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Trion World Network Opens New Studio, Snags SOE Executive

by Rainier on Nov. 6, 2007 @ 12:06 a.m. PST

Trion World Network has tapped Nicholas Beliaeff, former Executive Director of Development and San Diego Studio Manager for Sony Online Entertainment, to grow the publisher and developer’s San Diego presence as well as manage game development across all of Trion’s studio locations.

Nicholas Beliaeff brings with him a nearly twenty year career in games. Most recently at SOE, he built the console division and launched new IP, such as Untold Legends and Field Commander, as well as operating SOE’s EverQuest I & II, EverQuest: Online Adventures, PlanetSide and Vanguard franchises. As the head of development at SOE San Diego, Beliaeff managed and monitored design and operational steps for the studio’s games. Prior to SOE, Beliaeff had a storied career in prominent game companies such as Strategic Simulations, Inc., The 3DO Company and New World Computing.

Trion’s new studio is teeming with San Diego talent already. Bill Trost, Robert Hill and Brandon Bogle, all former key players at SOE, will join Trion under Beliaeff’s leadership. Bogle joins the team as Principal Engineer; Trost will tackle the Lead Game Designer role, while Hill is on-board as Senior Producer.

“Trion continues to build an exceptional studio organization and unique worldwide publishing network for server-based games and connected entertainment,” Lars Buttler, CEO and co-founder, Trion, said. “We are thrilled to have Nicholas, Bill, Rob, Brandon, and other outstanding game developers seed our San Diego studio.”

Trion’s mission is to revolutionize entertainment by combining the best of online, gaming and traditional media. By designing and developing powerful new technologies, new content, and new publishing capabilities, Trion is poised to be a leader in the emerging global multi-billion dollar connected entertainment market.

“I have dedicated nearly twenty years to helping make great games,” Beliaeff commented. “Trion represents my career goals of defining the future of games, which we believe is online, as well as offering a team atmosphere most conducive to creativity and success.”

Led by Dr. Lars Buttler, former Vice President for Global Online at Electronic Arts, and Jon Van Caneghem, former founder and CEO of New World Computing and creator of the best-selling Might and Magic and Heroes game franchises, Trion has assembled a world-class team of gaming and online veterans with proven success and talent in business, original content development and technology who have developed and shipped more than 100 original titles.

Recently, Trion announced a 30 million dollar round of funding led by Rustic Canyon Partners, the LA-based VC firm with strong ties to the media and entertainment industry. Time Warner, a leading media and entertainment company, GE/NBC Universal’s Peacock Equity Fund, as well as Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI), a unit of global media company Bertelsmann AG, Europe’s leading entertainment group, invested side-by-side, strengthening Trion’s unique ability to bring a new level of original entertainment to the Broadband era on a global scale. Existing Trion investors, DCM and Trinity Ventures also participated.

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