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WIM: Trion's Buttler Talks New Investment, '20 Year Vision'

As Trion World announces $30 million in investments from companies like GE/NBC and Time Warner, former EA online VP and Trion CEO Lars Buttler talks to sister site Worlds I
As Trion World announces $30 million in investments from companies like GE/NBC and Time Warner, former EA online VP and Trion CEO Lars Buttler talks to sister site Worlds In Motion, detailing the company's '20-year vision' and how it plans to up the social networking ante. Trion announced today that the latest $30 million round of investments was led by VC firm Rustic Canyon Partners, along with Time Warner, GE/NBC Universal’s Peacock Equity Fund, and Bertelsmann AG division Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments. Trion also said Rustic Canyon partner Nate Redmond will be joining the company board. Talking to newly launched online worlds blog Worlds In Motion, Buttler explained that the $30 million was a necessary sizable investment: "As a publisher and developer, we really have to do a lot," Buttler explains. "We build the tech base, we build content, we co-develop with other parties and we also publish-- that means you go to the consumer any way possible on a global scale. Whenever a market is so disruptive and new, you can't stick to only one piece of the value chain." "We're creating a whole package with a 20-year vision from the beginning to the end of the chain," Buttler adds. Using a 'channel' metaphor, where every channel in the Trion network is its own game world, Buttler explained to Worlds In Motion how its first channel, already built and soon to be announced, will take on social networking giants: He's hesitant to provide too many early details, but allows that, "at it’s core, it will be a large-scale game. But it will be a large-scale game that has a tremendous amount of elements of social networks, and it will be a game that will evolve almost like a TV show evolves." Looking over recent developments in connected entertainment, Buttler says that both social networks trying to be more game-like and games trying to incorporate elements of social networking are a step in the right direction. "But all of them have downsides, or are missing certain elements. But they are the first ones, so it’s logical. What we try to do is just take the next step. And we won't be perfect either—but if you build it dynamically, you can learn from the users, and change, and continue moving forward." For more from Buttler on Trion's developments, you can read the interview in its entirety at Worlds In Motion.

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