Rift isn’t known for its soft-footed approach, populated as it is by mountain-high titans whose stomps reverberate throughout its humongous world like distant Glastonbury soundchecks. Yet it clambered onto Steam last week, found a spare dark-grey page to nestle in, and remained there for four days before we stumbled across it.
Trion Worlds have slipped their flagship MMO into Steam’s now well-stocked free-to-play section, alongside EverQuest, War Thunder and Dota 2. Stiff competition - but Trion are able to sweeten the deal with an impending Halloween update, the promise of a healthy population, and a player-first approach to free-to-play that trumps everyone else’s models.
“This is just a personal thing, but I just hate that word 'monetise',” likeable Rift senior design director Simon Ffinch told Steve in July. “‘Let's monetise our players!’ They're people and they're playing a game because they want to have fun, they're not a frickin’ ATM machine. I don't like that attitude at all, and in the business world you can't help but hear it.
“In the development team we actively fight against it,” he went on. “I mean hey, I want to have a job, I want to have enough money to pay my mortgage and feed my family and I love making the game and I want to continue doing that. Obviously I want people to buy stuff but I don't want them to ever feel like that's why I want them in Rift.”
Rift’s ongoing Patron subscription option is also available at three increments on the Steam store. With those, you’ll enjoy some always-on benefits and daily abilities. Patron Passes can be found in the in-game Rift Store, mind, so there’s no pressure to make that potentially pricey decision until you’ve played a bit.
Repeat after me: I am not a frickin’ ATM machine. Feels good, doesn’t it?
Find Rift here on Steam.