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SOE Live 2012: Smedley assuages ProSiebenSat.1 concerns

MJ Guthrie

When announcing that European players can keep their accounts with Sony Online Entertainment during the move to ProSiebenSat.1, SOE President John Smedley specifically mentioned three games, concerning the players of other SOE titles. However, during an exclusive interview with Massively today, Smedley clarified that those three are not the only games involved. As he explained, those games were just the most topical, not the sole selections on an exclusive list. Players of other SOE games such as Vanguard can rest assured that they have the same opportunity to choose to stay with SOE.

That answer covers all current titles that are already published, but what about future SOE titles? And how does the ProSieben partnership affect Station Access? And when will these changes be taking place for the different games? Continue reading for Smedley's insights on these matters.

SOE Live 2012  Smedley interview clarifies ProSiebenSat1, includes other titles
In discussing which games are eligible for the option to remain with SOE, Smedley stated, "All of our games -- except DC Universe Online -- that are going with ProSieben are eligible; through the launch of the game on ProSieben, anybody can stay with us." Basically, everybody whose account is attached to SOE before the launch of a game can stay with SOE. However, new players who join the game in the EU after the partner's launch will automatically join through that partner (in this case, PSS1).

Smedley explained that players who want to take advantage of the option to move to the EU partner will be granted a one-time transfer, but he emphasized that the trip is one-way only. Once players migrate over to ProSieben, they cannot revert back to SOE.

"Smedley says that ProSieben offers better customer service and is responsible for the skyrocketing growth of EQII in Europe."

So now that all current players know they have a choice, the question is, why should they consider using ProSieben instead of SOE? In discussing this point, Smedley said that he feels people are not seeing the good that ProSieben is doing and what it can offer. He argued that PSS1 has better customer service in the EU than SOE can provide. He said, "The truth is they have really good European customer service; we don't. We've got a few people who speak different languages, but we've never had the European infrastructure."

He also pointed out that people in the US are not realizing that skyrocketing EverQuest II numbers are due to ProSieben's roll-out of TV commercials for the game. SOE doesn't have the resources in Europe to manage this large influx of players on its own. "SOE simply does not have as many cutomer service agents as Prosieben," he told us.

Another concern on the minds of players revolves around how ProSieben affects Station Access and their ability to make one payment to access SOE's entire library of games. Players who remain as SOE players will have SOE's Station Access, and fortunately, players brought under the PSS1 umbrella will also have the same type of deal. Eventually, ProSieben will have its own version of Station Access and will offer an all-encompassing payment model. So players who want to make the move but do not want to lose Station Access can stay with SOE and wait until ProSieben offers its own version of it and then transfer.

So is there any word yet on when the rest of the games will be making the move? Smedley noted that other launch dates will be announced one by one, but not until the problems associated with transferring are fixed. He also told us that ProSieben is cleaning up the legal wording of its customer service policies.

What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, at least where SOE Live is concerned! Massively sent intrepid reporters MJ Guthrie and Karen Bryan to this year's SOE Live, from which they'll be transmitting all the best fan news on PlanetSide 2, EverQuest II, DC Universe Online, and the other MMOs on SOE's roster.

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