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John Smedley Talks To… The Mittani! September 7, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Sony Online Entertainment.
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A year ago, hearing something from John Smedley, the CEO of Sony Online Entertainment was something of a note.  If he was interviewed or updated his blog or actually tweeted something, that got coverage as much for the novelty of it.

Random SOE Logo

He helped bring EverQuest to life nearly a decade and a half ago, and he spoke at fanfest and like events, but for long stretches you wouldn’t hear much from him.  My personal theory is that the Star Wars Galaxies NGE sent him into hiding from the general public.  How often do you image he got accosted about that?

But in 2012 all that seems to have changed.

He is in the news, on the floor at E3, doing the keynote at GDC Online, answering anything on Reddit, saving the Macintosh version of EverQuest, and announcing big new plans at SOE.  Meanwhile his Twitter account is so alive it dominates my feed some days as he seems to be trying to drive the PlanetSide 2 beta partially through sheer force of will. (No more beta key spam please!)

Back in May I chuckled at the idea of Smed in a Drake.  I actually got an email from him regarding that post in which he pointed out he was an EVE player, went to fanfest, flew in null sec, and happened to be on the same side as I was in the war in the north.  Well, that last bit came out because he sent me a picture of his gaming rig (3x 30″ monitors… color me jealous) which included GARPA, the CFC route planning tool on his screen.  Busted!

(No, I am not going to send you the picture, and all of the above came out in other ways already, so no confidences betrayed.)

So I suppose it is no surprise that over at The Mittani dot Com, which has been covering games of potential interest to EVE players, such as PlanetSide 2, Smed sat down with Mittens himself to talk about what it took him to get into EVE Online, rumors of Sony buying CCP, the importance of sandboxes, and where online gaming needs to go in the future.

Meanwhile, if you want in on Planetside 2, you can join the Alpha Squad for a mere $39.95.

You say alpha, I say beta, let’s patch the whole thing up…

Comments»

1. tms - September 7, 2012

I’d STILL accost him about the NGE but I’m a bast*rd that way and I hold a grudge.

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2. SynCaine - September 7, 2012

Smed, the guy running the company that shut down SWG, is talking about the need for more sandbox MMOs.He knows he runs SOE right, the company still breathing thanks to the original themepark? And that borrowing ideas from EVE to make PS2 is… odd considering Dust514 is (for now) a Sony exclusive.

I get that Smed is not 100% everything SOE, but still, so much of that rings so hollow.

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3. Wilhelm Arcturus - September 7, 2012

@SynCaine – Well, I don’t get the sense that SWG got shut down because it was a sandbox game. The dark specter of George Lucas has forever dominated SWG’s destiny. The NGE and the eventual demise has been laid at his door by those purporting to know the details.

Anyway, you take things for what they are worth. There are people would go outside and check if Smed said the sun was up a noon.

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4. morgs - September 7, 2012

Super pumped for PS2 and have actually let my eve sub lapse as I am in the beta.

He is saying all the right things….really happy. However he is not the first to say all the right things.

And while ps2 is a blast it still need a lot of work and a ton to have the long term attachment that comes with eve….

Bu that he has played eve is really exciting for me.

Imagine EvE with fun moment to moment game play yet still retaining long term group goals! he even mentioned player owned bases…epic.

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5. spinks - September 8, 2012

Doesn’t really bode well for SoE to have someone in charge who conspicuously isn’t building the kind of games he loves to play himself.

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6. Wilhelm Arcturus - September 8, 2012

@Spinks – I think it is pretty clear that he loves PlanetSide 2, so I am not sure I am following you.

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