SOE: All future MMOGs console-bound

President of Sony's online arm affirms that company is done with PC exclusivity; hints at new EverQuest.

It didn't require a great mind to realize that Sony Online Entertainment would be taking a stronger look at the console space after being subsumed by its Sony Computer Entertainment contemporary. After all, to this point, Sony's massively multiplayer online arm has by and large been a purveyor of games for Microsoft's Windows platform, having handled only a handful of downloadable games for the PlayStation 3.

However, SOE's presence on the PS3 is in for a radical change. Speaking to MTV's Multiplayer gaming blog, SOE president John Smedley answered in the affirmative as to whether all of the game maker's future MMOGs would appear on consoles. According to Smedley, SOE anticipates that the returns will outweigh the costs of bringing MMOGs to consoles, thanks to a previous emphasis on developing a cross-platform engine capable of running on PCs and consoles.

"For us, the opportunity that we see on the PS3, and potentially the PSP, is something that we can't pass up on," said Smedley. "I would say that we would be one of the early adopters on [bringing MMOs to consoles], and we plan on becoming one of the dominant players in the MMO space on consoles. We see that marketing coming; we think it's there now, so we want to get a good market share there."

Aside from expansions for its currently running MMOGs such as EverQuest, EverQuest 2, Star Wars Galaxies, and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, the online-game maker has a number of upcoming, announced projects in the pipe. These include DC Universe Online, The Agency, and Free Realms, all of which have been announced for both the PC and PS3. SOE has also announced a collaboration with Virgin Comics on a MMOG adaptation of Ramayan 3392 A.D.

As part of MTV's interview, Smedley also hinted that the developer is working on a new installment in its flagship EverQuest franchise. "It's pretty safe to say that EverQuest has not seen its last game," teased Smedley. "So we've got our own cards to play there, and I think we will play them at the right time. But the quality level will be something that people will be very happy with."

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174 comments
SS_Lord
SS_Lord

This whole "no more PC exclusivity for MMOs" can be troublesome. Unlike consoles, PCs evolve over time (improved processors, RAM, graphics cards, etc), and that is something developers of MMOs have classically taken advantage of. EverQuest, EverQuest 2, World of Warcraft (and others) have been around for several years, and they have evolved as well. EQ1 now has changed monstrously if compared to the "classic release", for example. Consoles are easier to develop, being a static platform, but it has many drawbacks that limit improvement of long-standing games. Final Fantasy XI is, to this day, constrained to the limitations of a PS2 console: textures, models, effects, everything is almost the same as it was on release...

Psychokillaz
Psychokillaz

Man I can't wait for the EQ on PS3. I really hope they port Frontiers to PS3 from PS2 with an expansion too. I got 21 60's & I'm a mutli boxer that still plays EQOA on PS2. 03-10 & going strong on the CLW server.

Cybertori
Cybertori

A new EverQuest could be awesome. I'd hope they take it back to the era of the original, and make it a true sequel. Basically the same game world, but updated to 2009. All the classic content reworked - no need to re-invent the wheel. Just update the graphics and refine the gameplay, and a whole lotta people would head back to Norrath.

