Gaming’s New Frontier After Zynga

In July of 2009, David Reid got a call from a recruiter who wanted to gauge his interest in joining a little-known start-up called Trion Worlds Inc. A gaming company founded a couple of years earlier by Lars Buttler, a former Electronic Arts executive, Trion had yet to release a product.

Trion, however, was said to be doing something big in the realm of massively multiplayer online games, or MMO, where players connected by the Internet do battle in fantastical virtual universes. Reid, a gregarious man whose short hair is the only indication of his past life as a U.S. Army lieutenant, had seen how social networks and smartphones were revolutionizing gaming, and he was interested in trying something new. But unlike some of his peers, Reid, 42, didn’t want to make these so-called casual games that were so often used to kill time while waiting on line at the grocery store.

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