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[Interview] General: Scott Hartsman on the Future of Trion Worlds

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,595MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Scott Hartsman both left and returned to Trion Worlds within the space of just a few months. We managed to catch up to the man to talk with him about Trion's future and much more. Read on and then leave your thoughts in the comments.

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Scott Hartsman, formerly Chief Creative Officer, now Chief Executive Officer of Trion Worlds. We last spoke with Scott on MMOFTW Live months ago (see embedded video below), shortly after he stepped away from the company in search of new opportunities. Well, now he’s back with Trion and raring to bring the MMO maker and publisher into a new era of prosperity. It’s no secret that Trion’s had a swirl of disappointments in Defiance’s launch and the development delays of End of Nations. But Rift’s F2P conversion has gone decidedly well for the company, and the anticipation of the sandbox MMO ArcheAge (being localized and published in the west by Trion) is riding high. Scott and I chatted about all of these games, why he left and came back, and what he sees as the future of MMOs and Trion’s role in that space.

Read more of Bill Murphy's Scott Hartsman on the Future of Trion Worlds.

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Comments

  • scaryboosterscarybooster lincoln, NEPosts: 18Member
    Easiest fix for Defiance to start with would be to have a 1st person mode. The character models are awful. The game is really fun, but I can't stand the wonky controls from the misaligned 3rd person view. They want to stay 3rd person? Ask help from Warframe Devs.

    There are other things, but starting with the easiest fix would help. They would draw more of an audience adding 1st person.
  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    I uninstalled Defiance after two hours of playing because it was simply too buggy and aggravating.

    Smile

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,405Member Uncommon

    last night i litterally logged into Defiance in months (since the outbreak mission) to collect my DLC, change my race, equipped my new weapons- and logged out.

    -goes to show. had no desire to play, perhaps because Firefall/D3 has been taking my gaming time lately...

    nice to see this article, and seein that he does see Defiance in need of critical help. I hope Defiamce-the game ,  does get a rehaul on content, because as of now its being compared to bioware failure games through their forums...

     

    i really wanted this game todo so well. since iam a fan of borderlands2

    but i revisited the forums last night and there seems tobe a huge disconnect betwen the devs and the player base thats left. they are still angry and lots of complaints.

     
     
  • altairsonaltairson WonderlandPosts: 1Member

    What are you guys talking about,i played it for 1 month and the only bug i encountered was the missing items from dlc (the vehicle,weapon pack,) and the standard edition coda knight outfit,i upgraded to deluxe but i still don't get coda knight outfit.

    Many things were fixed since launch and now the dlc is so much fun,i simply love the blade.The mask you get from completing the dlc  arenas feels like you are part of something.

    The game is awesome,some ppl encounter more bugs than me but tbh is a good game and it goes on the right path,now the problem is that it goes kinda slow on the right path.I hope the game it will become better and better.

     
  • SuperPanekiSuperPaneki New York, NYPosts: 62Member
    They must realize they need ideas guys. Their technology is good, I should say very good. Their backgrounds are mediocre and their areas out of taste. They need ideas guys I repeat.
  • crysentcrysent cedar rapids, IAPosts: 837Member Uncommon
    I made a post regarding this topic a week or so after Defiance release and got nothing but backlash: every aspect of defiance setting screams open world, objective based pvp to me.

    This game would be 20000X better if they added some real and good pvp. I can't believe trion didn't do this from the start.
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon

    Eh ?

    AA is only launching in 2014 ? wtf ?

     

    Q1-Q2 of 2014 is shaping up to be a bloodbath, lol

     

    Wildstar, AA, Destiny and ESO all launching 2 months apart ? 0.o

     
  • SalengerSalenger Pottageville, ONPosts: 521Member
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    Eh ?

    AA is only launching in 2014 ? wtf ?

     

    Q1-Q2 of 2014 is shaping up to be a bloodbath, lol

     

    Wildstar, AA, Destiny and ESO all launching 2 months apart ? 0.o

     

    Yeah not to mention The repopulation, possibly a divergence beta etc.

