Rift Forces Cash Shop, Trion Worlds “It’s Just Business”

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Is Rift having financial difficulties? It sounds like a loaded question, but it’s one that many are asking in regards to a recent update and Trion Worlds’ response to player criticism. Today’s update removed the ability to purchase earring slots and Planewalker: Water via runestones, a grindable currency, making them available only through purchases in the cash shop. While players are perfectly capable of grinding in-game currency to buy REX, many players have pointed out that the platinum limit on free accounts is lower than the cost of REX, making it impossible to obtain the items without first throwing some money down on your account.

Trion’s reason for the change has similarly been met with controversy, responding that “this is a business decision,” according to community manager Eric Cleaver.

Ultimately this is a business decision, to best support RIFT moving forward into the future. We’re on the cusp right now of RIFT’s 5th Anniversary, and we’ve got great stuff planned for 2016. But that stuff takes Engineers and Designers and CS and QA and a whole lot of other folks.

Having a large team producing amazing things is a benefit to everyone who loves RIFT, both those making it and those who play it. But making games like RIFT is expensive. and so we need to sell things in game to pay those folks. We try to offer a variety of services that appeal to a broad selection of folks. Sometimes we try one thing, sometimes we try another. But it’s always a learning experience.

Both Earring Slots and Planewalker: Water went through a number of iterations during development before release, and when Nightmare Tide did release we decided at that time to allow them to be acquired via either a substantial investment of time via Voidstones or with purchase of a Nightmare Tide Collectors Edition. It’s been over a year now since that release, and the team has decided to move in a slightly different direction with these unlocks.

Incidentally, the update comes alongside a change to Rift’s referral program, and no longer allows for players to use their referral points to purchase REX.

(Source: Rift)

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