Forbes Interviews Scott Hartsman on F2P

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Forbes has posted up an article where contributor Daniel Griffiths interviews Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman on the move to free-to-play for its various titles. Hartsman goes over the move to F2P for a variety of titles and comments on the current MMO market.

You can find the full article here: “Interview: Trion Worlds CEO On The Move To Free – ‘There Are So Many Lousy F2P Games Out There'” by Daniel Nye Griffiths @ Forbes.

Some interesting points:

  • Trion Worlds now has approx 230 employees.
  • Part of Trion Worlds’ funding comes from Time Warner, Comcast and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments which all hold equity in the company.
  • Scott Hartsman mentions “we’re seeing user numbers in the 12-13 million range”. [What this actually means is hard to know. Who are ‘active’ players? People with accounts? Does it count those who play multiple titles as multiple users?]
  • Hartsman also mentions that revenue from RIFT increased “by a multiple” after transitioning from its previous subscription model to its current F2P model. [Of course as Griffiths mentions this doesn’t reveal much either as subscriptions and thus revenue are usually low just before the switch to F2P. It’s also hard to know how much “by a multiple” means – it could be 2x or more. We probably also need to consider the ‘period’ that Hartsman is referring to – the first month might have seen a spike from those buying pre-F2P due to the Credits Bonus that was going on and dependent on revenue recognition].
  • Hartsman mentions the changing environment of the online gaming industry where there’s now a much larger amount of online players; different types of MMOs and more varied payment systems.

The rest talks about Defiance, ArcheAge and a brief mention of Trove.

Again, you can check out the interview here. Daniel Griffiths is also posting a further interview today with Scott Hartsman concentrating on ArcheAge for those interested which will appear on his author page here.

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