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.
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…