issizots
issizots

all i have to say is that Microsoft are greedy azzholez who only care for themselves. How retarded is it to add-on a blue-ray player when the xbox 360 system is already old enough as to compatibility and quality of "todays graphics chipsets and what they can handle" that they DON'T bring out a new system that CAN compete with the playstation 3. LET ME REPEAT AGAIN, "COMPETE" meaning most of all these games we see on BOTH xbox and PS3 are MADE on the Xbox 360 FIRST-THEN-PORTED to the PS3. Why do you think the ring of death is so high anyway? Why haven't they fixed it or came out with a new system. Well the answer is easy, they don't want to spend any money because it's pure greed. By now everyone who owns a freakin xbox 360 SHOULD already have a blu ray PLAYER period. So being Microsoft is SOOOO late coming out with their petty "add-on" just so they can make a few points go up for their 4th quarter and xmas income balance sheets. I just don't and CAN NOT support a company/console to where their owners are making problems on platforms that are HELPING them, VIA everquest/any other sony mmo on computer supported by MICROSOFT GAMES, all that is making microsoft MILLIONS, sony is getting craped on. Sony really needs to remember all that microsoft is doing to them and paying game makers to "Exclusively" put ALOT of crossbased games for both xbox and ps3 only on the Xbox 360. Then look at GTA IV and the EXCLUSIVE download content for it on xbox 360 which isn't out yet but has been announced since the game came out. I'm just SO enraged with THIS SITE(which if you see the "top 10" are unrespectively Xbox 360 games.... WOW what a monopoly!! Then we have the rest with PC!! oh my god that must be Microsoft again!!! hmmm... How do we fix this problem? Have freakin MICROSOFT to release a freakin new system so we WHO OWN a Highly performanced system don't have to keep getting STUPID PORTED games from the xbox 360 and get the games that the system(s) use from their OWN (unused so far) power. Anyone who is looking foward to Final Fantasy XIII "KNOWS" what's going on and if you DONT here is what's going on... Final fantasy 13 is now going to be released on Xbox 360(wow i wonder what microsoft paid Square Enix for this deal!!!(NOT excited at all...) But as I was saying, The square enix developement team for FF13 have said that the game for PS3 will NOT show off the exclusiveness to power of the ps3 but rather have it balanced to the xbox platform, so basically saying "ANOTHER STUPID PORT from who? The OLLLLD xbox 360!!!" Now Microsoft have seemed to get their hands in a pot of gold with this one but the last I read was microsoft hasn't even SENT the xbox 360 development kit to square to even start it. So what did square do or WHAT ARE they doing? They're making the PS3 Version FIRST =) It's not known if they're going to use the power of the ps3 over the xbox's and let xbox have their own copy made exclusive but neither game will be released for neither system until the xbox's version is DONE. WHAT??? Yes, we'll have to wait who knows how long, and being this is the case for final fantasy 13 now they really should give every ps3 gamer a run for their money "relatively $400 of power that NEEDS to be exposed!" and take note of all greatness to the ps3 and put all that the ps3 can handle in this game. I do have a feeling that square enix might ditch sony because SO MANY people have the crappy xbox that it'll probally land alot more sales than the ps3 where most ppl don't even KNOW how powerful the ps3 is compared to the xbox, just remember fokes all those games compared to each other from xbox/ps3 like for instance: assassin's creed, oh the people who said it looked so good on xbox 360 over the ps3, but.. do you know WHY?? Because it's a FREAKING port from Xbox 360... Meaning it was BUILT around all the aspects and so called greatness of the xbox 360 and did NOT take advantage of the power of the ps3, butit's.... just... a.. port. Ports are made to keep the game makers from having to customely put/format games on each system(PS3/Xbox), that way they don't have to take all that time to make the game exclusive to that system because it would be so called "too time consuming and cost extra money that they HAVE(plenty of) to spend, to give US gamers a better experience to what system we buy, not to make them both ALIKE and then compare graphics/framerate/etc from an xbox 360 homefield advantage ideal from all the games being ported. Porting also helps the "ring of death" not happen as seemingly much as it has in the past. This is why Microsoft is ready and SHOULD already have a release date on a new console, they should already be making it, but... Im not against the xbox 360 because i LOVE ATI graphics and i've supported them from the beginning but the ps3's nvidia chipset is a bit more advanced and obviously better because the ps3 all in all is just built for more hardcore advanced gaming. It also truely upsets me to see all the mmorpg/online co-op action/adventure games on the xbox 360 and i really can't think of one sony has released but helps microsoft with on the pc platform with the huge online gaming community. After reading this article I feel better to know that everquest has hope to actually be on the ps3 aswell!! I am also excited to hear about the switchover mechinism they've came up with for multi-platform-gaming. Pretty nice word eh? I've wrote alot and i'm going to leave the rest to all of you, I know aLOT will be mad thinking the xbox is truely a gaming god system, but take the two systems and run your OWN diagnostics tests in all areas and see which is better and DONT freaking put each system on a different tv NEITHER, that overly effects the performance with the outcome of the score. I remember the assassins creed game was ran on a smaller hdmi/hdcp tv compared to the 38" the ps3 was tested and compared to. Facts tell the truth... Take care fokes.

