Trion: 38 Studios' concept was too big

CEO Lars Buttler shares his thoughts on Bioware Austin and Kingdoms of Amalur studio

Trion World's CEO Lars Buttler has passed judgement on fellow online developers 38 Studios and Bioware Austin, both of which have recently struggled.

"38 Studios had a concept they couldn't deliver on... It was too big of a scope. It was too much. It it just went broader and never narrowed," he said of the recently closed developer, in a discussion with Gamasutra.

38 Studios was working on an MMO, project Copernicus, when it closed.

"They never even came close to the finish line. "They never even came close to the finish line. I think their fundamental issue was process management."

Trion is well aware of the demands of online gaming, its games include MMO Rift and End Of Nations. And Buttler believes some of the problems faced by Bioware Austin, which recently saw staff cuts, were due to those demands.

"In the case of Star Wars, I don't think the business model was necessarily the issue, but I think it was content updates, and what to do in the game, and how you can play it without it becoming repetitive," he said, pointing to a lack of updates for Star Wars: The Old Republic players.

"If you make it more like a packaged goods game, people will stay about as long as they stay with a packaged goods game."

He emphasised the importance of treating online games as a live service.

"If you're not set up for that in terms of your game technology, backend, the size of your game teams, it becomes incredibly difficult to do."

Related stories

Anthem delayed to 2019 - Report

BioWare devs tell Kotaku the studio is feeling the pressure of EA's expectations and YouTubers' anger

By Brendan Sinclair

Trion Worlds adds premium server with "no lockboxes" to Rift

Rift Prime server's "progressively unlocked content" a response to debate in the wider industry

By Matthew Handrahan

Latest comments (4)

Kevin Patterson musician 5 years ago
It's terrible that 38 studios closed, I was really looking forward to Copernicus.
I really enjoyed Kingdoms and was hoping for a sequel some day.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
"If you make it more like a packaged goods game, people will stay about as long as they stay with a packaged goods game."

Hmmm... As someone who played through Knights of the Old Republic five times and the sequel four times, I have to disagree with this a bit. Oh well. Let's hope Defiance works, as that's a big project that could tumble apart if the show isn't as good as the game is looking... We shall see, I suppose...
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Hmm... RIFT success v, SWTOR success..

Seems to me like its Bioware who should be offering advice to Trion, not the other way around.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (4)
David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers5 years ago
Considering the reception and profits vs. the amount of money spent on a project, Rift is almost certainly doing better than The Old Republic.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.