Is it futile to play RIFT in the Gamigo era?

First of all, a shout-out to my Twitter friend Kristen, who’s been talking about her return to RIFT so much lately that it planted a seed in my head that wouldn’t go away until I did the same. I really haven’t played since spring 2018, back when Trion Worlds was still calling the shots and the RIFT Prime server excited us for a good month or so there with the promise of progression and tougher content.

Then Gamigo took over and I lost the heart to go back. Last year, I despaired about the future of RIFT, not necessarily because I hated the new owners on reputation alone, but because Gamigo’s shown so little desire to invest development and promotion into this game. It’s essentially put RIFT into maintenance mode, tossing it the occasional small patch or battle pass season, but that’s it. The game’s been frozen in development to pretty much how Trion left it two years ago.

So here’s the uncomfortable question of the hour: Is it really futile to go back to this game? Barring a miracle or maybe another change of hands, the best future we can hope for RIFT is that it simply stays online. Without seeing active development or promotion, RIFT’s not going to do much to get people back, so it’s going to have to exist on loyal players who can settle for the current state of affairs and maybe the odd duck like me who comes back.

While I admit that there’s a pretty big red flag fluttering over RIFT, at least it’s continued for two years now under Gamigo, so there’s some hope that it’ll do so for the foreseeable future. And when I logged in to scratch that curious itch, I was delighted to slip back into all of the goodness this MMO has to offer. It was like coming back to an old and familiar friend and catching up over the course of an afternoon. I even had minion missions waiting to complete — waiting for two years now. Those are some patient minions.

I was also heartened by how much chatter I saw on the chat channels. There were several of us lowbies returning to the game and excitedly making contact with others out there, and I started feeling my way to a guild while going through the old Guardian tutorial once more. Yes, I started over, and yes, with a Dwarf Rogue. I’m going Tactician, at least for now, and just seeing where this all leads.

Maybe it’s not the most risk-adverse move for long-term contentment, but you never know if any MMO is going to be here tomorrow. Sometimes you have to enjoy the experience you have today and get out of the groupthink mindset that only the most popular and active MMORPGs are the ones worth playing.

3 thoughts on “Is it futile to play RIFT in the Gamigo era?

  1. Redbeard June 26, 2020 / 9:32 am

    I suspect the Rift that most people love and remember is in the original, vanilla Rift. That’s still in place in the original zones, at least.

    That being said, I doubt any development from Gamigo will be forthcoming. If anybody wants a Rift with new development, they’ll have to buy it from Gamigo first. Not impossible, but it’d take a rich individual to pry it away from Gamigo. They simply don’t give up titles they purchase.

  2. bhagpuss June 26, 2020 / 9:46 am

    “Maintenance mode” is such an unecessarily negative descriptor. There are plenty of MMOs that could well have done with stopping development at a high point and plateauing there. We could call them “Complete” and describe their new condition as “Curated”.

    That doesn’t mean nothing there wil ever change, either. FFXI would be a great example of a curated MMORPG, as would Ryzom.

    The whole “continual development” thing the genre has fallen into is as much a curse as a blessing. If there are companies willing and able to buy up MMOs that have outgrown their ability to generate interest and income and put them into what is effectively a public museum status we should be praising and thanking them.

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