SOE president talks PlanetSide Next

John Smedley indicates new installment in long-running MMOFPS will feature "massive battles on a scale no other FPS will touch."

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Sony Online Entertainment has yet to formally announce a new installment in its massively multiplayer first-person shooter franchise PlanetSide, but the company has recently made strong overtures toward its existence. In late September, the company solicited input from all past and present PlanetSide gamers, saying in an e-mail reposted by PlanetSide Universe, "We plan to expand the PlanetSide universe with another game and we need your help with the design."

Imagine EverQuest, but with bullets.
Imagine EverQuest, but with bullets.

As part of a recent post to his personal blog, SOE president John Smedley addressed the prospects of a new installment in the franchise, one he dubbed PlanetSide Next.

"To me, PlanetSide Next means we get a chance to take the essence of everything that was fun in PlanetSide and make it a lot better," he wrote. "Massive battles on a scale no other FPS will touch. None of this 64 player stuff. REALLY MASSIVE. With much better organization and a tight focus on making sure the action is always going on, with awesome graphics." (Emphasis in original.)

Smedley's comments come as Sony and SOCOM: Navy Seals creators Zipper Interactive prep their own massive-scale first-person shooter, MAG. Short for Massive Action Game, the PlayStation 3-exclusive FPS promises online battles of 256 players, with combatants on each side filling different ranks and roles. MAG will be available for the PS3 on January 26.

Launched to positive reviews in 2003, PlanetSide gained notoriety as one of the first truly massive first-person shooters. The game accommodates hundreds of players in a single online battle, and it also supports both infantry and vehicular combat. For more on the original PlanetSide, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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