Have you got that?
What am I talking about?
It has been more than five years since their first MMO launched. It has become a huge success, beyond their wildest dreams. It is the most popular subscription MMO ever and people seek to copy it. But they know change is needed, an update is required.
So they stage an earth shattering event, a CATACLYSM! And from that they hope to revitalize their world, to create a new, more exciting, more up to date, and even more popular game.
So who am I talking about?
I mean, that could be SOE in 2004, or Blizzard in 2010.
One lead to EverQuest II which was, I’m sorry to say, not a more popular game than its predecessor. The other cataclysm is Blizzard’s next World of Warcraft expansion, and we’ll see what that does pretty soon.
I’ve been reading Kotaku again.
They had an interview with John Smedley (who needs a better bio on Wikipedia), and he was talking about a cataclysm for EverQuest II, which made me think, “Urm, didn’t we come in on that note? Wasn’t EQII your reboot?”
Okay, I am being literalistic again, one of my many faults. But I cannot get that cataclysm parallel out of my head, false though the comparison might be.
I know he means something considerably less than the EverQuest to EverQuest II transition. But he also must mean more than a mere expansion that throws another 10 levels on the pile, a few more zones, and some more ways to spend your alternate advancement points.
Anyway, read the article. It must be drastically cut and paraphrased… or else Smed is all over the map. I mean, Kotaku writes this:
While Smedley doesn’t expect the World of Warcraft expansion to have a deep impact on EverQuest II players, Sony Online Entertainment isn’t taking any chances.
And then quotes Smed saying this:
“We have five years of World of Warcraft experience behind us to know that people that play EverQuest II don’t play World of Warcraft,” he said. “We don’t see big dips in concurrency. We see a tiny drop for awhile.”
So, if WoW doesn’t impact EQII, what chances could they be taking? And I guess that I and about a dozen people I could name are statistical anomalies, being that we play EverQuest II and WoW at times. (And it might be more correct to say that people who play WoW do not play EQII, since most of our guild in EQII at launch drained to WoW, but very few of them found their way back. Maybe I am an anomaly.)
And then we hit on a lot of people’s favorite SOE gripe:
What they do see, though, is Blizzard potentially grabbing up a bunch of gamers new to massively multiplayer gaming, something they plan to fight with an increase in marketing for EverQuest II.
You know, there is a lot to like about EQII, but what are they going to do to sell it beyond free to play? What haven’t they done to sell the game? What are they holding back on, and why haven’t they used it already?
What do you think? Are they headed in the right direction with this, or should they be focused on the next version of Norrath that we heard about this past summer?