Smedley: We will support EQ and EQII ‘for the very long haul’

“I firmly believe the days of the WoW-style MMO are over,” Daybreak’s John Smedley told GI.biz earlier this week. Apparently that ruffled a few feathers in Norrath, since Smedley felt compelled to clarify the remark on Reddit this afternoon.

“Don’t mistake that comment for me not believing in raiding or knowing that there are a ton of people that play MMOs that still absolutely love to do it! We also plan on continuing to support EQ, and EQ2 for the very long haul and providing exactly the kind of cool content our players have expected. None of that is changing.

However, when we’re choosing what new games to make we’re focused on games with shorter average session lengths. Why? Because that’s the way the gaming world has evolved and we need to adapt.”

[Source: Reddit; thanks Kinya!]
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76 Comments on "Smedley: We will support EQ and EQII ‘for the very long haul’"

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Dargnon
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Dargnon

SOE, or in other words, Smedley’s company, is a brave bunch of inventors. Thait is a fact. They have done things in EQ, SWG or PS that others had hard time copying.

They have shut down a lot of MMOs, because these were not profitable, that is a truth as well.

And if they are going to keep supporting their signature games EQ and EQ2, it is only good both for us and them. You might want to considers playing other their games, look at the track record, but for EverQuest, I think you are safe.

FlyinDutchman
Guest
FlyinDutchman

I think it’s a double edged sword, and a case of people not knowing what they want. 

You have all these GEN 1 MMO players who spent their teens and 20’s staying up all night and putting in 40 hour gaming sessions fueled on caffeine and pizza. What you had for them were WORLDS, games that were hard-core to the max and games you HAD to devote your life to…. and people ate it up. They LOVED it, they spent years on-line meeting and playing with people, meeting life-long friends, and wives, and creating awesome communities that transformed a small hobby into a multi billion dollar industry. 

But now those people don’t have the time to put in they used to. So Dev’s give them chopped up content, low-entry barriers, and steam-lined games so they can fit in some gaming between putting the kids to bed and watching Game of Thrones with the Mrs. 

The problem is WE DON’T WANT those games. We have them, by the bucket-full. We are drowning in crappy lobby based games, that you can hop into for 20 mins, down a boss or two then log-off. It’s seems like it’s exactly what we need and want…. but it’s not, and it never has been.

beardzerker
Guest
beardzerker

Dude. Yeah. That.

Radfist
Guest
Radfist

melissamcdon 
“I’ve read some of the threads about my comments in that interview. I wanted to clarify what I was talking about. I was asked in the interview about what things we’re doing differently for our new games going forward and that’s when I said we’re focused on shorter session times because not many people have the time anymore to spend on a 4 hour raid.
Don’t mistake that comment for me not believing in raiding or knowing that there are a ton of people that play MMOs that still absolutely love to do it! We also plan on continuing to support EQ, and EQ2 for the very long haul and providing exactly the kind of cool content our players have expected. None of that is changing.
However, when we’re choosing what new games to make we’re focused on games with shorter average session lengths. Why? Because that’s the way the gaming world has evolved and we need to adapt. That’s precisely why we aimed so high on Everquest Next. We know we needed to change our aim on these games. We can’t just expect our users to want to grind through an epic 8 hour raid encounter or treat these games like it’s a second job. We need to make sure our games are just as fun in smaller time increments.
That’s the entirety of what I was talking about. It’s not a comment on today’s games. It’s a comment on today’s reality and where we are aiming at least some of our games.
We remain majorly committed to producing great content for our EQ and EQ2 players for a long time to come, and rest assured there is going to be plenty of content for EQN players as well including raids and all the stuff players have come to know and love in these games.
Smed”
He talks a lot about EQN in the full transcript.

Reht
Guest
Reht

beardzerker 
Yes, they have less resources than before, but i stand by my comment in regards to EQ1, i can’t speak to EQ2 since i have barely played it.  Instead of investing time in fixing bugs, new content, etc.  They keep doing things that they feel improve the game that keeps taking them further and further from the game that most of remember and that much fewer of us still play.

