Perfect Ten: EverQuest’s EverExpanding franchise

When Daybreak announced last year that it was cancelling the highly anticipated EverQuest Next project, the series’ forward momentum lurched to a halt. This wasn’t helped by other EverQuest entities that have been retired over the past few years, leaving only the two aging flagship MMOs to carry on the legacy of the franchise.

For franchise it is. It might be fuzzy in people’s memories (or simply absent from them), but there was an era where EverQuest was the MMORPG at the top of everything, and Sony Online Entertainment wasted no time in capitalizing on its popularity. Spin-offs, sequels, and alternative versions spawned into being, creating a library of EverQuest games.

In fact, there are more than enough to fill up a full list of 10 titles — and then some! So today let’s look at some of the lesser-known entries in EverQuest’s ever-expanding franchise and muse about what might come to this series in the future.

1. EverQuest Mac

In 2003, SOE attempted to forge a path into Apple’s community with the release of EverQuest Macintosh Edition (or simply, EQMac). This version of the MMO was isolated on its own special server and contained the first four expansions. When it didn’t get any further expansions or updates but continued to run, EQMac turned into an unofficial “Classic EverQuest” server that offered players a way to return back to the old days. With only a few hundred players left, the server was closed in 2013.

2. EverQuest Online Adventures

Ahead of its time, EverQuest Online Adventures became one of the first MMORPGs to venture onto consoles (in this case, the PlayStation 2). The MMO was a prequel that featured a somewhat simpler, streamlined version of the core EverQuest game using a mandatory hard drive and optional keyboard attachment. The spin-off ran from 2003 to 2012 before being closed down.

3. The Pocket PC games

The popularity of EverQuest as not just an MMO but as a recognizable, marketable franchise led to the creation of many offline games. One of the first was a series of solo titles for Pocket PCs back in the early 2000s. These included games such as Hero’s Call, Hero’s Call 2, and War on Faydwer, all released between 2003 and 2004. These actually got good reviews, thanks to many hours’ worth of content and dungeon delving offered.

4. Lords of EverQuest

Taking EverQuest offline and retaining the name and IP alone wasn’t a guarantee of any sort for success. SOE hired Red Eye Games to create a real-time strategy (RTS) version of EQ, publishing Lords of EverQuest in 2003. It wasn’t particularly exciting, and without any sort of multiplayer, it quickly found itself relegated to the bargain bins in stores.

5. Champions of Norrath

Faring better was this 2004 PlayStation 2 entry, which took the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance hack-and-slash engine and reworked it for Norrath. Featuring five set classes and the option to hook up with a handful of other friends online, Champions of Norrath performed decently and kept the franchise flag flying high.

6. Champions: Return to Arms

Champions of Norrath’s modest success led to a PS2 sequel called Return to Arms, which came out in 2005 and was developed by the same studio (Snowblind Games). There were more classes this time around (seven) and a new arena mode for solo and multiplayer battling.

7. EverQuest II East

Another attempt to grow the franchise and potentially send it to Asian countries resulted in a special version of EverQuest II informally called EverQuest II East that was operated with the help of Gamania. In addition to specific localization, EQ2 East featured a few exclusive quests, a “click to move” control scheme, and new “SOGA” head models that were larger to appeal to eastern players. EQ2 East bombed in China, Taiwan, and Korea, lasting only from 2005 to 2006. In an interesting post-script, the SOGA models did make their way into the western EverQuest II as a graphic option.

8. EverQuest Role-Playing Game

There were several non-video game EverQuest projects, but perhaps the most intriguing is the 2002 pen-and-paper role-playing game that attempted to translate the world of an MMORPG into the language of Dungeons and Dragons. The player handbook and game itself received high marks from those who were willing to give it a try, although it didn’t gain much traction following its initial debut. You can still pick up used copies of it if so inclined.

9. Legends of Norrath

SOE was pretty heavily into virtual card games for a while there, with Star Wars Galaxies boasting its own game and EverQuest another with Legends of Norrath. Legends allowed players to collect cards and build decks to play online, similar to Magic: The Gathering. In an interesting twist, there was a lot of integration with both EverQuest MMOs, offering rewards that ran both ways. The game ran from 2007 to 2016, at which time it became part of the EQ massacre that was happening in the company.

