ZAM sits down with John Smedley to talk about PlanetSide 2, EQ and the future.
With the concept of putting power into the players’ hands lying at the core of EQ Next, I asked if that was what brought about the Player Studio, with players being able to make their own items… “Not just items,” John interjected with a knowing smile on his face.
“And…” I led hopefully...
“And…is what I’ll say, there’s a whole lot more.”
“You’re such a tease”
“Yeah, I’ve been told that before.”
Getting back to the topic of the origin of Player Studio, Smedley confirmed “It came from EQ Next, it also came from Steam. Watching what the players have made in that, I think Valve has done a great job in being very up front and saying “The players are making cooler stuff than we are.” I think the same thing is going to happen in EverQuest and EverQuest II, we’re not just giving them furniture and armor and swords, we’re going to open that way up. It’s going to take a mind shift not just from the players but also of our teams, they need to say “That guy made a better sword than I did, that’s cool! Let’s help the players out, let’s help them get into the game.” It’s their game too and that’s how we have to look at it.”
It has been a time of transition across SOE’s line up of games over the past year, what with the advent of free to play across the board on top of the usual regularity of new content. Yet after speaking to John Smedley, I was left in no doubt that true change for SOE and perhaps the whole industry lies just ahead.