Trion CEO Lars Butler is of the opinion 38 Studios’ downfall was caused by more than financial issues, and BioWare’s SWTOR suffers from the lack of content.
Speaking with Gamasutra, Butler said Copernicus suffered from trying to be “too much,” where as SWTOR suffers from having too little.
“38 Studios had a concept they couldn’t deliver on… It was too big of a scope,” he said. “It was too much. It it just went broader and never narrowed. They never even came close to the finish line. I think their fundamental issue was process management.
“In the case of Star Wars, I don’t think the business model was necessarily the issue, but I think it was content updates, and what to do in the game, and how you can play it without it becoming repetitive.”
Butler used Trion’s RIFT as an example of an MMO with frequent updated and content additions, providing players will new, smaller bits of content to hold them over until larger expansions are released.
“You have to be able to keep people interested,” he said.”The key about an online game is that it’s a live service. If you make it more like a packaged goods game, people will stay about as long as they stay with a packaged goods game.”
Butler said such a business and content model is what the “connected game world requires,” and if the developer or publisher isn’t “set up” for it with tech, backend, and the right development teams, “it becomes incredibly difficult to do.”
RIFT’s first major expansion, Storm Legion, launches sometime this fall and will triple the amount of content currently available in the MMO