Trion Worlds, the developers and publishers of the recent PC fantasy MMO game Rift, has recently hired the former general manager of Microsoft Game Studios. Trion announced today via a press release that David Luehmann is now the company's vice president in charge of third party development. Luehmann's new gig will be to handle games that are published by Trion but are developed by third party game studios. The first such game is End of Nations, an upcoming MMO RTS game from developer Petroglyph Games that's currently due for release later this year.
Luehmann worked for 12 years at Microsoft Games Studios where he helped to direct a number of Microsoft's internal game development studios including Rare, Lionhead, and the now defunct Ensemble Studios. In a chat with Venture Beat about his new gig, Luehmann states that he hopes to help Trion add " ... two, three or four more of these third-party titles under development."
Trion Worlds was first announced several years ago and managed to bring in over $100 million in venture capital investment from various sources. In March 2011, the company finally released Rift. The fantasy MMO was preceded by a ton of mainstream marketing and advertising, including TV commercials on various networks that made comparisons to Blizzard's hit MMO World of Warcraft. The game received solid reviews and sales when it first launched. In addition to End of Nations, Trion is also working on an action-themed MMO game called Defiance that is being made in collaboration with the SyFy cable TV channel.