If we tried to broaden our horizons and invite new people in, I don’t think we’d have enough servers to be able to handle the influx of new players.
Holly Longdale, Interview at PC Gamer
I love EverQuest as much as any bit of my gaming history. And all the more so here on the 20th anniversary. But I also try to inject at least some tiny amount of objectivity into my rose colored glasses view of the game. In that spirit, I would have to say that there is no way that EverQuest could attract and hold enough new players that server capacity would be a worry.
The idea strikes me as very much an “if I had a magic wand” sort of hypothesis. I’d have to see an example of another game of similar vintage hauling in new customers to be convinced. Remasters of games, like Age of Empires II, and return launches of old games, like last week’s appearance of Diablo on GoG, happen. And the will likely continue to show up. But I don’t see much evidence that this has meant any sort of gold rush of new players these titles. Rather, it seems more a plan to sate demand from an older demographic… people like me who played those games when they were new. There is money to be made on that. Not chart topping, League of Legends money, but enough to support a small team.
That said, the article linked… which I also linked in Friday’s post… is well worth a read for fans of the franchise and has a lot to unpack and there are enough tidbits that I could probably write half a dozen posts exploring them.
Key among them are:
- “We have more players now than we did in 2015 and our revenue has gone up.”
- “I’m not allowed tell you exactly how many people have come through the game over the years, but it’s enough to sustain us.”
- “So we just have an agreement in place that they [Project 1999] don’t launch stuff around the same time we do.”
- “Our biggest customer service request is people asking what email they used for their EverQuest account 15 years ago, because they want to log back in and play with their old characters again.”
- “Every three years we do a level increase, and we have changed the way some things work.”
- A new expansion, The Burning Lands, was released in December last year, and another is on the way.
- “But fundamentally, we don’t want to change the game. It’s like when we did the New Game Experience for Star Wars Galaxies and everyone quit.”
Those are all out of context, but not dramatically so.
Meanwhile, given the fact that every single time EverQuest opens up a progression server there are queues and problems and crashes until things settle down… and that was going on yesterday as Daybreak tried to get the Selo and Mangler servers off the ground… I agree that if they could attract a bunch of new players, there is no guarantee that their current servers could handle it. I just don’t think there is any way they could attract those sorts of numbers.
We’ll see if Daybreak has better luck on day two, which also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day as well.
Maybe a bit of luck will help them.