“The irony is that when we were designing EQ we were hoping and praying that most people would play at least 2-4 months,” he reminisces. “No expansions were planned; instead [EverQuest II] began to be designed as a true sequel because we assumed people would get sick of EQ1 after a few months, no matter how good the game was.”
While McQuaid assures fans that discussion about sunsetting Pantheon — which hasn’t even released yet — is “about a far away from setting something in stone as anything [he’s] ever said,” he does say that he would try to keep Pantheon running as long as possible and maybe even hand it over to the players.
“[I]f one had an MMO that was simply too old, with not enough people playing to make it financially viable, my guess is that it could still be left online because the operation costs are now so low. I think it’s safe to assume that running and paying for the bandwidth costs of a ‘sunsetted’ MMO would nowadays (and in the future even more so) be pretty trivial. So while you probably can’t blame a company for shutting down an MMO in the past, I don’t see that, going forward, there truly is any reason to do so… it would have to be marketing related.”