Here are a couple of things:

-We get months spent on an advanced looting system (a unnecessary quality of life addition to a 15 year old game) that is so complicated most of the folks in my guild do not use it.  
-They told us that they heard the players when we complained about staggered releases during the Call of Forsaken expansion.  All of a sudden, we are right back to two small expansions twice a year instead of one large one a year.  While it sounds silly, one large expansion a year is more healthy for a large raiding guild than 2 small ones if you only get 3-4 raids per release, that’s not enough content for a full night’s raiding once if farm mode.
-They build Heroic Adventures (random step missions in an instance, similar to LDoNs but more advanced) , while a good idea, most of them sucked and were either not fun and/or incredibly buggy.
-Fast forward to the next expansion release, they don’t like how people play the same 3-4 Heroic Adventures in constant succession.  So they add 6 hour lock out timers and remove most of the exp from the npcs in the instance and add it to the completion reward.  They also made some changes to exp earned in a couple of previous expansion zones making it terrible for people to level past 100 (new expansion added levels 101-105).  While this isn’t a terrible change at face value, it did make experience so bad for people 101+ that they weren’t leveling with people below 101 in those zones.  They have since reverted or reduced the penalties, but this is the first time that they have tried to actively force people to level in new content.
-We were promised a bigger expansion by smed and got a crappy 8 zone, 7 raid full expansion.  Now they have less resources but claim they are going to give us almost the same amount of content as a full expansion but split into two.   This is smart on their part since they probably had some zones that weren’t ready or pulled from the previous expansion in advance of the sale of SOE (that didn’t happen overnight).

I can keep going, but i am hoping you get the gist.

carsont
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carsont

aelious Whew!

carsont
Guest
carsont

JohnD212 Ugh I hope not!

beardzerker
Guest
beardzerker

Reht beardzerker Kageokami, oTQ I agree with you partially. I played EQ when it first came out (holy crap that makes me feel old) and EQ2 has earned my-favorite-game-of-all-time crown, however I haven’t even purchased Altar of Malice and have zero interest in buying the Rum Cellar. It bums me out, but having read what players are saying and what the official website says, it just doesn’t seem like a quality purchase. There are SO many great games out now, and when you compare them, just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. 

I don’t think they are out of touch, I just think they are trying what they can with a small amount of resources to keep existing players fed with new stuff. There is only so much you can do with an old horse.

carsont
Guest
carsont

melissamcdon I wondered the same thing. I hope it’s still on the table, but there’s so much talk of Landmark (zero interest), and news of EQN is so scarce..

carsont
Guest
carsont

jackofrost Too true. I play in smaller sessions now because I’m older, have other priorities etc. But the thing is… why are NEW players also playing in smaller sessions (assuming that’s true if the average has dropped).

You would think that if new players came in to replace the old, their long sessions would continue as the old ones erm… died out (let’s say died down!). But that doesn’t sound like it’s the case… either there aren’t enough new players to replace the old ones that are either leaving or playing less (entirely possible), or they are playing for shorter times and if so, why?

Maybe it’s because there’s so much more variety. Instead of playing the single MMO that’s out there for 21 hours a week, they are play 3 for 7 or 7 for 3 or whatever…

Total time is the same, it’s just spread out more.

carsont
Guest
carsont

Kageokami, oTQ Do we really need to do the whole “Micro$oft” / “$oE” / “$Medley” thing, it’s really $hallow, old and, quite frankly, $uck$.

Why don’t you just put forward what your opinion of things are, clearly, and state what you’d like to see differently. As other commenters have stated, they are a for profit company ($hocking I know). 

It should be a surprise to no one that if a game no longer makes money, it will no longer be supported (likely because too few people are playing anyway?!).

So… what do you expect? I’d say do you expect them to be a charity, but even those don’t stay in “business” if they lose money hand over fist.

Smed didn’t specify all the usual caveats about they game would not longer run if the company shut down, became unprofitable, or the world ended. $OE lies!!!! Or maybe he’s just assuming the people reading have reasonable intelligence and understand the basic concepts of how business works.

Wow that $ thing really got to me! Ok, rant off! :)

Reht
Guest
Reht

beardzerker Kageokami, oTQ
If they keep putting out the quantity and quality of content we have seen over the last few expansion cycles in EQ1, they are not going to position themselves to remain profitable for the long haul.  It feels like the dev team and especially Daybreak manager are out of touch with the players.

beardzerker
Guest
beardzerker

Kageokami, oTQ I don’t think you can blame a company for not supporting a product that is not profitable. Part of being a business is you know, making money? Costs money to run games like this, if it doesn’t make enough…makes sense to shut it down and focus on something that does make money.

melissamcdon
Guest
melissamcdon

Was EQ Next mentioned?  Or are we trying to pretend it doesn’t exist now?