zomglolcats
zomglolcats

Tandem_Toad Posted Oct 7, 2008 8:20 pm CT "I hope that more gaming companies focus more effort on consoles instead of PC. Cliff Bleszinski said that there's not going to be a GoW2 on the PC ever. They are going to focus on consoles exclusively. I think this is great news. PC's are too expensive if you want a good gaming one ($1000+). Also, they are unreliable and very combersome to get fixed. There are constant compatibility issues because of the tremendous amount of hardware and software variations and operating systems. I wish that consoles would begin to take on more of the functions of the PC." Spoken like a true computer illiterate. You don't need that expensive of a computer unless you absolutely insist on playing everything with maxed settings. Unreliable and cumbersome to get fixed? Learn how to take care of fix your own computer. I've been doing it for years. I hear google is a good tool to find information. Tremendous amount of hardware and software variations? And Operating systems? Pretty much PC gaming means "Windows Gaming". Some games come out for Mac. If you want Linux, well then get used to using Wine to run your games. If anything, there is more potential for greatness on a PC, because the devs don't have to worry about everyone having proprietary hardware that can't be upgraded. They can actually make a game engine built to last years on higher end PC's, but don't have to dumb it down for everybody who have lower end PC's, because they can make the game requirements scale depending on settings. Consoles? You're stuck with the hardware, and has to be designed to work for that hardware and that hardware only.

zomglolcats
zomglolcats

Well EQ and EQ2 are probably the only good MMO's SOE has ever made. I would list SWG, but since SOE completely castrated that game, I won't bother to mention it. The only problem I have with MMO's being console bound is that they would have to dumb down the interace and gameplay aspects to fit with a console and gamepad. Voice chat is fine, but only really works in groups. You still need the trade, world, and city chat. LFG chat, etc. which can't be done via voice chat. Pretty much no way to handle that amount of communication without typing with a keyboard. Imagine a huge voice chatroom with everybody talking at once. Yeah, that doesn't work. Unless they start pushing keyboard and mouse setups on consoles, I can't see any GOOD MMO's being available for consoles.

Silentme
Silentme

I love the prospect of another EQ game. I played each for over three years each at there release. I just hope they keep them platform exclusive servers. I cant see EQ or EQ2 being able to be played at the caliber it is currently without a keyboard and mouse to be able to link spell combos and combat arts together.

blackace
blackace

This will be good if the monthly fees are cheap and Sony doesn't get greedy. EverQuest 2 was actually a decent game, but I just didn't have time to get into it, as I was also playing WoW. If anything, I might go back to GuildWars and play that for FREE. Everyone remembers how FF XI and EverQuest Adventures turned out on the PS2 right? What a mess. I've played both and EQA was crap. FF XI was good up until L35 and then it was a boring grind. God, I hope they aren't making another EQ for the PS3. Make something different and new please. I loved Planetside when it first game out, but it got boring when there was no real reward for capuring towers and bases. Then they patched the game like 3 times and completely destroyed it. They went from about 300K+ players to under 100K in less then 6 months. Fools!! Anyway, I wonder if Huxley will ever get released?