    ArcheAge is gonig to fail, i had interest in the game 3 years ago when news of it first came out, they simply took way too long to get it on the NA market...if it was to hit q3/4 this year different story, would have given FFXIV some competition, but going up against the q1/2/3 MMO's that are coming out next year is just such a bad idea.

    I feel the same when it comes to Black desert, by the time it hits the NA market Embers of Caerus will probe be live lol (2016).  

    IMHO I feel trion is going to bomb soon, I tried EoN the other day and its a 5 year old strat game with typical gameplay, Rift is slowly dying, even with its F2P model i feel within the next year it will be merging servers, Defiance...just loooks terrible.. such a basic looking game.

     

  • Sho0terMcgavinSho0terMcgavin Harrisburg, PAPosts: 301Member
    Originally posted by Salenger
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    Eh ?

    AA is only launching in 2014 ? wtf ?

     

    Q1-Q2 of 2014 is shaping up to be a bloodbath, lol

     

    Wildstar, AA, Destiny and ESO all launching 2 months apart ? 0.o

     

    Yeah not to mention The repopulation, possibly a divergence beta etc.

    ArcheAge is gonig to fail, i had interest in the game 3 years ago when news of it first came out, they simply took way too long to get it on the NA market...if it was to hit q3/4 this year different story, would have given FFXIV some competition, but going up against the q1/2/3 MMO's that are coming out next year is just such a bad idea.

    I feel the same when it comes to Black desert, by the time it hits the NA market Embers of Caerus will probe be live lol (2016).  

    IMHO I feel trion is going to bomb soon, I tried EoN the other day and its a 5 year old strat game with typical gameplay, Rift is slowly dying, even with its F2P model i feel within the next year it will be merging servers, Defiance...just loooks terrible.. such a basic looking game.

     

    Its sad, but you are correct.  I keep trying to give Rift a shot.  I go back to it every few weeks for an hour or so.  It just always gets so bland and boring.  Defiance seems like a crap game.  I played it in the beta.  I just didn't see what people liked it for.  I know its only my opinion.  

    image
  • besteverbestever prescott, AZPosts: 732Member

    RIft is far from dying and is doing very well right now. The servers are very alive and my guild has found very good raiders because of the F2P shift. The games not for everyone but its doing far better then what some of you are saying. If it was dying we wouldn't be getting an expansion and new souls.

    I feel with Scott coming back Trion will be doing much better.  

  • wnxsnowtigerwnxsnowtiger scunthorpePosts: 13Member Common
    Whens ArcheAge  coming into beta then. if lunch is in 2014?
  • SkymourneSkymourne Ruston, LAPosts: 366Member Uncommon
    This guy has always been solid to me.  I like the way he thinks and i like the direction he is taking the company.  Others may have a negative opinion of Trion, but i do not even though i do not play their games much anymore.  I think they are a solid company with a positive direction.
  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by altairson

    What are you guys talking about,i played it for 1 month and the only bug i encountered was the missing items from dlc (the vehicle,weapon pack,) and the standard edition coda knight outfit,i upgraded to deluxe but i still don't get coda knight outfit.

    Many things were fixed since launch and now the dlc is so much fun,i simply love the blade.The mask you get from completing the dlc  arenas feels like you are part of something.

    The game is awesome,some ppl encounter more bugs than me but tbh is a good game and it goes on the right path,now the problem is that it goes kinda slow on the right path.I hope the game it will become better and better.

     

    I noticed through Steam that most of Defiance's playerbase blindly defend the game. But when the chat function is broken as hell since launch it just shows how much care the developers behind Defiance have for their game. And if you didn't get it, I'm being sarcastic.

    Smile

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,523Member Uncommon

    I want to see what the Rift devs do with Defiance and End of Nations.

    Also the new game Trion is working on, I wonder if it will compete with EQN?

     

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,204Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DMKano

    I want to see what the Rift devs do with Defiance and End of Nations.

    Also the new game Trion is working on, I wonder if it will compete with EQN?

    Me too on all counts. 

     

    Thanks for the good interview.  I'm looking forward to see what happens.

