Trion Worlds has signed a deal with South Korea’s XL Games to bring the big-budget fantasy role-playing game ArcheAge to Western markets. It will publish the game on its Red Door online commerce platform in North America and Europe. The deal represents a major bet on the massively multiplayer online gaming business, which is competing fiercely for the attention of consumers alongside rivals such as social, mobile, and console games.
The title has spent six years in development, and its creator is Jake Song, who made the smash hit online game Lineage. It has been in closed beta tests for two years and has launched in beta testing in Korea. For Trion, the deal is a big coup, said Lars Buttler, the chief executive of Redwood City, Calif.-based Trion, in an interview with GamesBeat. He described ArcheAge as having an “incredible amount of polish.” Trion aims to launch the game later this year in North America, Europe, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand.
Trion is the publisher of Rift, another fantasy MMO that also took about six years to make. Buttler said that the game generated more than $100 million in revenue for Trion in its first nine months, and the title will soon be coming out in China, one of the biggest MMO markets. Trion also developed an online games publishing platform dubbed Red Door, which it can use to publish games developed by other companies. One of the premier games coming up is Crytek’s Warface, a modern combat shooter that is expected to be published this year.
ArcheAge might seem similar to Rift, but Buttler says the two are different. ArcheAge is divided into two continents. The western one (Nuia) is designed to appeal to Western gamers, while the eastern one (Harihara) is targeted at Asian gamers, who prefer different art styles.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Trion Worlds, a company who is setting a new standard for gaming by embracing original, high-quality [games] on a dynamic connected platform,” said Song, the CEO and founder of XL Games. “We are impressed with Trion’s track record as they have consistently delivered against an unwavering vision; we are confident partnering with Trion will help bring ArcheAge the success it deserves.”
Buttler described Song as a “perfectionist in the best way.”
The addition of ArcheAge will give Trion a busy spring, with Rift China, ArcheAge, and Defiance (an MMO that is debuting in conjunction with the launch of a SyFy channel show on television starting in April) all moving into large-scale beta tests that precede official launches.
“We could have half a dozen launches this year,” said Buttler. “We are on an amazing inflection point now. We think MMOs will be the winning platform.”
Buttler also said that company will publish its MMOs on “any connected device.” His company is operating “games as a service,” where you launch a game and continually update it.
In ArcheAge, players choose a continent and then launch a virtual life in the online world. They can design their own characters and engage in all sorts of activities such as farming, flying, trading, building ships, creating underwater gardens, fighting naval battles, and more.
“It’s all you expect from a triple-A game,” he said. “In this category, you have to see World of Warcraft as competition.”
Tencent will introduce ArcheAge in China while GameOn will publish it in Japan. GigaMedia will publish it in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao. That’s as close to a global launch as any MMO has ever had. Trion will translate the title and make changes to suit Western audiences.
Buttler described Red Door as a true web-based platform consisting of the back-end infrastructure and monetization tools for a huge online game. It has a development platform aimed at speeding up publication and a server architecture designed for dynamic events, where changes happen to the game world on the fly.
Meanwhile, Buttler said that the company has delayed the launch of its End of Nations real-time strategy MMO. The title was made by external developer Petroglyph Games in Las Vegas. But Petroglyph’s contract expired, and Trion decided to bring the game in-house to finish it, said Buttler. That resulted in layoffs at Petroglyph at the end of 2012, and Trion absorbed a number of its developers. That team is now making the game “more accessible,” said Buttler. That means the team is making it easier for players to get started more gently.
“It will take longer, but it was the right decision to bring it in-house and polish it more,” he said.
But the delay isn’t a problem since Trion will be more than busy publishing other titles in the first part of the year, said Buttler.
While Rift was tied to the PC, future titles will run across platforms. Defiance, for instance, will be published simultaneously on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the PC. Over time, Buttler said the company will embrace smartphone and tablet platforms in a bigger way. Right now, Rift has companion apps, but those don’t let you play the same game while on the run.
Trion has a big war chest to publish huge games. The company raised $85 million in early 2012. Trion has more than 500 employees.
“We created a wish list from day one with the start of Red Door,” said Buttler. “We got Warface from Europe, and from Asia, we got ArcheAge.”
