As the former lead of EverQuest II, SOE and Trion Worlds’ Scott Hartsman knows a thing or two about working on an MMO sequel. Over the weekend, Hartsman wrote about the drawbacks of creating sequels to established online games and the tricky nature of trying to keep both the original and follow-up running.
“Keeping both an original persistent game and its sequel running in parallel has a real risk of potentially splitting the audience in half, breaking up friend groups, and leaving someone disappointed while almost certainly close to doubling the cost of keeping both games active and the content flowing at the rate and quality players deserve,” Hartsman said.
Looking at Overwatch 2 and Path of Exile 2, he posited that “the idea of taking one game away while only providing the sequel always felt even riskier.” Hartsman said that the Overwatch 2 switch could’ve worked if Blizzard had overcome the “significant hurdle” of player expectations… but it didn’t. As for Path of Exile 2, he said that the announcement that the studio is making a full-blown sequel is the “right call” for the type of game that it is.
“Having two games simply gives them another touch point for people who really enjoy the franchise. The hardcore can play through both,” he said.