Picture of Thomas Norwood

Thomas Norwood


SOE's John Smedley

Sony Online Entertainment's very own raid boss on the MMO company's new perspective.

Sony Online Entertainment is one of, if not the most experienced company in MMOs. It scored one of the genre's breakthrough successes with the first EverQuest, and to this day it operates the widest range of MMOs under a single roof anywhere, including Star Wars Galaxies, PlanetSide, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Vanguard, EverQuest and its sequel. In recent years, however, it has been overshadowed - not just by World of Warcraft, but also by the succession of eager, over-hyped pretenders that have attempted to grab WOW's coat-tails as Blizzard did EverQuest's.

Dungeons & Dragons Online

Dungeon-crawling back into the light.

Branding, circumstance and strange luck are all part of Dungeons & Dragons Online's history. Its timing was horrible; it leapt head-first into an MMORPG market that had just realised that it didn't want to be quite as hardcore with a game that, by its very history, was hardcore. While other games were encouraging you to fight on your own, occasionally grouping to high-five and key-tap your way to level 60, DDO told you that you needed to group and you were only getting to, at the highest, 20 - which it didn't even support initially.