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Rift takes a cue from WoW with infinite trials

Trion Worlds' fantasy-themed MMO Rift has changed its trial structure, now allowing new users to play infinitely up to a level cap, much like World of Warcraft.
Trion Worlds hopes to attract more newcomers to its fantasy-themed MMO Rift by taking a page straight out of the World of Warcraft playbook. Starting today, those signing up for a free account through the publisher can play Rift infinitely, though their characters will not evolve past level 20. Previously, free players were limited to a 7-day trial. The new service, called Rift Lite, is similar to what Blizzard began offering last year for World of Warcraft. That version of the game, World of Warcraft: Starter Edition, also offers unlimited free play, and also caps its players' levels at 20. Rift developer and publisher Trion Worlds recently raised a new round of funding to the tune of $85 million, adding to the already substantial $100 million the Redwood City-based company previously raised. The company currently has two other games in the pipeline: Defiance, an MMO that will coincide with a television show on cable network SyFy, and End of Nations, a massively-multiplayer RTS by former Westwood (Command & Conquer) veterans at Las Vegas' Petroglyph, which has launched games including Universe at War and Star Wars: Empire at War. The latter title will be the first Trion game to launch under the traditional free-to-play model. CEO Lars Buttler recently hinted that the company may soon file for an initial public offering, saying that such a movie is "clearly on our horizon at some point." According to Buttler, Rift remains a "vastly profitable" venture for the company, having drawn in more than $100 million in revenue.

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