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Smedley: MMOs are stuck in an EQ-inspired rut, 'nothing more than a movie set'

Jef Reahard

John Smedley's MMO revival tour continues, with the latest stop being an interview at Polygon. The SOE CEO lends some context to impressive numbers recently released by the firm touting the success of its new business model intiative, and he also evangelized about the future of the company and EverQuest Next.

Since switching to F2P across its extensive MMO portfolio, SOE has seen DC Universe's daily revenue increase by 700%, EverQuest II's registration numbers triple, and EverQuest's registration numbers tick up by 350%. Oh, and PlanetSide 2? It's seen 1.6 million players registered thus far, 250,000 of whom log in daily. "Free-to-play is just too good of an idea," Smedley says. "The idea is just so simple. It democratizes and capitalizes, makes true capitalism out of the MMO gaming space."

He goes on to say that the MMO industry is stuck in a rut that SOE helped create via design choices made in the original EQ. "We need to change the way we do this," Smedley says. "We're building a sandbox and giving players the tools to help shape the world that they're in. That's the direction we're going in with EverQuest Next; trying to make a world that players create while being in a living, breathing world around them. It's not just a prop for them to walk around in, which is really what all of today's MMOs are. Their worlds are nothing more than a movie set."

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