CEO Lars Buttler says the price tag is a testament to the studio's ambition

Trionâ??s first game budget â??over $50mâ??

Trion Worlds, the heavily VC-funded MMO start-up, has spent over $50 million on its first project, the group’s boss has confirmed.

That project, entitled Rift: Planes of Telara, has been in development for some four years due to project delays.

Trion CEO Lars Buttler told Develop the game’s exorbitant budget – parly due to the engineering of Trion’s own development platform – signals how serious the company is in entering the MMO space.

“Rift: Planes of Telara is already very ambitious because it is over $50 million in development,” he said.

“One of the first questions we asked before we started the Rift project was, ‘why cannot online games be of the quality of videogames?’

“We felt that, sooner or later, the whole [MMO sector] will have to go down this route”.

US-headquartered Trion was founded in 2006 as a developer and publisher of server-based games and platforms.

It’s entrepreneurial CEO has helped secure over $100 million in venture capitalist funding, and in an unusual move for a start-up company, the firm has spread its resources over three projects.

Rift: Planes of Telara is expected for release in 2011, while the group has partnered with Petroglyph to build a unique ‘MMO-RTS’ entitled End of Nations.

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