Rift's Storm Legion expansion has launched, and fans are already digging into the new content being offered. While the paid expansion can be bought on its own, it also is given away for free if fans purchase a certain amount of subscription time, something that Rift global brand director Jim Butler says has served the company well, characterizing early sales as beyond expectations.
Our original forecast had us targeting a 7 percent adoption rate. We're currently at 13 percent and climbing. It's an amazing deal for gamers that know they're going to play Rift for the next year, said Butler. MMOs are a cyclical business, with gamers playing intensely around major content updates and then sampling other games before returning. Some of those gamers cancel their subs as they check out the new hotness; promotions like this help to insulate the business from the newest flavor.
Rift remains one of the new MMOs on the market that still relies exclusively on a subscription model for players to engage. Despite this, Trion has shown no hints that it wants to make the game free-to-play, and Butler put a stark timeframe on a lifetime subscription offering: never.
I was against the idea when we did it at Turbine, and it won't happen on my watch here at Trion, said Butler. Lifetime memberships are a great deal for consumers that plan to spend the next few years playing the game, and a financial disaster for subscription-only companies that have to continue paying for new feature development, salaries, server costs, marketing, etc. Ultimately, it's a bad deal for the consumer in the long-term.
Read the full interview on [a]list.