- What Happened
- So What Happens Now
- So What about the Development Team
- Tokens, blocks, what?
- GuidesForRift Thoughts
As most people no doubt have been notified over the past week and there is a lot of uncertainty in the air.
- A very informative post about what is known so far as started by Holyroller is currently benig updated.
- The Ghar Station has been posting detailed Articles with up to date happenings. Thanks Clowd.
It is now apparent that Trion was on the verge of bankruptcy and in serious financial trouble so they used a process designed so the company did not bankrupt itself and lose all asserts that there creditors could recoup. The process used to sell the assets that were of value have been purchased by Gamigo in order to pay off creditors. The intellectual property (IP) that used to belong to Trion now belongs to Padmapani GmbH, a sister company of Gamigo. The games have made available to all sister companies which amount to quite a few.
The process used was “assignment for the Benefit of the Creditors” which is an alternative to filing for chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy. Generally speaking it much simpler and cost effective to use this method and the greatest returns go to the investors. If it Trion had not used this and had filed for bankruptcy chances are much higher that the games could have been dissolved in liquidation and most of the investors would have lost money. It also does not matter which of these were used, almost all of the staff would still have been laid off, and honestly most of them should have seen this coming.
Now the question on every players mind is: “What happens to Rift?” Honestly no one at this time has any idea what is going to happen. These are my ideas in terms of worst to best.
- While unlikely, they could decide to shut the entire game down at any moment.
- Put game on maintenance mode with no new updates any new content and let it run until it is so low on players that upkeep of servers causes a loss in revenue then close shards.
- Put game on a semi-maintenance mode where there are updates that include mostly cosmetic items, mounts perhaps even new dimension items as they are simple to implement and can return profits.
- Return to a low update mode. This, essentially, is what we have had for the past 18 months so this would be a return to status quo. Updates every so often that have minimal fixes or the occasional addition which would require a small development team
- Return to an accelerated development mode, yet not a full mode. They may introduce a dungeon once every 4-6 months or so, a new 10 man raid every year or so. Nowhere near the pace at launch but not dead.
- Return the full development mode with expansions and updates.
What About the Development Team?
There have been several reports of the number of layoffs already made immediately following the acquisition of the games. Much of the Redwood CA and Austin TX offices were dismissed almost as soon as the deal went through at a morning team meeting. This initially seems to offer a very pessimistic view of the future of Rift since relocating or transferring a development team is much easier when you can communicate with the staff who previously ran all in house operations.
While this view may be the most popular, there is something to say for getting rid of almost all of a team who are under performing. They may have thought it better to keep a minimal team who know the codebase and overall design process to serve as employees who can transfer general procedural knowledge to fresh blood. The amount of people remaining at offices that Rift used has been reported to be anywhere from 0 – 25. If we are at the low end of this, expect a maintenance or shutdown. If we are at 25, I would expect they are actually keeping teams who have the knowledge to make Rift still have a future.
Gamigo has thus far been very quiet on the matter only releasing a basic announcement that were not aimed at players but rather at their investors. I highly expect some kind of communication from them this week, though it may be only a minor comment or announcement. I am sure they are not being hasty about announcing anything because this is, at the very end, a business and the main responsibility is to the individuals who finance this venture. This does not mean they do not care about the players, it just means that, like Trion had to, Gamigo as an entity exists only because people put out capitol in order to have a return on an investment. We the customers serve this model by putting our cash into it.
There has been a lot of talk about things such as Blockecense, Gamer Tokens and Blockchain. The Ghar Station has done a very good job of putting together a run down of all the companies involved with this acquisition and what it may mean.
The short version is that Blockchain, which is party of Gamergo’s business strategy, would like to decentralize the process of a business, in this case an MMO. Instead of a central server controlling everything, the information would be on millions of computers and they would store a unique key showing that you had a specific item. Now lets say you are want to move from to Rift to Defiance. In a traditional MMO design this would be near impossible, but because of the decentralized nature, the unique key has intrinsic value itself. It is like owning gold, no matter what the dollar is it is still worth something. In this case you could sell that item to someone playing defiance and get currency there. The Defiance player knows the value is stable because of the decentralized storage. No one server holds all the information and can be destabilized.
If you would like to view what a popular, current model for blockchain is, then I would advise taking a look at bitcoin, because this is exactly what it is. This is a very in depth topic that has not been fully fleshed out but may actually be advantageous if properly managed.
As for GuidesForRift.com, we enjoy what we do and very much love the community. We do not do it for profit or prestige, it is just because we like to share what we know.
We are not making any rash decisions such as closing up and moving on yet. We will continue to post new stuff for now until a more definitive resolution is know at which point we will have the information needed.
During the initial transfer I was not too positive of the outcome. After a lot of research I do have some hope for Rift in the future being updated again. The big problem I am having with it is the total loss of our team. If they get people in quickly they might be okay.