Elhan
Elhan

This is good. I'm not am MMO person, but I'm glad Sony is awakening to the fact that it needs to be more competitive vis-a-vis other consoles, especially wrt exclusives. I might even play some of the free MMOs.

runstalker
runstalker

"BewilderedRonin Posted Oct 8, 2008 8:06 am PT @ Paulf001: If you are playing WoW on private servers then you are missing out on everything that makes WoW great. I don't even like WoW, but playing on private servers is not fun and does not give you a good representation of the game. It's playing with 20+ people instead of 20,000+ people." Not to mention dude, I've read that they use stat and timer cheats on private WoW servers, ruining all the intent and balance of the original game design.

BewilderedRonin
BewilderedRonin

@ Paulf001: If you are playing WoW on private servers then you are missing out on everything that makes WoW great. I don't even like WoW, but playing on private servers is not fun and does not give you a good representation of the game. It's playing with 20+ people instead of 20,000+ people.

BewilderedRonin
BewilderedRonin

With m&kb support for the PS3, MMOs could do very well on the PS3. The 360, on the other hand, doesn't support m&kb and will probably never get any decent MMOs. I wonder about the logistics, as I doubt many PS3 owners, let alone just console owners, are at all interested in MMOs. Still, it's a good idea and maybe a strong console MMO market will emerge sometime in next console generation.

jknight5422
jknight5422

I don't understand why Sorny didn't think of this earlier. EQ is their franchise, you would think they would have built & sold it exclusively to their PS systems from the beginning.

CureForLiving
CureForLiving

Strange that Sony Online hasn't been developing for Sony's consoles sooner.

Tandem_Toad
Tandem_Toad

I hope that more gaming companies focus more effort on consoles instead of PC. Cliff Bleszinski said that there's not going to be a GoW2 on the PC ever. They are going to focus on consoles exclusively. I think this is great news. PC's are too expensive if you want a good gaming one ($1000+). Also, they are unreliable and very combersome to get fixed. There are constant compatibility issues because of the tremendous amount of hardware and software variations and operating systems. I wish that consoles would begin to take on more of the functions of the PC.

ctg867
ctg867

At the moment, the PS3 is lacking in the RPG and MMO space, but the future is looking very bright. This is a sign of things to come. Good news all around.

Canadianjunkie
Canadianjunkie

I think a new Everquest Online Adventures is in the works for the PS3. The original game and the Frontiers expansion did extremely well on the PS2 and players, myself included, have been waiting for an EQOA 2 for years. Even with a $15/month subscription fee, the game is still up and running after 5 years with a hardcore player base. While the number of players has dropped off over the years, as someone who started playing it at release, I'll bet the original EQOA had 300,000+ players in the beginning. This may not seem huge compared to WoW, but I think it's huge for a console exclusive MMO. MMO's aren't only wanted, but can be very profitable on a console. Good move SOE.

lostn
lostn

I hope they do make another EQ. I really love that world. But his quote "It's pretty safe to say that EverQuest has not seen its last game," could just be referring to another expansion pack, or Champions of Norrath type spin off.

hashmanalum
hashmanalum

MMOGs are nice but only for those with time AND patience... Unfortunately I don't have the time part =/

TehPickle
TehPickle

MMORPG's are all very and good (and I'm quite excited at the prospect to be honest, if they can pull it off that is) At this point however ANY kind of RPG for PS3 would be nice!!!

BigDaddy973
BigDaddy973

We need MMOG to come to the console!!! And we need that ASAP!

dohboy
dohboy

Smedley is a dishonest, clueless ass. Always has been, always will be.

JunoFallon
JunoFallon

Emraldo, the difference between console gamers and PC gamers is that if SoE messes with the formula too much console gamers will flat out just STOP playing. No second chances, no revamps, no apologies. They'll flat out leave. The average console gamer isn't known for their titanic level of patience. PC gamers are used to dealing with all of the small idiosyncrasies that come with PC gaming. Console gamers are more of an "I want it now" crowd.

