John Smedley's got a new blog, and he's kicked it off with an explanation of SOE's decision to make sandbox MMOs going forward. If you're already a sandbox fan, much of what he says is restating the obvious, from the belief that content-driven themepark models are unsustainable to the notion that MMOs should be showcasing player-generated content tools like Star Wars Galaxies' storytelling suite or Lord of the Rings Online's music system.
Even if you're not a sandbox fan, it's still worth a read if only to understand why the company that created the ultimate grindpark is turning its back on content treadmills in favor of emergent, player-driven worlds.
"We're going to take the idea of sandbox gaming and we're putting it at the core of everything we're doing," Smedley says. "We'll obviously still be making awesome stuff for players to do, but we're going to aim very high in terms of letting players be a part of the game systems. The more emergent sandbox style content we can make the less predictable the experience will be."