    Defiance: 

    This game is fun for me.  The UI is abysmal.  Menus can interrupt combat and it can be a frustration.  The game needs a greater sense of urgency.  I have fun in the moment of an arkfall and little random events, but not much connects them.  The story kind of drags you along, but it feels flat.  This is supposed to be a war and we're supposed to be on the defensive.  Our society has been shattered and very existence threatened.  I don't get that feeling.  I feel more like I'm in a hunting zoo.  Even so the combat is fun and I still like to play it.

    Rift:

    I'm pretty happy in Rift. I hope engine and performance improvements are incoming soon, but other than that I'm satisfied and this is my main game right now.  I hope Scott is successful in bringing back that early energy.

     

    I really like the idea of Trion supporting Indie publishing.  I'm curious what that might mean.  I currently buy my games from GoG.com because they have classics and indies and are DRM free.  It's a very friendly way to get my games.  I hope Trion's Indie pub program will have a similar feeling.

  • NobleNerdNobleNerd Wolcott, NYPosts: 671Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sho0terMcgavin
    Originally posted by Salenger
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    Eh ?

    AA is only launching in 2014 ? wtf ?

     

    Q1-Q2 of 2014 is shaping up to be a bloodbath, lol

     

    Wildstar, AA, Destiny and ESO all launching 2 months apart ? 0.o

     

    Yeah not to mention The repopulation, possibly a divergence beta etc.

    ArcheAge is gonig to fail, i had interest in the game 3 years ago when news of it first came out, they simply took way too long to get it on the NA market...if it was to hit q3/4 this year different story, would have given FFXIV some competition, but going up against the q1/2/3 MMO's that are coming out next year is just such a bad idea.

    I feel the same when it comes to Black desert, by the time it hits the NA market Embers of Caerus will probe be live lol (2016).  

    IMHO I feel trion is going to bomb soon, I tried EoN the other day and its a 5 year old strat game with typical gameplay, Rift is slowly dying, even with its F2P model i feel within the next year it will be merging servers, Defiance...just loooks terrible.. such a basic looking game.

     

    Its sad, but you are correct.  I keep trying to give Rift a shot.  I go back to it every few weeks for an hour or so.  It just always gets so bland and boring.  Defiance seems like a crap game.  I played it in the beta.  I just didn't see what people liked it for.  I know its only my opinion.  

    I do the same thing with Rift.... I am now just logging in to my free gift each day. Rift just becomes boring after a while. I do not have confidence in Trion to produce ArchAge at all! The company started out with a good dream, but faded fast. 

    image

  • Sho0terMcgavinSho0terMcgavin Harrisburg, PAPosts: 301Member
    Originally posted by NobleNerd
    Originally posted by Sho0terMcgavin
    Originally posted by Salenger
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    Eh ?

    AA is only launching in 2014 ? wtf ?

     

    Q1-Q2 of 2014 is shaping up to be a bloodbath, lol

     

    Wildstar, AA, Destiny and ESO all launching 2 months apart ? 0.o

     

    Yeah not to mention The repopulation, possibly a divergence beta etc.

    ArcheAge is gonig to fail, i had interest in the game 3 years ago when news of it first came out, they simply took way too long to get it on the NA market...if it was to hit q3/4 this year different story, would have given FFXIV some competition, but going up against the q1/2/3 MMO's that are coming out next year is just such a bad idea.

    I feel the same when it comes to Black desert, by the time it hits the NA market Embers of Caerus will probe be live lol (2016).  

    IMHO I feel trion is going to bomb soon, I tried EoN the other day and its a 5 year old strat game with typical gameplay, Rift is slowly dying, even with its F2P model i feel within the next year it will be merging servers, Defiance...just loooks terrible.. such a basic looking game.

     

    Its sad, but you are correct.  I keep trying to give Rift a shot.  I go back to it every few weeks for an hour or so.  It just always gets so bland and boring.  Defiance seems like a crap game.  I played it in the beta.  I just didn't see what people liked it for.  I know its only my opinion.  

    I do the same thing with Rift.... I am now just logging in to my free gift each day. Rift just becomes boring after a while. I do not have confidence in Trion to produce ArchAge at all! The company started out with a good dream, but faded fast. 

