, a guy who fought it at a different company leave for his own reasons and the only reason that could possibly be is the game is going F2P!!!

    It's been a while since we've seen one of these huge leaps in your logic that make absolutely no sense whatsoever Pure. I was almost starting to miss seeing them one a week or so. Almost. No not really.
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  14. #14
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lathais View Post
    they came out and said in an interview at one point that they intend to provide a service worth subscribing to.
    Exactly. In the interview I posted, they speak to many ideas like this which is why Rift is such a solid game. I don't see any one person eroding that strategy at all. If anything, they probably are gaining some additional money to put into R&D for their other titles from losing his salary. I think they can run the ship the same way without him.

    Most people don't realize that a producer does the exact same thing that they do in other businesses, really nothing. They are responsible for overseeing the large scope of a project, which really means having meetings and phone calls about what everyone under them is going to do and then reporting that up the chain. A producer isn't necessary. They are often a middle man and hardly contribute enough substantial ideas on their own.

    I'm not trying to take away from his contributions at Trion, but middle management isn't necessary when the CEO/higher managers can be responsible for the same things.
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  15. #15
    Elemental Lord Arbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarien View Post
    As long as the content continues, who cares?

    EDIT: Obviously I care that Scott is gone, but if it goes F2P (which I really doubt) as long as the content continues, who cares?
    But Tarien, if Rift goes F2P don't you think that content could possibly be slowed down as people are no longer paying a service anymore, so that incentive of releasing content could actually slowed down?. Puremallce has spoken about some good concerns.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Archdruid Dehydrate View Post
    But Tarien, if Rift goes F2P don't you think that content could possibly be slowed down as people are no longer paying a service anymore, so that incentive of releasing content could actually slowed down?. Puremallce has spoken about some good concerns.
    Most games that go F2P don't experience a slow down. They usually transition from subscriber to f2p BECAUSE they have slowed down and tend to pick up afterwords.
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  17. #17
    That sucks IMHO(for Rift).
    Interesting where is he going to work now.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    Most games that go F2P don't experience a slow down. They usually transition from subscriber to f2p BECAUSE they have slowed down and tend to pick up afterwords.
    Here is my main issue and why I see F2P soon in Rifts future. Scott was pretty much the ONLY producer out there besides ghostcrawler listing the reasons why free to play simply does not benefit the playerbase. I guess you can call it the 'Whale theory", but he had a damn good point that once a game goes F2P to stay in business they need to keep the players with the most cash interested in the game.

    Raiding player base is in the minority, so off top they are automatically fucked on the priority list. Ever notice Guild Wars never even bothered with raids. When is the last time you heard of a raid in TOR? The content goes super casual super fast and vanity items and sparkle ponies become the focus now that moeny from subscribers is no longer guaranteed.

    I mean what is the deal here. We killed the dragons and have unlocked F2P mode because there are no more raids?
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Puremallace View Post
    Ever notice Guild Wars never even bothered with raids. When is the last time you heard of a raid in TOR?
    GW1 wasn't designed to be a raiding game to begin with, you can't really discuss raiding with a game that wasn't designed to have raiding anyways. That's an entirely pointless comparison to make, especially since the B2P model was brand new at that point and it was entering a market that was dramatically smaller than today's market.

    Well, SWTOR has had a grand total of 2 patches since going F2P, and it wasn't known for its rapid output of content before, especially end-game content. But I believe they added in a new level of difficulty for one of the raids in either 1.5 or 1.6, which I think launched alongside the F2P model.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Puremallace View Post
    Here is my main issue and why I see F2P soon in Rifts future. Scott was pretty much the ONLY producer out there besides ghostcrawler listing the reasons why free to play simply does not benefit the playerbase. I guess you can call it the 'Whale theory", but he had a damn good point that once a game goes F2P to stay in business they need to keep the players with the most cash interested in the game.

    Raiding player base is in the minority, so off top they are automatically fucked on the priority list. Ever notice Guild Wars never even bothered with raids. When is the last time you heard of a raid in TOR? The content goes super casual super fast and vanity items and sparkle ponies become the focus now that moeny from subscribers is no longer guaranteed.

    I mean what is the deal here. We killed the dragons and have unlocked F2P mode because there are no more raids?
    like... 3 months ago? I'm not sure I buy this. In swtor we had like 7 months of no raids while it was subscription based. I think you are describing MMOs that are doing poorly, not f2p mmos.

    aoc is on its, what? 3rd expansion? Same with lotro right? They have new content all the time.

    Also, if rift did just stop doing raids it wouldn't survive as f2p because the majority of people are here for the PVE. I think they know that. If they were going to stop making raids they would probably also close down the game and save themselves the money.
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