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General: SOE in 2010

StraddenStradden Managing EditorMember CommonPosts: 6,696

MMORPG.com's Garrett Fuller looks at the year ahead for Sony Online Entertainment with a focus on their upcoming titles, The Agency and DC Universe Online.

Sony Online Entertainment had a comeback year in 2009. The company has kept updates on its top games and launched Free Realms for the younger crowd. However, games that had been announced like The Agency and DC Universe told two different stories. Below let us take a look at what 2010 is going to look like for SOE, the company that gave us EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies.

Read SOE in 2010.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

«134

Comments

  • AirwrenAirwren Member UncommonPosts: 648

    Unfortunately given their track record SOE can only be considered an 'average' MMO developer at best.  They have a fairly long history of poor launches, poor development, and even poorer customer service.  I'm excited by DCO but I've been burned by SOE too many times to give them another chance.  I suppose it's the whole fool me once prinicple.  Also, every time I see John Smedley's name mentioned with anything I'm reminded of why this company is, and will continue to be average at best.  Between he and Hayden Blackman it suprises me that Sony hasn't axed their MMO division. 

  • FadedbombFadedbomb Member Posts: 2,081
    Originally posted by Airwren


    Unfortunately given their track record SOE can only be considered an 'average' MMO developer at best.  They have a fairly long history of poor launches, poor development, and even poorer customer service.  I'm excited by DCO but I've been burned by SOE too many times to give them another chance.  I suppose it's the whole fool me once prinicple.  Also, every time I see John Smedley's name mentioned with anything I'm reminded of why this company is, and will continue to be average at best.  Between he and Hayden Blackman it suprises me that Sony hasn't axed their MMO division. 

     

    I agree completely. Although, whenever I see Smedly's name I constantly think about some money grubbing short leprecon constantly smirking as he takes innocent people's money and runs away with it. Just a visual I guess, but it hasn't allowed me to return (or give another chance to) any other game SOE has touched in a LONG LONG time :(.

    The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
    Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148Member CommonPosts: 6,690

    The MMO genre really needs SOE to step up their efforts in making a good mmo but as long as Smedley is at the helm people will always continue to think the worst. Despitr that, I'm looking forward to seeing how good DCUO and The Agency will be.

    30
  • TealaTeala Member RarePosts: 7,627

    SOE has become synonymous with the word fail.

  • bigdaddysfebigdaddysfe Member Posts: 89

    Who's Lex Luther?

  • BurntvetBurntvet Member RarePosts: 3,465

    What a freaking worthless puff piece.

    SOE is the "premier" gaming company with an unmatched talent for turning gold into lead.

    Right now SOE has a bunch of games so bad/mediocre/underpopulated that they can not survive on their own, that they need "Station Pass" scam to survive. SOE Station Pass is like one of those crappy all-you-can-eat buffet resturants where you can have all the bad/mediocre/filler  food you want for a low price, but who wants it?

    SOE has ruined about every game it has ever run through mismanagement and "Smedology": soak your customers for every dollar you can, short term, because there is no long term.

    Any game Smed puts out, will be run into the ground. That is what they've done so far.

    To expect anything different out of Smed is at best naive` and worst idiotic, which is EXACTLY what SOE is looking for in its customers.

     

     

    P.S.  After SOE starts charging a sub fee for Free Realms are they going to change the name? Used-to-be-free Realms? The-first-taste-is-free Realms? SOE-working-as-intended Realms?

     

     

  • ste2000ste2000 Member EpicPosts: 6,194
    Originally posted by SaintViktor


    The MMO genre really needs SOE to step up their efforts in making a good mmo but as long as Smedley is at the helm people will always continue to think the worst. Despitr that, I'm looking forward to seeing how good DCUO and The Agency will be.

     

    Those are not real MMO, you will play them for 2 months max, then you will move on.



    We need EQ3 done properly, that IP is a total waste at the moment, it needs a title that makes it justice.

  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    Originally posted by Fadedbomb

    Originally posted by Airwren


    Unfortunately given their track record SOE can only be considered an 'average' MMO developer at best.  They have a fairly long history of poor launches, poor development, and even poorer customer service.  I'm excited by DCO but I've been burned by SOE too many times to give them another chance.  I suppose it's the whole fool me once prinicple.  Also, every time I see John Smedley's name mentioned with anything I'm reminded of why this company is, and will continue to be average at best.  Between he and Hayden Blackman it suprises me that Sony hasn't axed their MMO division. 