TRION WORLDS AND XLGAMES TEAM UP TO BRING HIGHLY ANTICIPATED ARCHEAGE® TO WESTERN MARKETS
Trion Anchors its Global Platform Offering with the Premier Asian Developer
Redwood Shores, CA (Jan. 24, 2013) – Leading online games company Trion Worlds and renowned South Korea-based game developer XLGAMES have entered into a strategic agreement for Trion to exclusively publish and operate ArcheAge® in the West. Created by Jake Song, best known for his hit game Lineage, the highly anticipated ArcheAge is poised to be the most polished massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) coming out of Asia. Trion will host the game on its Red Door platform in North America, Europe, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Trion Worlds, a company who is setting a new standard for gaming by embracing original, high-quality IPs on a dynamic connected platform,” said Jake Song, CEO and founder of XLGAMES. “We are impressed with Trion’s track record as they have consistently delivered against an unwavering vision; we are confident partnering with Trion will help bring ArcheAge a successful game that satisfies audience both in East and West.”
“We’re very impressed with ArcheAge, and the level of anticipation for the game is absolutely astonishing,” said Dr. Lars Buttler, CEO and founder of Trion Worlds. “We are very proud of the catalog of world-class games we will be offering through Red Door. Now, with ArcheAge, we are bringing the best in Asia onto our platform.”
Having gone through more than six years of development and nearly two years of closed testing, ArcheAge introduces players to a fantasy sandbox world where they begin their journey on one of two continents: Nuia and Harihara. From there, everything else is up to the player, from what character they play, to where they go, and why. The game promises to remove the restrictions that have hindered other MMORPGs, especially concerning character classes and skills. ArcheAge started its commercial service on January 16 in South Korea.
ArcheAge is the latest premium online game to join Trion’s growing roster of titles on the Red Door platform. Red Door is a full-scale publishing and development solution enabling unprecedented flexibility and control for game monetization teams. The platform offers a sophisticated server architecture as well as proprietary toolsets positioned to radically speed up the time-to-market for developers who want to create the next generation of AAA games. In 2012, Trion also announced a joint venture with leading European games company Crytek to co-publish and co-operate the award-winning online first-person shooter Warface® in the West through GFACE® powered by Trion’s online platform.
For more information on ArcheAge, visit www.ArcheAgegame.com
About Trion Worlds
Trion Worlds is the leading publisher and developer of premium games for the connected era. Powered by a breakthrough development and publishing platform, Trion is revolutionizing the way games are developed, played and sold. Trion’s world-class team delivers high-quality, dynamic, and massively social games operated as live services across the biggest game genres and devices, including the critically acclaimed blockbuster, Rift® and the highly-anticipated End of Nations® and Defiance™. Trion is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., with offices in San Diego, Calif., Austin, Texas, and at Trion Worlds Europe in London, UK.
For more information, please visit www.trionworlds.com
XLGAMES was founded in 2003 by the iconic Korean developer Jake Song (Korean name – Song Jae Kyung), the developer of ‘Lineage’ and ‘The Kingdom of the Winds’. XLGAMES developed Dynamic MMORPG ArcheAge, which aims to be a game where players can pioneer and evolve their own world with their free will. ArcheAge is signed for distribution in China with Tencent, Japan with GameOn, and Taiwan, HongKong, Macao with FunTown. ArcheAge first introduced its signature features through G-Star, the largest game show in Korea, in 2010.
For more information, please visit www.xlgames.com/en
Here’s the official website: http://www.archeagegame.com
Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for!
OBT STARTS: Jan 2, 2013
Early character creation: Dec, 19 – Dec, 30
Client download available: December 17, 2012
Finally we can post the information you’ve all been eagerly waiting for. It’s time to once again set sail on the good ship ArcheAge! CBT4′s schedule has been revealed!
CBT4 Application Window: Tuesday, Nov. 8 to Sunday, Dec. 4
- CBT4 will have approximately 5000 players total.
- CBT3 players are automatically accepted into CBT4.
- Sign up on ArcheAge.com if you’re a S. Korean citizen.
- Client downloads will begin before December 8th.
- All accepted players will be notified by December 7th, if not earlier, via SMS and e-mail.
CBT4 Begins: December 8th, 2011
Stay tuned to ArcheAge-Online.com as we compile information on where to catch CBT4 coverage officially sanctioned by XLGAMES!
Hint: ArcheAgeSource.com, Massively.com, BetaCake.net, and BOONControl.com are four websites that will definitely have CBT4 coverage (in English).