Friday, March 6, 2009

New Flagship MMO for SOE

SOE recently advertised they are seeking a Lead Game Designer for what they are referring to as a New Flagship Project. Their use of the term "flagship" has me curious what they might possibly have planned. I would consider their current flagship to be Everquest, versions 1 and 2. John Smedley did mention in a previous interview ... "when we say "the EverQuest franchise," we'll be visiting that world again, and we're definitely in development on some things."

So if it is another version of the world of Norrath, how would they do this differently? They will want it to be more profitable than the other two, so most definitely not as hardcore as EQ1. And I would also think it would be less graphic intensive than EQ2 to cover a wider audience. And based on SOE's current trends, it might not be a subscription model.

If not Everquest, then what else would they have up their sleeves to warrant being referred to as flagship? The other themes they have in the works are action spy, comic book hero , and DisneyWorld. Might they do something fresh and new or use a pre-existing ip? Fresh and new is always a risk. With all the current and upcoming offerings, it really will need to offer something unique. But pre-existing ip's sometimes put limitations on where the game can go due to lore or franchise restrictions. Inquiring minds want to know!


Sres said...

The current two EQ models have recently been trial bases for Station Cash, it's potential their next offering could be a free subscribe with bolt on extra's that are paid for through Station Cash.

Green Armadillo said...

I think they'd like to avoid having a third simultaneous Everquest. The brand isn't entirely without its baggage - players who don't play the games associate them with mandatory grouping, harsh death penalties, and lengthy grinds (which certainly aren't the case for the current form of EQ2), and people who do value the brand are probably already playing one of the two EQ's. Even if they're going for another fantasy game, it might be worth launching under a new franchise. (Blizzard's next MMORPG will be a new franchise for largely the same reasons.)

Thallian said...

hmmm, green armadillo makes a good point, but it'll be interesting to see what they come up with

Aspendawn said...

Even though they said they would be revisiting the Everquest world, I'm sure they don't want players from the other EQ1&2 jumping ship. So I'd think it would appeal to a different type of player. Or maybe just the free subscription model is enough to not worry about losing subscribers to the other two.

I guess it does have some baggage, so I'm sure the word Everquest won't be found anywhere in the name. But it may very well be a whole new franchise that they expect to be the next big thing.

Yeebo said...

I would love to see EQOA redone for the PS3. Better graphics, more quests, classes that solo better, and maybe ditch the oddball lycanthropy system. That would be a system seller as far as I'm concerned. Though they might want to change the name, EQOA never really did all that well and has a reputation (well deserved) for being pretty grindy.

Corwin.EoL said...

I expect something outside of the Fantasy MMO mold.

Perhaps a Space MMO to compete with Eve Online and the upcoming SW:ToR.