     

    I agree completely. Although, whenever I see Smedly's name I constantly think about some money grubbing short leprecon constantly smirking as he takes innocent people's money and runs away with it. Just a visual I guess, but it hasn't allowed me to return (or give another chance to) any other game SOE has touched in a LONG LONG time :(.

    Also agree, i would add that as soon as i saw the bit where they were looking to launch these games on the PS3, i just thought, this is the time to walk away and forget SOE even exist...

     

  • grandpagamergrandpagamer Member Posts: 2,221

    DCU interest me but what I hope to see in 2010 is a mention about EQ Next which was hinted at last year.

  • PhelimReaghPhelimReagh Member UncommonPosts: 682
    Originally posted by bigdaddysfe


    Who's Lex Luther?

     

    I think he reformed the church of Superman in the 15th Century.

     

    That said, it kinda bugs me to see all of these new Sony games in development while other Sony games with huge potential have been all but abandoned by Sony and left to die.

     

    I, personally, would love to get into Vanguard but Sony's disinterest in the game really prevents me from joining. Plus, it really hurts the company's reputation as far as I'm concerned. If they abandon games and let them languish, what's to say they won't do the same to me?

  • GrakelGrakel Member Posts: 92
    Originally posted by ste2000

    Originally posted by SaintViktor


    The MMO genre really needs SOE to step up their efforts in making a good mmo but as long as Smedley is at the helm people will always continue to think the worst. Despitr that, I'm looking forward to seeing how good DCUO and The Agency will be.

     

    Those are not real MMO, you will play them for 2 months max, then you will move on.



    We need EQ3 done properly, that IP is a total waste at the moment, it needs a title that makes it justice.

    Yeah unfortunately The Agency is turning into a wash and I'm not hoping for much more with DCUO. EQ2, just imho, was and is still a wash. Get back to what they did right which was EQ for a time, get someone with a long term goal of keeping us happy and paying in charge and maybe SOE can come back, but not this year and not since the pathetic excuse for a FPSMMO Planetside launched has SOE had the right to call itself premiere at anything except making us all feel like fools. 

    I still hope for SOE because I don't think anyone else will be able to do an EQesque game justice, or the people who could want to, yeah I'm looking at you there Bliz. But as time goes on and nothing changes it's not looking too good. Not to mention moving an MMO to the PS3 causes more trouble for the developers and the tech isn't there this generation to pull it off on both platforms, PC, Mac, etc. and consoles. Just more money and time wasted til the the next gen.

    Played in some form:
    UO til tram, AC, EQ, AO, WW2O, PS, SB, CoH, AC2, Hor, LoTRO, DDO, AoC, Aion, CO, STO
    Playing: WoW (for gf), WAR
    Waiting For: SWTOR, FFXVI
    Hoping For: DCUO, Secret World, Earthrise
    -S- (UO Sonoma)

  • MisscreantMisscreant Member Posts: 16


    Originally posted by bigdaddysfe

    Who's Lex Luther?



     
    Are you serious?  Have you never watched any Superman movie or TV series?  Lex Luther is one of Superman's arch nemesis's (nemesi?)
  • Einherjar_LCEinherjar_LC Member UncommonPosts: 1,055

    Nothing really needs to be added by me as the above posters have echoed my sentiment about SoE exactly.

     

    As long as Smedley is the faceman at SoE I will never touch one of their games.  He is short sighted when it comes to this genre and he is not at all shy about the fact that it's all about the money, rather than developing something profitable long term.

     

    SOE + Smed = no money from me.  Even if they got rid of Smed, I would have to watch SoE for awhile to see if the culture changed before I would consider giving them another shot.

     

     

    Einherjar_LC says: WTB the true successor to UO or Asheron's Call pst!

  • erictlewiserictlewis Member UncommonPosts: 3,021

    I still play eq2,  its the only game that I still somewhat like that SOE makes.  It has its problems yes but it is the only viable game they have.

    The rest are in the process of dying.

