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Rift: Scott Hartsman Leaving Trion Worlds

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 17,114MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In the Rift Year Two State of the Game letter, Scott Hartsman has announced that he is leaving Trion Worlds. According to the post, Hartsman indicated that he will still be playing Rift but does not indicate where he is going post-Trion.

I wanted to let you know that I'm stepping down from my position here at Trion. It's been an amazing time, working with some of the best developers anywhere, getting the company's first game off the ground, taking it all the way through a multitude of amazing updates, then to Storm Legion, and even a little bit beyond.

Thanks for all of your support and dedication throughout.

The good news is that if you enjoy what's been going on in RIFT lately, the folks who are now in charge are the same ones who have been making all of the game-impacting decisions, both to content and gameplay, for some time now. You’ll definitely be hearing from Bill Fisher, the lead game designer soon with some exciting updates. They love and play the game a lot as well and I feel strongly that RIFT couldn't be in better hands.

This time at Trion has truly been an amazing journey. It's been my great privilege to have been a part of it.

And I'll still see you in RIFT.

Scott Hartsman


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  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 4,629Member Uncommon

    I didn't find RIFT to be a long term game, but I did appreciate that he and his company delivered a pretty polished product at release.  It was a welcome change from the typical half-baked trash that is pawned off on players...



    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  • jimdandy26jimdandy26 salem, ORPosts: 527Member
    He did not even post the letter himself. Good riddence.

    I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

    To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  • VolgoreVolgore Posts: 2,264Member Uncommon
    Let's see what they'll announce in their update (part 2) tomorrow.

  • cronius77cronius77 Fairfax, VAPosts: 1,390Member Uncommon
    i honestly think this might be a good thing. Rift never ever stepped away from medeocre success and a lot of that had to do with who was in charge and making the decisions there. I know some hard core fans will disagree but you can look at the amount of servers over its lifetime and see its been steady decreasing population since release and only seeing small spikes around major patches and the expansion. Maybe its just time to get some fresh creative talent to call the shots even if they worked on rift before. I think if they were smart as well they would listen to the playerbase a lot more than before. I personally paid for storm legion and leveled to level 54 and was so bored out of my mind i quit and regret paying for it. It was just exactly more of the same only even longer to level up and with the nurfing of classes constantly it just got really old after awhile especially for warriors.
  • AtrocitusAtrocitus Oa, CAPosts: 77Member Uncommon

    RIFTs supporting team is top notch.


    Obviously Scott was a huge catalyst for this game, and its a negative to see him go. HOWEVER, the supporting cast has learned alot from the man, and are in a great position to oversee the game.


    RIFT is still one of the best MMO's out there...



    TY for all you did Scott.....

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,019Member Uncommon
    I just hope that soe does not let him come back to eq2 or to vangaurd.   We got enough stuff wrong with our game without letting him back in. 
  • thecapitainethecapitaine West Chester, PAPosts: 403Member Uncommon
    I don't know why but I have a feeling that tomorrow's update is going to announce a new business model for Rift.  I've always had the feeling that Scott was someone who kept the game from going F2P (or B2P) almost by will alone.  I guess we'll have to see.  In any case, I'm sorry to see him go and I wish him the best.  I really like his vision of MMOs as service and dedication to pushing out content that makes a sub worthwhile.
  • cippalippacippalippa MilanoPosts: 109Member
    Originally posted by jimdandy26
    He did not even post the letter himself. Good riddence.

    not a good sign :/

  • bbbb42bbbb42 none, FLPosts: 297Member Uncommon
    .___. free wift  4 aull

  • Rthuth434Rthuth434 uniondale, NYPosts: 346Member
    Originally posted by Volgore
    Let's see what they'll announce in their update (part 2) tomorrow.

    for those who are old enough to remember his EQ2 days.....What was announced and instated shortly following him leaving SOE? same might be in the works for RIFT.

  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,071Member Uncommon
    Now maybe they can go Free to Play and actually attract a larger playerbase.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!


