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EverQuest Next prioritised but 2015 release unlikely

Building-game accompaniment EQ Landmark to take backseat.

We haven't heard much about EverQuest Next since creator Sony Online Entertainment embarked on a new future as Daybreak Game Company earlier this year. We were told all existing projects were safe and that was that.

At the weekend EverQuest Next senior producer Terry Michaels provided an update. Broadly he said the in-closed-beta EverQuest Landmark - the adjoining building game - would become "lower in priority" as the team's primary focus turned to building EverQuest Next itself.

"You can fully expect updates and hotfixes to Landmark as we continue with this development process," he said, "[but] they are simply going to be on a less regular schedule than you guys have been accustomed to over the past year or so."

He then added: "Also, before anyone asks, I want to clarify that although we are shifting our primary focus to EverQuest Next, this does not mean the game will be coming out this year."

That's not necessarily Michaels saying EverQuest Next will not be released in 2015, but I'd be very surprised if it was. Massively-multiplayer online games - and all the infrastructure that goes with them - take a long time to make.

Michaels said the upcoming period of development would be one of feature experimentation. "We're working in areas with high amounts of creative risk," he said. "This means that while we know what we want to do, we know it will take an unknown amount of iteration, tweaking and sometimes drastic direction changes to get these in game and working the way they need to. Because of this, we simply cannot commit to any dates, because until we get much closer, even our best estimates are educated (but still fairly wild) guesses."

EverQuest Next was confirmed for PS4 while Daybreak was still called Sony Online Entertainment. Now that the company is unaffiliated with Sony, and vocally excited about multiplatform development, there's a strong chance it will also come to Xbox One.

It was two years ago, nearly, that we first clapped eyes on EverQuest Next. The big idea is a world built of tiny blocks (voxels - think Minecraft but more subtle) that can be procedurally generated and also destroyed. In EverQuest Landmark you'll build parts of the world yourself, and the best bits may make their way across into Next.

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