EverQuest Next Preview: Embracing the Community As Part Of The Development Team
After years in the making, Sony Online Entertainment has unveiled a few details about its upcoming massively multiplayer online game, EverQuest Next. This is a shrewd move from Sony as it attempts to make a name in the online game worlds gaming franchises which are becoming increasingly popular in a mass market niche.
The idea of free-to-play is also enticing and many game development studios are offering free-to-play versions to lure players with the option of paying real money for virtual goods. Another interesting feature is the ability for fans to create objects inside the fantasy role-playing games and have them appear inside the role-playing game.
This modernized gameplay is completely new in the massive multi-player online titles that has been dominated by games like World of WarCraft. While the original EverQuest debuted in 1999 with the next version coming out in 2004, the current version, which has been in development since 2009, shows a completely rethought approach to creating a living world for players by the players. Players are able to change the surrounding world in permanent and dramatic ways by building and destroying city walls and wage wars that unfold over years.
There are no predetermined paths in EverQuest Next and the adventure is constantly changing with the ability to remember player actions and choices and use those to create similar experiences later. With most massively multiplayer online games, the development team defines the environment, but in EverQuest Next, the player, together with the development team, become co-creators.
The Sony EverQuest Landmark includes tools that users can use to create objects essentially allowing the community to be part of the development team. What is more, players will be allowed to sell their creations and with persistent worlds that support thousands of players, this will keep players busy, much like in Minecraft, while Sony facilitates trading in the marketplace with a staff of 75 people.
This new free-to-play, user-generated world game will no doubt enable Sony to reach larger audiences who are looking for completely new experiences in the online gaming world.