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SOE Live 2013: SOE and Wikia unveil The Lab and new EQ Next site

Karen Bryan

If there's one thing we learned about EverQuest Next over the weekend, it's that we all have a zillion questions and are eager for more information. Thankfully, Wikia is prepared to help fill that void with the official arrival of the Wikia Lab, a community-driven project that allows fans to access a growing repository of information.

Wikia sites have been a valuable resource across many of SOE's titles, and this weekend saw the arrival of a brand new EverQuest Next Wikia site. Read on for a closer look at the Wikia Lab, and an update on what they've already put together this weekend at SOE Live to help fans get the answers they seek!

Since its launch in 2006, Wikia has been a growing presence in the video game and entertainment industry, and now attracts over 70 million visitors each month. Last year, SOE announced an official partnership with Wikia that covers the SOE lineup of MMO titles. They also launched the official Planetside 2 Wiki, which offered unique and exclusive content and a direct line of communication between SOE and the Wikia community. As Laura Naviaux, SOE Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing said:

At SOE, we're always looking for ways to empower our players and deliver new opportunities that allow them to engage with our games and each other in a meaningful way. As the first game company to partner with Wikia to create a Wikia Official Community, we believe in supporting player communities and see community collaboration as a key pillar in how we're moving forward as a company. Wikia joined us at this year's SOE Live event with the debut of The Lab so our players were the first to learn how to best take advantage of the Wikia platform and player community.
At this weekend's SOE Live, the EverQuest Next Wikia Lab opened its doors right after the official game reveal, and Wikia Stars rolled up their sleeves and got to work adding news stubs, screen shots, and lots of information on EQ Next.

Who are the Wikia Stars? They're a select group of individuals from around the world who have shown leadership and stood out in their communities. The Wikia Stars program started in 2012, and has grown so rapidly that they expect it will grow to over 100 contributers by the end of the year. Wikia Stars will build content on the site throughout a game's development process, and build a foundation that will make it easy for fans to add content as the game goes from beta through launch and beyond. The Wikia Stars working on EQ Next will receive exclusive assets, information, and talent provided by SOE to build a central hub of game information for fans. Jennifer Betka, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Wikia, said, "our Wikia Stars are among the foremost experts in movies, TV, gaming, and fan culture. They are uniquely positioned to help studios and publishers create next generation content and gameplay."

SOE Live 2013  SOE and Wikia unveil The Lab and new EQ Next site
So what has the Wikia community been up to this past SOE Live? Just one day after the EQ Next reveal, they had already accomplished the following:
  • The EverQuest Next wikia has 50 pages of content (and it's growing rapidly) and 29 individual contributors; 303 edits and 46 photos on day one alone
  • The EverQuest Next, the EverQuest Landmark, and the EverQuest Portal (the front door to EverQuest Official Communities) wikias launched on Friday, timed with the announcement of the games
  • Their two Wikia Stars have been on-hand to help users navigate the communities if they are not familiar
  • They have 11 Official Communities in partnership with SOE, including the three that just launched
During the convention, we were on-hand to see the Wikia Lab in action, and there were many fans who stopped by to upload screenshots, contribute write-ups, and add lots of news content on the game's reveal and EQ Next panels. Wikia Stars Daniel Salciccioli, from the Call of Duty wikia, and Kenneth Cummings, from the Brutal Legend wikia were on hand to share tips and techniques for using Wikia and its publishing tools to build the ultimate EverQuest Next resource.

Players in current SOE games are probably already familiar with Wikia; in EverQuest II, the site was so helpful and thorough that fans created mods that allowed players to access the site right in game. And the Planetside 2 wikia has seen amazing growth since its official launch last year.

The site already has links to screenshots, a recap of official news, and links to more specific information like game mechanics, races, classes, and the round table. It also links to a site focused on EverQuest Next Landmark, and of course, the other two titles in the franchise: EverQuest and EverQuest II. Along with that, there are several videos already uploaded, community polls on EQ Next, and lots more! Based on the initial progress of the site in just a few short days, we should expect to see lots more on EQ Next from the Wikia Lab as we get closer to launch!

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 EverQuest Next, EverQuest II, DC Universe Online, and the other MMOs on SOE's roster.

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