Trion Worlds, Inc. (Trion) is an award-winning publisher and developer of connected video games including Rift: Planes of Telara and End of Nations, boasting some of the top developers in the industry. Members of its creative and executive teams have worked on games such as World of Warcraft and EverQuest.[1] Its mission is "to define a generation of interactive entertainment by fundamentally revolutionizing the way games are created, played and distributed.”[2]

Trion's investors include important media companies and venture capitalists including the Time Warner Investments Group, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, and Trinity Ventures.[3] The company has been selected as one of the top ten fastest growing startups in the San Francisco Bay Area by StartUpHire [4].

Company History[]

Trion Worlds, Inc. was founded as Trion World Network by Lars Buttler and Jon Van Caneghem in 2006. Buttler formerly worked for EA as vice president for global online,[5] while Caneghem was an Executive Producer at NCSoft.[6] Trion immediately[7] began developing the Trion Platform, a server technology via which both Trion "and external partners" will deliver games, one that is less heavily client-based than other games and helps to enable large-scale battles.[8]

Trion also began developing Heroes of Telara in 2006[7], emphasizing the game's ability to trigger events, its unique class system, and its easy-to-learn combat system as selling points[9] Over the following years the company added industry veterans to its executive and developer teams, including

  • Glen Van Datta, formerly Director of Online Technology at Sony Computer Entertainment America [10],
  • David Reid, formerly president of publishing at NCsoft West, and
  • Scott Hartsman, who has shipped more than a dozen EverQuest-related titles with Sony Online Entertainment.[11]

In 2010, the company was renamed as Trion Worlds, Inc., and Heroes of Telara was renamed as Rift: Planes of Telara.[12]


Trion has an estimated 200 employees. The following employees are known to be working on Rift: Planes of Telara:


Community Managers[]

  • Cindy "Abigale" Bowens, Senior Community Manager
  • Ron Meiners, Senior Community Manager
  • Julien 'Midoh' Crevits, French Community Manager


  • Adam Gershowitz, Producer.
  • Hal Hanlin, Design Producer. [13]


  • Morgan Lockhart, Defiant Lore Lead[14], "doomcookie" Twitter.
  • Nick McDowell, Guardian Lord Lead[15]


  • Darren Pattenden, art director, goes by Bloodylovingit. Twitter
  • Brian Clarke, Lead Environment Artist, Linkedin profile
  • Kevin Bjorke, senior technical artist, goes by Bjorke. Twitter.

Russell Cahalan, lead animator. [16]

Technical Designers[]

  • Andrew "Avarem" Krausnick, Rifts systems designer[14], Twitter.
  • Nicholas McDowell, designer, goes by Captaincursor. Twitter.
  • Gina Reams, systems designer, goes by Epochlulz. Twitter.
  • Will Cook, designer and rift events lead, goes by WillardV. Twitter.
  • Daniel Steamer, content designer, goes by ExcelsiorH. Twitter.
  • Adam Hetenyi, Instances/dungeon team[14]


  • Drew Tennenbaum, senior software engineer. Twitter.
  • Peter Ju, lead engineer. [17]





Winner, Red Herring 100 Global[]

The Red Herring 100 awards are given to "promising startups that will lead the next wave of disruption and innovation."[18] Evaluations for the award are made on a wide range of criteria including financial performance and innovation.[2]


Winner, Red Herring 100 North America[]

The Red Herring 100 awards are given to "promising startups that will lead the next wave of disruption and innovation."[19] Evaluations for the award are made on a wide range of criteria including financial performance and innovation.[2]

See also[]


  1. Trion Worlds, Inc - About Trion [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Trion Worlds - News [2]
  3. Trion Worlds, Inc - Investors and Strategic Partners [3]
  4. StartupHire names Trion among the 10 fastest growing startups in San Francisco [4]
  5. Trion Worlds - Press Release [5]
  6. Gamespot Q&A with Jon Van Caneghem [6]
  7. 7.0 7.1 - Heroes of Telara Interview [7]
  8. Gamasutra Interview with Trion [8]
  9. Trion Worlds - Press Release [9]
  10. Trion Worlds - Press Release [10]
  11. Trion Worlds - Press Release [11]
  12. Trion Worlds - Press Release [12]
  13. Get to Know a Dev - RiftJunkies
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Introduction to the Devs [13]
  15. Real: LFM Interview with Nick McDowell
  16. Get to Know a Dev - RiftJunkies
  17. Get to Know a Dev - RiftJunkies
  18. Red Herring 100 Awards [14]
  19. Red Herring 100 Awards [15]