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Trion Worlds grows to over 12 million players

Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, RIFT, ArcheAge, Defiance, Trove

In an interview with Forbes, Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman revealed that his studio's game portfolio and distribution has resulted in populations that number in the millions. "A year ago we were a company with two games," he said. "This year we are a company with three of our own MMOs, plus our first published MMO, plus 10 other distributed games [through the Glyph digital storefront]. So, we're seeing user numbers in the 12 to 13 million range."

For most of the interview, however, Hartsman discussed the positioning of business models in a changing market. If you've ever wondered why MMOs keep launching with a subscription model in this F2P era, Hartsman has a notion: "There are two reasons why companies can't do it from the outset. Number one is that the larger the company, the more public, the more they have to aim for predictable revenue, and there's not a lot of information sharing on free-to-play on the PC and console markets. The other big challenge is the technology it takes to do sales effectively in a free-to-play game -– there's a lot more that goes on behind the scenes than a lot of people would think, where an initial purchase plus subscription model doesn't take nearly so complex a model to drive sales."

Defiance gets new TV show crossover content

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Defiance

Defiance players who have access to the game's Arkbreaker DLC pack can now "deploy ark spikes with a chance to pull new modules out of orbit," according to a news post on the game's website. Said modules feature "new Grid enemies and a Gulanee warrior in massive battles at the center of the arkfall."

The new content is part of Trion's weekly tie-in to the Defiance television show, the second season of which is currently airing on SyFy.

[Thanks Gaius Cavadus!]

Trion delays Defiance F2P console launch

Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Defiance

If you were looking forward to a free-to-play version of Defiance on your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 this week, you'll have to wait a while longer. Trion has announced a delay from the previously scheduled July 15 launch.

"As you've seen or possibly experienced this week, we've been having stability issues with our console platforms," the firm explains on its website. "The team is working on a number of game additions as part of its crossover with Season 2 of the Defiance TV show and the latest build has negatively impacted game stability. Our programmers are working on addressing these issues."

Trion doesn't provide an ETA, but it says that "this is a priority fix for us, as we are eager to welcome fans on all platforms."

[Thanks Sorenthaz!]

Defiance drops patch 2.1 on Monday

Sci-Fi, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Defiance

In the future, all transport will be done via ATV.
Ready to roll out into more Defiance content? You'll have to wait... until the weekend is over. Patch 2.1, Alter EGO, is going live on July 14th, bringing a new mission and two new factions into the game. The new mission helps keep the game's lore humming along and should provide plenty of interesting revelations, as players investigate the apparently resurrected Karl Von Bach and his newfound desire to just give EGO implants to whoever wants them.

Meanwhile, the two new factions are the Tarr Family and the Defiant Few; the latter faction is headed by Camden Pace and promises big rewards to anyone who aids her goals. Players are also promised a new mission line and a new arkbreak in the coming weeks. If that's just what you've been waiting for, load up your gun and get ready to roll out when Monday comes around.

[Thanks to Gaius Cavadus for the tip!]

Season two of Defiance premieres on Syfy tonight

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Previews, News Items, Miscellaneous, Defiance

Season two of the transmedia-synergistic sci-fi wonder Defiance premieres tonight at 8 p.m. EDT on the Syfy channel. "Tonight's show picks up one year after the conclusion of Season One," says the official press release, "and players of Defiance the game can get a firsthand look at what the shows characters have been up to, as the Tarr family has expanded its operations into the Bay Area in Datak's absence, and thief Josh Nolan returns to the Bay Area in search of Irisa."

Trion devs have teased the game's version of the season two storyline as well, promising new missions, new gear, a new landmass, and a new enemy faction known as The Grid.

We've got the season two trailer below!

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Defiance returns to Syfy next week, features game loot codes

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Defiance

Defiance fans, season two of the TV show starts next week! Not only that, but Trion and Syfy are teaming up to offer free game loot codes which will air during each broadcast.

If you're in the U.S. or Canada, mark your calendars for the premiere episode on June 19th at 8:00 p.m. EDT. Viewers in Australia, Brazil, Latin America, German, and parts of Europe can tune in on Friday, June 20th.

Defiance goes free-to-play

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Post-Apocalyptic, Defiance

It's not free of bugs, though.  Hellbugs, to be specific.  See, it's a joke, because... oh, never mind.
We've known it was happening for a while, but now it's coming to fruition -- as of today's patch, Defiance is free-to-play. On the PC, anyhow. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game will be going free-to-play on July 15th, although they're still getting all of the updates associated with the free-to-play patch. And while the patch contains a lot of the requisite store upgrades and so forth, there's more stuff in there for everyone.

For example, players will now receive special lockboxes for each DLC that they own as part of the game's daily and weekly login rewards. Score mechanics have also been trimmed up, allowing players to more easily get credit for participating in events. And there's the usual array of bugfixes and the like to produce a more polished game for everyone, whether you're a long-term veteran of the game or just want to hop in now that you can play for free.