    I know right.  I start playing it.  Whether I play my mage, warrior or rogue.  It all feels the same and boring.  

    image
  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,772Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by scarybooster
    Easiest fix for Defiance to start with would be to have a 1st person mode. The character models are awful. The game is really fun, but I can't stand the wonky controls from the misaligned 3rd person view. They want to stay 3rd person? Ask help from Warframe Devs.

    There are other things, but starting with the easiest fix would help. They would draw more of an audience adding 1st person.

    they definitelly need to take note from other High Quality third person online shooters like Warframe and Ghost Recon online. I dont like FIrst Person but if they add the option its OK because the more options the better. But, whether they add 1st person or not, they need to fix third person gameplay because like you said, animations feel unfinished.

     

    I still like the game but it is missing a truck load of little details that make games more fun, and feel more alive even when you are alone.

    Things still missing(based on the last time i logged in): interaction with the environment, The weather effects they talked about before launch, Darker nights, improved AI, Mailbox, housing, and more UI improvements.

    image
  • GoyathlayGoyathlay ipswichPosts: 1Member

    I think Defiance is a really great game ,and hope Trion continue to improve it as well as,

    bring other titles like Archeage to market

    wish you the best of luck in your new post Scott

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,772Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bestever

    RIft is far from dying and is doing very well right now. The servers are very alive and my guild has found very good raiders because of the F2P shift. The games not for everyone but its doing far better then what some of you are saying. If it was dying we wouldn't be getting an expansion and new souls.

    I feel with Scott coming back Trion will be doing much better.  

    Although i get bored really fast after logging in Rift it has a lot of people playing and they offer a very good f2p model that entice people to support the company without forcing them to open the wallet (i wish Swtor did the same). Servers are pretty much all healthy.

    image
  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,758Member Uncommon

    Maybe some comments on the article might be more relevant?

    What we are seeing here is the musical chairs that top executives play with gaming companies. Supposedly he left to spread his wings, well if that's so it was one of the shortest flights in history. What does this mean for Trion Worlds? Very little.

  • AstraeisAstraeis AmsterdamPosts: 331Member Uncommon
    I think the thought that Trion Worlds has a future is worth considering. Cutting down costs and streamline the company will help it come about. But as a consumer I still think Rift has a replayability problem and is a game not worth returning to.

    It takes one to know one.

  • AcidonAcidon Salem, ORPosts: 797Member

    Scott Hartsman is an amazing person and it was horrible when he left Trion.  I knew that meant that F2P was coming.  Thankfully the transition was painless and the model is sound. 

    When I heard he was coming back as CEO, I got excited. I don't play Rift or Defiance near as much as I used to, but that may change if he brings back the spirit they used to have.  Especially regarding Rift.

    Thanks for the article.

    Playing: H1Z1, The Crew, Defiance, APB:Reloaded
    Mourning: World of Darkness, Vanguard, City of Heroes


    image


    My Humble MMO Blog:
    http://mmogasm.blogspot.com


    Free, Clean & Safe Quality of Life Software:
    http://www.acidonsolutions.com

  • cylon8cylon8 lodi, NJPosts: 334Member Uncommon
    they jumped the gun announcing they were going to being AA here frankly. And as it stands I don't see defiance lasting after its second season....so defiance should be dropped like a hot potato and they should push harder on localization and get AA out by q1 2014 while people are still home from xmas break.

    so say we all

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,523Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Scot

    Maybe some comments on the article might be more relevant?

    What we are seeing here is the musical chairs that top executives play with gaming companies. Supposedly he left to spread his wings, well if that's so it was one of the shortest flights in history. What does this mean for Trion Worlds? Very little.

    Hartsman is a hardcore game Dev at heart - the Previous CEO Lars was business dude specializing in mergers and acquisitions.

    Its a huge shift for Trion - their vision has shifted back to games, he also eliminated all upper management, so the company is back to being a game company again.

    The problem with Trion was they were going in too many directions too fast, reading this article solidified to me that Hartsman knows how to get back on track.

    So what does this mean for Trion - everything, they are focusing on games and quality again.

     

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