Emraldo
Emraldo

And now a whole new type of gamer can experience the frustration that is yours with the purchase of a SOE MMO

dmish82
dmish82

Man, Sony isn't just trying to get a leg-up on MS, they're going for PC users too.

azimbkhan
azimbkhan

Sameo... read the article title. THey aren't going Console Exclusive, they are introducing console gaming WITH PC. YOu'll still have the option

toyota23
toyota23

Looking forward to star wars:)))

Autolycus
Autolycus

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Lionhart_basic
Lionhart_basic

I hope they offer a yearly subscription as oppose to just monthly at around $50 a year. Otherwise I don't see them succeeding on consoles.

espndave
espndave

So, is he really hinting at a new EQ or is he just talking about thousands of expansions? Sounds cool either way for the PS3 gaining more online power.

Sameo
Sameo

Consoles only is stupid to me, but smart for the company and the games might not be bad anyway.... but an EQ3 kind of concerns me. After how hardcore and awesome EQ was back from 1999 - 2001... everything's gotten so damn easy. That goes for all mmorpg's in general though... we've scaled down so far that quest locations are on maps. really, all a player does in an mmo now is tap 1 - 0 900 000 times and then quits pissed off. If EQ3 is an AOC + WAR i think we will see the most generic mmorpg of all time, which is a really bad thing for a series that started off so tough and rewarding.

Diernes
Diernes

Yeah, Paul00f1, but thats because its possible to do that with blizzards game. Some thing like everquest 2 would be a technical nightmare to try and pull off because each game instance runs on not one but many,many servers. The arcitecture is completely different because of the heavy system reqirements of that game SOE needs to realise for their next big hit all they need to do, is retool the original everquest with a new graphics engine. they dropped the ball with EQ2 by trying to compete with wow. Leave the casual, MMO to blizzard sony and give us the next hardcore MMO.

billyjunxix
billyjunxix

I dont like online games. Single player campaign game is still what excites me.

jogunther
jogunther

I dont think that the controls will be a problem. Thats what for the usb ports are for. But that is good news for PS3 gamers that like RPG's.

jeffcenate
jeffcenate

as a long long time ex-player of Ever Quest ill just say that id hate to try and play that game or any game LIKE it on a consol. just from a controll aspect that is. i musta have had atleast 30 hotkeys i used all the time, i cant imagin fumbling around with a controller in place of just pusing a key. plus who wants consol tards infesting our MMOs anyhow? :)

Paulf001
Paulf001

Pirating an MMO is not impossible. For example you can download the WoW client from Blizzard then use it to only play on private servers, thus paying Blizzard 0 money.

dwightlightning
dwightlightning

Yay! I don't mind a good MMO! And now i can get it on my console of choice.

baal46
baal46

Hey, people blaming piracy: Pirating an MMO is impossible. Duh. Blizzard sure is hurting, right?

GranReyUno
GranReyUno

This should turn out well if SOE do this right. There are a lot of ppl out there that are dying to play a MMO on a console and sadly I am one of them.

kayn83
kayn83

NCsoft isn't SOE therefore Guild Wars 2 on PS3 is still a pipe dream. Nevertheless, the exclusive deal NCsoft made with PS3 still hasn't come up much yet, who knows what will happen.

JangoWuzHere
JangoWuzHere

like anyone cares SOE's MMOs are not good at all.

Richard7666
Richard7666

This is good news, though I imagine servers won't be cross platform for the obvious fact that PC players would be practically invincable because of superior control/interface systems (kinda hard to do the whole hotkey thing on a console)

MatzeEdend
MatzeEdend

I don't see what the point is... all any of these companies are accomplishing is giving consoles what PCs have had for years... What is a 360 with a keyboard but a PC with less functionality. PCs will always be the superior game system since you can upgrade them without having to wait 4 or 5 years for someone to develop a new console, and then dish out an obscene amount of money for something that by its very concept be obsolete by the time it reaches the market?

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

Maybe this means Guild Wars 2 on PS3. NCSoft wants to use the PS3, what better game than the sequel of their most successful one?

GGGtaManiac
GGGtaManiac

Obviously a move made because of Blizzard. They can't touch PC MMO gaming and they know it.