  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    He hasn't left trion, presumably he's working on their next mmo.
  • PittyHPittyH MelbournePosts: 116Member
    Originally posted by erictlewis
    I just hope that soe does not let him come back to eq2 or to vangaurd.   We got enough stuff wrong with our game without letting him back in. 

    Eh? The guys been at the helm of both eq2 and rift, when they were at thier peaks in popularity.

    Coincedence ? who knows ?

    My geuss is he's come back to SOE for EQ2 next. or he's at some big MMO coming soon.

    In his bio it says he's been involved with over a billion dollars of MMO revenue.

    my web design:

  • Rthuth434Rthuth434 uniondale, NYPosts: 346Member
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    He hasn't left trion, presumably he's working on their next mmo.


    he definitely is adamantly against non-subscription mmo's and since defiance is a cash shop driven b2p title and end of nations is f2p(and in imbo) i'd say he's looking for work elsewhere.


  • niceguy3978niceguy3978 Gainesville, FLPosts: 2,000Member
    I wish you could delete posts.
  • niceguy3978niceguy3978 Gainesville, FLPosts: 2,000Member
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    He hasn't left trion, presumably he's working on their next mmo.

    It is in the first sentence of the announcement "I wanted to let you know that I'm stepping down from my position here at Trion."

  • AcidonAcidon Salem, ORPosts: 797Member

    This may explain the uneasy feeling we've almost collectively been having for the past month.

    I love the crap out of Rift.  But I can't say this bodes well.


    EDIT TO ADD:  In case Mr. Hartsman reads this.  You were an amazing force in Trion.   You will be missed and best of luck wherever you may be heading.

    Playing: H1Z1, The Crew, Defiance, APB:Reloaded
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  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,353Member Uncommon

    Hmm, this is interesting.  He's done some cool stuff that's for sure.  He was in charge of some of the best EQ2 xpacs ever.

    I love some of his design stuff and really disagree with a lot more.  He doesn't seem to like housing (or at least doesn't find a worthwhile addition) and he's staunchly pro-subscription.  I don't get either of those becasue both EQ2 and Rift have the same housing system and it's one of the best in the industry.

    Anyway, hopefully the Trion team keep the game going strong.  I also hope I'm right about a revenue model shift to completely sub-free.

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 9,018Member Rare

    Hartsman was an exec producer - so his primary role was building a dev team that created Rift. 

    I doubt that he did any tech or creative work - so to credit him with creating Rift is a bit of a stretch. Exec producers deal with overall budget, team building, overall project deadlines - they don't create games as in creative design or code dev.

    Project managers - do we give them credit for game creation? We don't even know their names, and they probably contributed a lot more than Hartsman

    What about Lore writers? Certainly they created the history of Telara as well as all the conflicts and races.

    World designers? What about them? And character designers?

    ... let alone the actual game devs that coded the game! If you want to give thanks and praises - they are the ones that deserve it the most.

    So can we at least give credit where it's due - in the big scheme of things the exec producers often have ZERO to do with the actual game creative process, yet we credit them for creating games?

    My theory is that he got let go, and as an exec at his level, you spin it as "he decided to leave".  

  • AZHokie54AZHokie54 Phoenix, AZPosts: 275Member Uncommon
    Well, there goes that game.
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 9,018Member Rare

    ^ yes because exec producers play such a critical role for a 2 year old game...


  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYPosts: 1,713Member Uncommon

    his games might not have been for everyone but they've been great games for the folks who  appreciate them.  I always considered firt a very good game although its really not exactly the style of game i'm looking for now.


    my guess is his finger print will appear on either EQN or titan.

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

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  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DMKano

    ^ yes because exec producers play such a critical role for a 2 year old game...


    His leaving, along with other long term employee layoffs (including another long term producer), have defintely been felt by the community.  I guess we'll see what the future holds.

  • tiddytiddy londonPosts: 23Member

    aawwwhmmm :( ......

    This is sad news for Trion fans. I hate seeing him go.

    His Rift raised the bar for MMOs and set new standards for the whole industry. He did an awesome awesome job. 

    I Wish him all the best.

  • azurreiazurrei Phoenix, AZPosts: 111Member Uncommon
    This SCREAMS B2P conversion is on the way..
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