Kageokami, oTQ
Guest
Kageokami, oTQ

This is yet another $medly/$oE lie … they will support them IFF they are profitable.  Any other “honeyed words” are an obfuscation at best.

Apollymi
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Apollymi

dirtyklingon Arktouros Faction 3 Are we quoting The Guess Who?  lol

Men_inTightsToo
Guest
Men_inTightsToo

This kind of talk from Smedley about the ‘days of WOW style games being over’, sounds to me like sour grapes from a man who for the last 15 years has seen both EQ and EQ2 fail time and time again to attract players in the  kind of numbers that Blizzard can. He knows the numbers will not impress his new masters and that Everquest Next will be dead on arrival. Maybe its time to change the man at the top from a tired old man who is constantly bitchin’ to one whose ideas are not stuck in the last century.

Apollymi
Guest
Apollymi

wolfyseyes Ok, I’ve obviously missed something juicy.  ;)

But to stay on topic, why does everything have to be an all or nothing?  It’s like that pesky pvp issue.  So DBG isn’t going to make MASSIVE MMOs.  Fine, someone else will.  Maybe not tomorrow but never say never guys.

wolfyseyes
Guest
wolfyseyes

She was rightrously struck down. But if you miss that noise, be sure to post your own.
See what happens.
I dare ya.

pcgneurotic
Guest
pcgneurotic

Jack Pipsam He’s actually quite funny, at least, if you look at his Tweets, he talks about all kinds of crazy shit in a really entertaining way. Sometimes his teenage son hijacks his Twitter and posts crazy shit, then Smed gets back on it and he’s all like the grumpy sit-com dad. But when it comes to the biz, he doesn’t mess around.

pcgneurotic
Guest
pcgneurotic

Brilliant!

jackofrost
Guest
jackofrost

For all his faults, he’s almost certainly right about session lengths.

As people grow up, they have less time for gaming… while at the same time the kids that replace then have way more more options and competing sources of entertainment.

I think the trick is probably figuring out how to make challenging content that isn’t simply long. At lot of times (for reasons I can’t really understand) people substitute arduous (or just straight up grinding) as an equivalent to challenging.

Because realistically… you give a person the same reward after 30 minutes that s/he can get after 120 minutes… which choice do you think that person will pick, if they aren’t already invested into a specific game?

haggus71
Guest
haggus71

It’s one of the things I like in GW2.  The dynamic event chains don’t last more than a half hour or so.  You can get 5 world boss chains done in two hours.  Most of the people playing MMOs today just don’t have the time, most days, to put into playing for 4-5 hours at a stretch.  To those trying to say it’s the short attention span, or that it’s a mobile gaming thing, wrong.  It’s called being in your 30’s and 40’s, the average population of players, now.  We have jobs, families,and friends outside of the game.  It’s a recreation; but it’s not the obsession that demands our every waking moment to grind out raids and quests for rewards and titles.  Games still offer that for those who have the time; but they are designed for the casual player, who likes a good window of immersion and community in-game, while being able to walk away after an hour or two and continue with their lives.

Rozyn
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Rozyn

Faction 3 I’m pretty sure we could improvise. Evil companies are evil, they always fail us, everything is awful. :p

Jack Pipsam
Guest
Jack Pipsam

Didn’t he say the same thing about Vanguard: Saga of Heroes when that went F2P?
Oh and the original Planetside, let’s not forget that it isn’t listed on their website nor is there any forums for it anymore since the move to Daybreak.
Not to mention the how H1Z1 being made “for SWG players”.
This man is impossible to take seriously.
At least Peter Molyneux has an honest schoolboy charm to him, Smed is just cold.

Arktouros
Guest
Arktouros

Faction 3 She gone.

NoYou
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NoYou

Saltypoison Estranged I would too if it didn’t regularly involve so much backpedaling.

Alyndale
Guest
Alyndale

It is quite clear to me that Smed does this all too often. Seems to me he’s in need of attention, but he’s going about this the wrong way. If I’m not mistaken he has had to walk back several of his “illuminating” statements these past several months. His over-exuberance is and has been a problem for the company for a long time now. 

I’m not sure how I’m feeling about Daybreak right now. I’m am not feeling all too positive about EQ: Next especially when the CEO feels that the old style big budget mmo’s are not going to be a part of our future…so he prophesies..