Choose my Adventure: Goodbye Defiance, hello WildStar

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Defiance, Buy-to-Play

‚ÄčIn my final week with Defiance in this Choose my Adventure series, I want to talk about my overall impressions of the game as it stands.

First off, I'm sad to say that I didn't reach my goal of a 1000 EGO rating, because seriously, what was I thinking? I am, however, happy to say that I had fun and experienced more of the game than I ever had before. But will I continue to play when it goes free-to-play next week?

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Amazon sale discounts Defiance, FFXI, FFXIV, and Warframe

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Final Fantasy XI, MMOFPS, Final Fantasy XIV, Promotions, Defiance, Buy-to-Play

Right now through May 31st, Amazon is throwing a truly massive Digital Game Mayhem sale. For MMO gamers, this means that you can get many titles, upgrades, and point codes for a good discount. Here are a few of the offerings:

Choose My Adventure: Week three in Defiance

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Choose My Adventure, Defiance

In this third week with Trion World's Defiance, our adventure continues with my Irathient Outlaw as she just surpasses the 600 EGO level threshhold. Considering the fact that this is already higher than I got my original main character from launch, you can tell I'm having fun.

As voted upon last week, I've been trying out a bit of everything I could get my hands on, from Incursions to Arkfalls and the main storyline to random side quests.

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New Defiance crossover missions live this week

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Defiance

Trion has announced the availability of new crossover missions in its Defiance sci-fi shooter this week. The Cradle to Grave storyline "affects the entire Defiance universe," the company says, so if you're a completist you'll want to check it out to see how it relates to SyFy's ongoing television series.

The missions focus on Eren, the first Earthling-Votan hybrid who is colloquially known as the hope of Tranquility.

Choose My Adventure: Starting out again in Defiance

Sci-Fi, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic, Defiance

For the month of May, I'll be playing in Trion Worlds' Defiance for this Choose My Adventure column. I played the game a bit at launch and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Since then, the MMOFPS has grown significantly, with five DLC packs added to its stable in only one year as well as another season renewal for the Defiance TV show on Syfy.

But does all of this ultimately mean that the game is good? I'm going to take another look at everything while you guide my path a bit. This week, you'll be voting on how I'll spend my EGO points as well as my progression through the story.

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Choose My Adventure: Defiance edition

Sci-Fi, Opinion, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Choose My Adventure, Defiance

A funny thing happened last week after I decided to play Trion Worlds' Defiance for this month's Choose My Adventure: Trion announced the game will go full free-to-play! Should I consider this perfect timing to show off the game a bit before the transition? Yes, yes I should.

But before I can jump into the game, guns blazing, we have some work to do. Follow along after the cut to vote on how I'll play Defiance throughout the month of May.

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Defiance will flip the F2P switch this summer

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Post-Apocalyptic, Defiance

Trion Worlds has just announced that the PC version of its transmedia-synergistic wonder Defiance will go free-to-play on June 4th of this year, with the PlayStation 3 version to follow around July 15th and the Xbox 360 edition expected to switch over at an unannounced date. The game had been running a free unlimited trial since last December.

The studio says that new players will have access to the Bay Area storyline, the original endgame content, and future missions for free. Gamers who pick up a new copy of the game earn 1,000 Arkforge (currency), four character slots, five loadouts, up to 75 Ark Keycodes, and a minimum of 70 inventory slots, as well as a month of "Paradise Patron" status come the F2P conversion. Existing players, fear not; Trion says that "these bonuses are also granted to all existing Defiance box or digital copy owners." Paradise Patron status grants character boosts (to skill, XP, scrip, salvage, and reputation gain rates), store discounts, and grab bags that include lock boxes and more boosts.

Trion also hinted that we'll see new crossover storylines "in the coming weeks":
The world of Defiance is rocked when the hope of Tranquility, the first Earthling-Votan hybrid on record, lies dying in Eren's emergency facility. As players track down the half-human and half-Irathient crossbreed's medical history, they'll quickly discover other forces are working to cover them up for a dark purpose.
[Source: Trion press release]

Defiance's Arktech Revolution DLC is live for PC and Xbox 360

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Defiance

Defiance Arktech Revolution
Defiance's fifth DLC pack -- Arktech Revolution -- is now live for PC and Xbox 360 players. PlayStation 3 ark hunters will have access to the new content on April 29th (North America) and April 30th (Europe).

Trion's update page divides the DLC into free and paid feature lists, the former of which includes an EGO cap rating increase, EGO rating progression, new enemy difficulty tiers, expert co-op maps, and more. Paid features include a new titles, a new outfit, daily contracts, 15 new perks, and more.

In addition to the release notes, the Defiance website also features an article by creative lead Trick Dempsey on the game's EGO changes.

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