RIFT To Be ‘Gifted’ To Community When Time Comes

Published on August 30th, 2013

Senior Design Director Simon Ffinch lets us in on his vision of how he’d like to see go.

Earlier this year RIFT transitioned from a subscription-only model to free-to-play largely to great success. Servers were full, players were for the most part happy and the change seems to have secured the fantasy MMORPG’s future for a long time to come.

We sat down with RIFT’s senior design director Simon Ffinch to ask about the reasons behind the transformation and what it means for the game in the future. All of Ffinch’s answers you can read and listen to in this month’s issue of FirstLook Magazine, but one answer stuck out to us the most and that was his response to the question – how do you close an MMORPG and what will happen to RIFT when that time inevitably comes?

Simon’s answer was frankly music to our ears.

RIFT To Be Gifted To Community When Time Comes

RIFT launched in 2011, and by Simon's reckoning it has a long way to go yet.

“So this is probably going to get me into all sorts of trouble, but I would hope that when that day comes, as we’ve talked about many years in the future. I would hope that Trion shows that it’s the company that I truly believe it to be and gives RIFT as a gift to the community,” he told us.

“That would be the way I’d like to see RIFT go. It’s like, ‘Guys thank you for playing for the past 20 years, here’s the server code. Run it if you wish’.”

At this point it’s obviously worth reiterating that the lifespan of RIFT has a long way to go, especially if Simon’s 20 year estimation is proven correct. Still, it’s refreshing to hear a developer from a prominent studio speak of their will to give a game they’ve poured their heart and soul into away for free to the community – server code and all.

Last year’s shutdown of City of Heroes by NCSoft proved how devastating MMORPG closures can be, with thousands of gamers marooned from the experience and the community which they once loved. RIFT it seems will not suffer the same fate, as Trion Worlds will (according to Ffinch) give the server code away to the community for free allowing players to keep the world of Telera and its litany of dimensions online long after official support has run its course.

The closure of any online service is inevitable, so having plans for those dark days is welcome even if those measures are years beyond coming to pass.

For the rest of this interview and more insights into RIFT’s free-to-play transformation check out this month’s issue of FirstLook, embedded below:

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