Rift launched on March 1, 2011 which means that it’s currently “celebrating” its 10th anniversary! Or it should be, given it’s such a nice round number!
Trion Worlds was acquired by gamigo in October 2018. So gamigo could be proud to have an MMO that is 10 years old now and still has a community loving this game! However, we have not heard a word from them. No congratulations, no Happy Anniversary, nothing. Some players in the official forums are recognizing the anniversary and Rift’s community manager, Elariok, chimed in – but mostly to say that off-topic posts have been removed.
To top it off, yesterday Massively reported about a rumour that “multiple developers” working on Rift had been laid off. They specifically mention Kerilar and Acalos. The second part of the rumour concerns development moving from the US to the EU – probably Germany where gamigo is located. MMORPG also reported about this and they got a reponse. Massively upated their post with the same update later on as well.
To summarize the important parts: They are not relocating development teams to Europe. The next part says that they “have not done any wide-ranged layoffs”. At first, I read this as: Massively was misinformed and there were no layoffs – but of course, that’s not what it says at all! There were no wide-spread layoffs. Massively mentioned layoffs and two developers which means that they never reported about any wide-spread layoffs at all. They reported about layoffs happening and gamigo did not dispute that fact.
So, close to the game’s 10th anniversary, two developers got laid off and we don’t know how many more developers the game even has. But looking at the (lack of) new content, I would say not that many.
The next paragraph of their official statement seems especially weird to me: They are also telling us that they have new games in the pipeline and that Trove and ArcheAge will receive news/new content soon. That is… good for gamigo and maybe good for us if it’s games we’re interested in. But neither of these two messages has anything to do with Rift! And neither Massively nor MMORPG were wondering about the state of Trove or ArcheAge or whether gamigo could make new games!
In fact, out of all the games that gamigo publishes, Trove and ArcheAge are the very two very games that the community does not seem to worry about! We do worry about Rift and that game was the focus here but wasn’t even mentioned once in their reply! How reassuring is that? And they are trying to tell us that everything is fine… by talking about two games that have nothing to do with Rift?
The only piece of reassurance that we did get was posted by Rift’s community manager in the official forums – two weeks after asking whether Rift would also shut down when they had announced that the two versions of Defiance will:
[…] let me briefly address your biggest concern(s): Rift is not going to be shut down!
Most of you already noticed and pointed out a change in internal structures. While we’re not able to publicly address or communicate about those changes in detail, we can assure you that there will be a team responsible for and working on Rift (future development being part of this). […]
I stopped playing (and paying for my sub for) Rift when the game got sold because I did not think it would get new content. And I didn’t like the last expansions, especially Nightmare Tide. But I always liked Rift and for some time, it was also my main MMO! So it is sad to see the current state of the game… Where is the official celebration or at least, some kind of recognition for the 10th anniversary? Where is the producer’s letter telling us what’s to come next? Where is them advertising Rift – and not just Trove or ArcheAge? Since we’re not getting that, I would say the game is in maintenance mode and gamigo do not think or even try to get in new or returning players. And that’s too bad!
So let’s summarize: They’re telling us that Rift isn’t going to close (…any time soon). That is good! They also tell us that they’re continuing development on Trove and ArcheAge. Perfect – for players of these games. But gamigo, here is the issue: We aren’t interested in hearing what else you are doing. We are concerned about Rift! And when I look at Lord of the Rings Online, an MMO that is older than Rift, this game is constantly getting new content (and just got a producer’s letter as well!). It’s not without its own share of drama, but it does get content.
Maybe Rift is a game with a tiny community by now and it’s not worth putting in any more money. But by not giving us any new content, it’s guaranteed to die sooner rather than later.