Sony Online Entertainment closing MMOs, teasing new ones

Confirms EverQuest Next for PS4, considers taking on Hearthstone.

Sony Online Entertainment has spouted a fountain of news. First and foremost, it's closing a quartet of old MMOs: Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Wizardry Online, Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures.

Not enough people play to justify the upkeep, broadly speaking. Apparently Vanguard had been running at a loss for "a long time" but SOE didn't have the heart to tell players. That's what company president John Smedley told people on Reddit (via VG247).

He also said SOE was done with child-focused games like Free Realms. "No more kids games," he stated. "Kids don't spend well and it's very difficult to run a kids game. Turns out kids do mean stuff to each other a lot."

Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures close first at the end of March, and Vanguard and Wizardry close at the end of July.

Then Smedley confirmed finally that, "Yes, we will absolutely be bringing EverQuest Next to the Playstation 4!" While talking about that big and promising new MMO, he also said "if you like [Ultima Online], you're going to love EQN", which sounds just fine to me.

He gave an updated estimate for Planetside 2 on PS4, stating that "first half of this year is what we're shooting for". "It's taking time to do this right but coming along great." The Player Studio tool should arrive in the UK in April, apparently.

Smedley mentioned an unannounced MMO that SOE was working on which, although being "completely new IP", will be something Star Wars Galaxies players of old should pay particular attention to.

"SWG PLAYERS," he yelled, "OUR NEXT GAME (not announced yet) IS DEDICATED TO YOU. Once we launch it... you can come home now."

Smedley teased a possible rejuvenation for Legends of Norrath, the EverQuest card game, a decision prompted by the popularity of Blizzard's Hearthstone.

"Actually after seeing what Blizzard did with Hearthstone it's given us some other ideas..." he teased. "LON is an awesome card game. We can take that to the next level."

The revised one-subscription-for-everything All Access plan was also announced (FAQ). Pay $14.99 a month and get access to all SOE games, including the upcoming EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next Landmark. Existing subscribers will be automatically upgraded when everthing kicks off on 2nd April.

Plenty of new things on the horizon, then, but there's also life left in iconic MMOs EverQuest 1 & 2, and new expansions are in the works. "I've just seen the content update plan for EQ," said Smedley. "We heard the players loud and clear that they want a bigger expansion next time, and they'll get it. We'll be making EQ and EQ2 expansions for a long time to come. "

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