Back in April of 2007, when the EverQuest team announced that they were going to stop doing two expansions a year in favor of doing a single, higher quality expansion annually, there was some discussion about how this came about and what it meant.
I wrote a post about that at the time, in which I asked the question:
How many more EverQuest expansions?
At the time… and this was six years ago… I gave what I thought was a high and a low estimate.
At the low end, I thought maybe the 10th year anniversary in 2009 would be a good time to hang things up. Ten years was a good run.
At the high end I said that five more expansions would likely enough be it. I mean, by November 2011, who would be left playing EverQuest?
I still don’t like the name. It is a little too literal for me, with shards from the plane of fear raining down or some such. I thought Reign of Fear might be better, but I didn’t get a vote.
Then again the EverQuest site seems to be a bit behind the curve still. This is not an unheard of event there.
Life in the web site update lane. Things fall out of date so fast.
Of course, since I wrote that post I referenced above, in addition to six more expansions, EverQuest has also gone free to play as well as launching another pair of nostalgia farming progression servers. The game has been brought up to date (off-line broker, hotbars that work like we now expect hot bars to work, a camera that goes where you point it), some older zones have been revamped (which can be good or bad, depending on how you feel about nostalgia), and new features have been piled on (housing was a big one).
EverQuest has remained a going concern and looks like it will continue to do so for some time.
Still, nothing lasts forever.
So I will tempt the fates again and ask, how many more EverQuest expansions?
Two more gets us to the 15th anniversary, five more to 2017, and seven more to the 20th anniversary of the game.
I am tempted to say two more, because once you are free to play, I start to wonder if expansions really mean anything. Should you be selling a box… even if it is only a virtual box at this point… every year, or should you be doling out content in smaller doses to be purchased ala carte by your users? The Hero’s Forge thing comes to mind.
Of course, SOE has complicated this by screwing up their virtual currency with heavy discounts to the point that they felt they could no longer sell subscription time or expansions for Station Cash. They want straight up money for that sort of thing.
At the other end, I am sure that EverQuest will still be around in 2019 for its 20th birthday in some form or another. But will they still be selling expansions at that point? What will have changed in seven years? Will it be all nostalgia servers all the time by then?
So I am going to go with four more expansions. Four more should overlap the last one with EverQuest Next, and once you have three EverQuest versions going, you have to stop and focus, don’t you?
Or maybe not. We shall see.
How many more EverQuest expansions do you think we will see?
Additional ironic note: The links in my 2007 post are dead. Those sites are down, EQ lives on.
Addendum: There it is.
There is even a trailer.