Trion Worlds Shuts Shuts Down, Moves ArcheAge, Rift, Defiance: 2050 and Trove Over to Gamigo
I’ve shared my distaste for Trion as a company and as a publisher in the past – on multiple occasions.
I disliked how they relaunched Defiance: 2050 with minimal changes and offered players Founder’s Packs for a re-branded game.
I disliked how they attempted to farm money out of people by relaunching Rift with a subscription-based progression server that would be in a perpetual state of playing “catch-up” with the live servers.
I disliked how much of a pay-to-win nightmare ArcheAge became for players, but.. never did I expect this would happen.
It was revealed on October 22nd that the German games publisher, Gamigo – the same people behind Aeria Games’ “merger” back in 2016 would be purchasing Trion Worlds along with all of the IPs under Trion, including ArcheAge, Rift, Defiance: 2050, Trove and Atlas Reactor.
The following day, Gamigo released a statement in their press release citing the strengthening of its position “as a leading EU and American gaming company”.
Let’s take a moment here to go over exactly what they said:
Hamburg, October 23, 2018 – The gamigo AG („gamigo Bond“ WKN: A2NBH2 / ISIN: SE0011614445) has acquired major assets from Trion Worlds Inc., a leading US gaming company with offices in Redwood City (California) and Austin (Texas) and has as publisher and developer of online and console MMO-games, well-known games such as Rift, Defiance, Trove and ArcheAge in its portfolio. Trion was acquired via an “Assignment for the Benefit of the Creditors” process, in which the buyer only buys those assets, with which he wishes to continue the business. In this process, gamigo group acquired the majority of the assets, including the platform, takes over employees to operate the business and gets the full publishing rights of the games. The IP’s of the Trion Worlds games have been acquired by gamigo’s sister company Padmapani GmbH and are made available for gamigo group, worldwide and exclusive.
“The successful acquisition and subsequent integration of Trion into our portfolio substantially strengthen gamigo’s position in the European and American gaming market. On the one hand, we add similar and successful brands and games to the already broad gamigo portfolio, on the other hand, we are looking to unlock substantial synergies with the group’s existing business to further benefit from the remarkable growth potential that the gaming market offers.”, comments gamigo’s CEO Remco Westermann.
Through the acquisition of Trion, gamigo’s management expects additional revenues of over USD 18 million and an additional EBITDA of USD 1 to 4 million for 2019. This estimate depends on the success of the restructuring and integration of Trion and is mainly based on potential economies of scale and synergies. The exploitation of economies of scale and synergies is an elementary part of the gamigo strategy and has been proven several times in acquisitions in the past.
As I’m sure most of you remember – and this probably still stings a little to think about, Telltale Games laid off the majority of its staff leaving a mere 25 people employed while the company itself shut down, filing for bankruptcy.
So take note here that Gamigo listed that they had acquired Trion via an “Assignment for the Benefit of the Creditors” process, which indicates that Trion was in essence, insolvent.
Now this has not in any way been confirmed, but what I gather from this is that Gamigo’s acquisition of Trion was likely their last step to prevent bankruptcy with the “Assignment for Benefit of Creditors” being a liquidation alternative to bankrupcty for Trion.
This further explains why Gamasutra also went on to report that out of the upwards of 200 Trion Worlds employees, only 25 would be allowed to remain employed at each studio – laying off over 150 people that worked for them.
More than 150 people now out of the job because Trion was so in-debt that they could no longer dig their way out of the hole they’d thrown themselves into.
One other thing of note that other websites are not bringing attention to is the fact that Gamigo stated specifically that they had acquired the “major assets of Trion World Inc.“, not that they “purchased Trion Worlds Inc.”
This means that Gamigo has full control over what they want to buy – which begs the question.. what aren’t they going to buy?
While Gamigo has yet to confirm exactly what they’ve purchased, this means every “non-profitable game” in Trion’s portfolio is set to potentially shut down any time during the acquisition.
Many people already speculate that Atlas Reactor, Trion’s least populated game likely won’t make it. Neither will Defiance: 2050, as both games populations are so desolate – so void of players that they’ll be lucky to get much more of a passing glance.
Now the three games left: Rift, ArcheAge and Trove are all being talked about because they’re – and let’s be honest, here – the games that people really cared about.
Rift is up in the air because it hasn’t really been profitable for quite a few years. That is why Trion attempted to milk the playerbase with promises of returning Rift to what made it great – its vanilla days.
While some players returned, it looks as though it wasn’t nearly as large of a success as they had wanted it to be.
ArcheAge is also a highly plausible target. Yes, whales populate that game like no other I can think of outside of, potentially, Blade and Soul.
However with the state the game is in – and the downward spiral the population has been in ever since it launched, chances are.. well, possible it won’t make it either.
But, that’s what the private server alternative – ArcheRage is for. A game I can safely say I’ve been playing on and off for the last couple months and thoroughly been enjoying. But I’ll talk more on that in a little bit.
Finally, Trove, is Trion’s most populated game. So there’s no doubt in my mind it’s going to be picked up by Gamigo so Trove players likely don’t have much to worry about.
I have yet to find any private servers for Defiance, Atlas Reactor or Rift worth playing, but ArcheRage is definitely worth it if you’re on the lookout for a new home.
They’ve been up for a long while, and other MMOTuber’s have even went as far as commenting on how much they enjoy the private server.
In support of players seeking a new home, ArcheRage is offering new and returning players alike a special game pack that will feature items to assist players with getting to endgame and participating in what they loved about the game.
A few notes about Gamigo: Back in 2012, they were hacked, having more than 8 million email addresses and passwords leaked in what looked like the largest security breach of the entire year.
The hackers gained the personal information of 2.4 million German accounts, 1.3 million French accounts, and over 3 million US accounts, prompting Gamigo to inform people of the importance of changing their passwords after the hack.
This showed a severe lack of security on Gamigo’s part.
During their acquisition- I mean, “merger” with Aeria Games, they acquired each of Aeria’s MMOs: Aura Kingdom, Echo of Soul Phoenix, S4 League, Shaiya and Twin Saga.
However after acquiring each of those titles, no progress had been made to combat the pay-to-win issues, bugs, or population concerns that ran rampant across all of the titles listed.
They continued to decline in population. They remained pay to win. This bodes ill for Rift, ArcheAge and Trove as let’s be honest here – Gamigo seems to be more or less an “MMO graveyard.”
A graveyard that Gamigo can milk for every cent the games are worth until ultimately and assuredly, shutting them down.
So this is definitely a sad day for the industry. Yes, I hate Trion. I absolutely loathe them. They let pay-to-win destroy them and they did nothing to fix the concerns of the playerbase.
Did over 150 people actively working in the company deserve to be axed? No, absolutely not. Trion’s staff worked hard to keep their games alive and I legitimately feel for each and every one of them that were laid off.
I’m sorry for everyone that is negatively affected by the closure of Trion Worlds, I really am. I truly hope that you find a home somewhere the company respects and appreciates your hard work more.