<sighs> and <shakes head>

Zariarn
Guest
Zariarn

Graphics engine overhaul for both games!  Nothing extravagant like EQ Next.  Just something 2007 or better.

/wakes up from pipe dream

Radfist
Guest
Radfist

Honestly they could put both EQ and EQ2 on life support, leaving a few servers on various fan favourite expansions (EQ1 – Vanilla or Velious, EQ2 –  Vanilla, EoF, RoK or TSO) and they would continue to be profitable.

Since they own the IP there is no reason to shut them down.

Faction 3
Guest
Faction 3

Would love to know Golden Girl’s opinion on this.

GG!! Where for art thou?!

Haven’t seen that broad around, lately.

Radfist
Guest
Radfist

HenrikBoriths  Yep, the latter seems to be the way everyone is heading, and I personally hate it.

Elikal Ialborcales
Guest
Elikal Ialborcales

All this talk of today’s people short atten… OH MY GOD LOOK AT THIS EBAY AD ON TOP!

Elikal Ialborcales
Guest
Elikal Ialborcales

Akami Sigh, you and me. :(

Akami
Guest
Akami

“However, when we’re choosing what new games to make we’re focused on games with shorter average session lengths. Why? Because that’s the way the gaming world has evolved and we need to adapt.”

I guess I need to stop gaming then.  I must be a dinosaur.

JohnD212
Guest
JohnD212

Bleh… shorter meaning mobile. Bleh bleh bleh.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

omedon666 “apparently is” or “apparently was”>

This is the internet so someone is always going to complain. But there was not as much EQN info, well before DBG, as I was expecting.  And I can’t guess whether EQN isin the natural evolution of getting a game out or if they are making significant changes.

MesaSage
Guest
MesaSage

Yeah, focus on short attention span!  Oh, look, shiny!

jeremy2020
Guest
jeremy2020

Does “Long Haul” include a maintenance mode with few content updates, but them taking money?

omedon666
Guest
omedon666

Actually, I should add to my above thought that one of the few game types that potentially should still be allowed to push the session length is the sandbox that EQN is apparently slated to be.
That he’s saying this with EQN still on the burner is… Interesting.

MesaSage
Guest
MesaSage

Fearum  Thanks for making me spray my screen with beer.

HenrikBoriths
Guest
HenrikBoriths

I wanna play for 45 min and be totally BIS geared, maybe I should send Mr. Smedley and email. Then he can get my sub money again in 6 months when the next 45 minute content has been released.

omedon666
Guest
omedon666

“…we’re focused on games with shorter average session lengths. Why? Because that’s the way the gaming world has evolved…”
Smartest thing I’ve ever heard out of this guy. The only way I’m playing a session that I can’t potentially drop at a moment’s notice, because life, is if it’s a scheduled function with a few close friends, which my sporadic D&D campaign tells me simply cannot be a regular occurrence now that we’re “all growed up.”
This is why I like RIFT’s instant adventures (when they’re working properly, which sadly isn’t currently, given their ongoing revamp), it’s all the fun of larger group content with none of the “srs” commitment which games can’t really demand of us in this day and age.

Mezla
Guest
Mezla

Hmm…maybe i’ll change my tune about Daybreak.

Arktouros
Guest
Arktouros

Last I played in WOW even they got rid of the super long 4-8 hour long raids.  An Ahn’Qiraj raid spanning across a week was awful.  Last one I did back in Cataclysm was a few trash here and there, but mostly it was boss, trash pack, boss, trash pack, etc.  What he’s saying isn’t unreasonable.

Saltypoison
Guest
Saltypoison

Estranged I don’t know, I’d rather hear it straight from the man, warts and all.  All PR people seem to be able to do is give neutered, watered down non-answers to everything.

Caec
Guest
Caec

RicharddeLeonIII I suppose, to each their own. The things I truly enjoy in life are generally not the types of things I dabble in in any real semblance of variety (close relationships, etc).

syberghost
Guest
syberghost

BalsBigBrother here’s an interview that says more about why they had to do that. Basically, they’re required to be profitable now, and that was the only way to do it.

http://www.polygon.com/features/2015/4/28/8503731/daybreak-games-sony-online-entertainment-history-future

They intend to hire back as many as they can, as they expand. Those folks will get called first.

RicharddeLeonIII
Guest
RicharddeLeonIII

Its not just youths, i prefer to game jump because it keeps me from burning out on the genre. I havent been a youth for 30 yrs. Variety is the spice of life.

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