Rift’s reappearance on Steam in its free-to-play get-up two weeks ago wasn’t heralded by choirs or TV spots or even interviews. But a big purple banner on the front page of Valve’s platform can work wonders, and Trion World have reported their best numbers in quite some time.
They’re not particularly clear numbers - Trion have conflated Rift’s recent uptake with that of their MMO shooter, Defiance - but we know that more than 250,000 players signed up to one or other of the games during last week.
What's more, Rift had its most successful day since its launch over two years ago when it popped up on Steam. And a look at Steam’s stats seems to back that up - Rift currently sits just outside the top 20 most-played games on Steam, boasting 6,313 players at its peak today. That’s about as many as the new Batman.
“We were ecstatic to see the reaction,” said Rift game director Bill Fisher. “Outside of new launches, this kind of thing doesn’t happen. I had to ask our data guy to recheck the number because it was unbelievable.”
Rift’s 2.5 update, Song of Dreams, injected a well-timed dose of new stuff into the game two days ago. But Trion also attribute part of their recent success to their participation in Extra Life, the 25-hour charity gaming marathon. Trion raised more than any other games company involved this year - over $63,000 for US children’s hospitals - via 3,900 players.
“It goes to show that our philosophy of ‘the more you give, the more you get’ really resonated,” said Trion CEO Scott Hartsman. “We’re proud to support our players with great content and to be able to join together with them and support children’s hospitals.”
Are you a recent Rift adoptee? Did its friendly free to play model have anything to do with it?