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Trion's trio capped by Sci Fi Channel deal

Redwood City-based game maker announces codevelopment project with NBC Universal subsidiary; fantasy-themed MMORPG in the works; PS3 presence revealed.


In 2006, ex-Electronic Arts exec Lars Buttler teamed with former New World Computing founder and president Jon Van Caneghem to form Trion Worlds, a development house that would focus on games for the "broadband era." While Trion has been under the radar since first debuting, the game maker's presence hasn't been for naught. Today, Trion broke that silence with a trio of high-profile announcements.

First, Trion said that it has entered into a codevelopment deal with the NBC Universal-owned Sci Fi Channel. As part of the arrangement, Trion will team with the network to publish an original entertainment property that will manifest as both a game and television show on the channel. Making the most of its cross-media format, Trion promises that gamers will impact the storyline of the show, "building depth and dynamically evolving the world."

"A television show that is on once a week isn't enough. The fans today want the experience to go beyond that," said Sci Fi Channel president Dave Howe in an interview with the LA Times. "For example, we can tell them that there will be an alien invasion at a certain place in the game, at a certain time, and to be there with all their friends and be ready. The outcome depends on them. And then that battle will be part of the universe in the show."

Sci-fi gamers thus accounted for, Trion also announced that it would be developing and publishing a fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Best known for creating the Heroes of Might and Magic universe, Van Caneghem will take the lead on the MMORPG. Trion claims the game will be highly malleable through player-influenced events, and that the game will feature large-scale battles "that an unprecedented number of players can participate in."

Platforms for the MMOG were not announced...but Trion also said today that it has acquired the rights to publish and develop games for Sony's PlayStation 3 in North America. No projects were revealed as part of the announcement, but Trion specifically called out the console's online-connectivity capabilities.

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