10. EverQuest Worlds

Hey yeah! Remember that? The mobile app that was supposed to let players earn all sorts of in-game rewards and lead up to EverQuest Next? And was pretty annoying to use? And ended up getting canned last year too? Good times, that. Good times.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

18 Comments on "Perfect Ten: EverQuest’s EverExpanding franchise"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
Reader
Patreon Donor
Suikoden

I had no idea EQOA lasted all the way to 2012. Also totally forgot about Champions of Norrath. Thanks for the memories.

Reader
Robbie Hastings

Minor correction: EverQuest Online Adventures did not require a hard drive like FFXI.

MJ Guthrie
Staff
MJ Guthrie

I have some of the RP books on my shelf now, a recent gift from a friend =D

Reader
Barantor

I’ve got them all and all the adventure expansions like Befallen.

It’s an ok system and as an avid D&D DM it was a neat diversion in it’s day. Nowadays it is woefully complex and ‘old school’ compared to 5th edition.

Reader
Bryan Turner

Don’t forget about the last Everquest Venture to not make it to viability Everquest The Search For More Money!

IMG_1173.JPG
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
squidgod2000

Didn’t DBG announce plans for two or three new games based on the EQ franchise back around the time they took over?

Reader
Wanda Clamshuckr

I loved EQ and EQ2 in the day, with over a decade spent playing the latter on a regular basis.

Sadly, I think

EverQuest’s ever-expanding franchise

..is just the opposite now. DBG is working to try to retain the old players, but new blood is rarer than hen’s teeth. I simply do not see any further expansion of the franchise given the current state of the team and the population.

I think the EQ design can be closely seen in Pantheon, which is the nearest we’ll see to a continuation-in-spirit in a long while, if ever. DBG seems to have come full stop insofar as an EQ3 or the like. It’s up to other studios to pick that torch up, or simply let it go out.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Bhima Jenkins

I don’t think DBG have it in them (likely not the talent/manpower) to make a full-fledged, modern AAA MMO and I don’t blame them. Its a huge risk, and requires a level of capital investment that would have any producer that isn’t named EA, Blizzard, etc. keep their wallet firmly in their pocket.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

I wish someone would crowdfund this into a new reality. If Star Citizen can gather a bazillion dollars you’d think the promise of a new EverQuest game could at least earn enough to make it a reality.
Hell, I would gladly take Landmark as it existed and add races, quests, an avatar builder, and call it EQN. There was much good in that foundation that it seems ridiculous to just leave on the floor.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

Well…if you look at Daybreak’s careers page, they do appear to be hiring for an unnamed project.

Maybe they are giving EQ3 another go?

ihatevnecks
Reader
ihatevnecks

I’d be shocked if they were really going for it. H1Z1 was a total disaster beyond the basic BR mode, and that took pretty much no effort from them. Even that’s dying a not-so-slow death after the release of PUBG. Last I’ve seen the real version of the game’s gone absolutely nowhere, even after the split.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
kanbe

Champions of Norrath took up many many many hours of my earlier years. Friends and I played it so much we new where the treasure chests were by heart.

Lords of Everquest on the other hand i had the displeasure of actually buying before it hot the bargin bins.

Reader
Chris Losen

EverQuest Online Adventures did not require a harddrive – only the modem. I never had a ps2 harddrive but played alot of EOA

FFXI did require a harddrive though.

Reader
Rheem Octuris

Legends of Norrath was pretty good, it had a lot of things in common with Hearthstone, it just didn’t have the same kind of audience potential. I think the main problem was it was advertised inwardly and not outwardly.

Minimalistway
Reader
Minimalistway

Offline games, the idea i wish some MMO developers do it, but i guess developing video games is an investment, no point of making them if they will not make profit for the company, still .. i won’t play many MMO but i’m willing to play an offline version of them.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

Many of them are practically that anyways.

You either don’t need or cannot get a group together so you solo the content or avoid it if possible.

Map and group chat is often so toxic most people just turn it off.

The ultimate downfall of the MMO will be other people.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Jack Pipsam

I always wished I could have tried EverQuest Online Adventures, but I never had the chance or really even really the ability to do so, but it always looked interesting.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

Played the hell out of Champions of Norrath but Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance had Alyth Elendara at the Elfsong Tavern so spent more time on that.

She was very…animated.

alyth.png
wpDiscuz