Will Trion’s Rift be cataclysmic for World of WarCraft?

Rift is one of the biggest bets in video game history. Trion Worlds has been building the fantasy role-playing online game world for almost five years and has raised more than $100 million to build the game and the dynamic online platform that hosts it. The game will finally debut on March 1 in North America and March 4 in Europe. The beta has been out for a while and Trion Worlds announced Thursday that more than 1 million players have registered to play it. Yesterday, the players who pre-ordered the game started playing in advance of the launch date.

Will Trion World’s Rift online game kill World of WarCraft? (interview)

No one at Trion Worlds has promised that the company’s first fantasy role-playing online game, Rift: Planes of Telara, will be a World of WarCraft killer. Indeed, many makers of massively multiplayer online games have tried to knock out Blizzard Entertainment’s online subscription game, but WoW has ruled for six years and it just got a major upgrade with World of WarCraft: Cataclysm, which sold 3.3 million units in a day. But that doesn’t intimidate the folks at Trion Worlds, which has raised more than $100 million and has more than 200 people working on a variety of MMOs. Of course, beating WoW is the ultimate prize, since WoW has more than 12 million paying subscribers and it generates more than $1 billion in revenue per year for Activision Blizzard.