  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    Originally posted by erictlewis


    I still play eq2,  its the only game that I still somewhat like that SOE makes.  It has its problems yes but it is the only viable game they have.
    The rest are in the process of dying.



     

    last time i checked EQ2 was in that category too, i think one of the main reasons SOE is trying to develope more games is the fact that their current catalogue of games is looking in dire need player numbers, once the free activations run dry on EQ2, i think the numbers will crumble again, if they havent already. At the moment, SOE has a lot of 'old' games, so many of which appear to be on 'life support' if DCU or the Agency, dont provide a degree of profitability, i half expect the MMO arm of Sony to actually fold.

  • Zap66Zap66 Member UncommonPosts: 4

    Same for me ...

     

    Everquest was great until they ruined it with pop and Ldon ....

    Vanguard was great until they ruined it when they took over SIGIL ...

    I will not say Never Again SOE .... but poor chance they catch me back ...

     

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Member UncommonPosts: 7,945

    What exactly was a comeback year for soe in 2009?

    The matrix online closed down.

    Free realms launched to 5 million users trying the game, but the game doesn't even have 1 full server.  Things are going so poorly that soe had to change the revenue model within a few months of the game releasing. 

    Still no version of Free Realms for the PS3, which is supposed to be their new focus.

    7 of the 9 mmos on station pass did not see an expansion pack and most likely will never see an expansion.

    DCU online was pushed back

    The Agency was pushed back.

    The leadership of their Seattle office left.

    More loot card and cash shop antics driving more customers away this year.

    There has been employee turnover in almost every major leadership role for each of their projects.

    An overall percentage layoff of their workforce in addition to some teams being downsized beyond that.

     

     

     

    I am sorry, but what exactly are the details of this comeback they had? 

     

    Will 2010 be any different?

    DCU will be lucky to be ready for release by Q4 of 2010 and even then it needs to be an unquestionable success.

    The agency is in big trouble despite what soe says.  For a game this far along in development to be this quiet raises some questions.  To see the leadership of the project walk out when they should be ramping up for release makes things seem even worse.

     

  • drbaltazardrbaltazar Member UncommonPosts: 7,856
    Originally posted by Fadedbomb

    Originally posted by Airwren


    Unfortunately given their track record SOE can only be considered an 'average' MMO developer at best.  They have a fairly long history of poor launches, poor development, and even poorer customer service.  I'm excited by DCO but I've been burned by SOE too many times to give them another chance.  I suppose it's the whole fool me once prinicple.  Also, every time I see John Smedley's name mentioned with anything I'm reminded of why this company is, and will continue to be average at best.  Between he and Hayden Blackman it suprises me that Sony hasn't axed their MMO division. 

     

    I agree completely. Although, whenever I see Smedly's name I constantly think about some money grubbing short leprecon constantly smirking as he takes innocent people's money and runs away with it. Just a visual I guess, but it hasn't allowed me to return (or give another chance to) any other game SOE has touched in a LONG LONG time :(.

     

    i have to agre ,smed push too far when it come to save money hes like like that ,hell he did that in everquest (using freeware etc)sony will have to tell him to spend a bit more money if they dont he ll cut budjet when in fact those area need more budget

    hes a good dude and all but when soe say to him it has to cost less!smed go too far !

  • ShadewalkerShadewalker Member Posts: 299
    Originally posted by Daffid011


    What exactly was a comeback year for soe in 2009?
    The matrix online closed down.
    Free realms launched to 5 million users trying the game, but the game doesn't even have 1 full server.  Things are going so poorly that soe had to change the revenue model within a few months of the game releasing. 
    Still no version of Free Realms for the PS3, which is supposed to be their new focus.
    7 of the 9 mmos on station pass did not see an expansion pack and most likely will never see an expansion.
    DCU online was pushed back
    The Agency was pushed back.
    The leadership of their Seattle office left.
    More loot card and cash shop antics driving more customers away this year.
    There has been employee turnover in almost every major leadership role for each of their projects.
    An overall percentage layoff of their workforce in addition to some teams being downsized beyond that.
     
     
     
    I am sorry, but what exactly are the details of this comeback they had? 
     
    Will 2010 be any different?
    DCU will be lucky to be ready for release by Q4 of 2010 and even then it needs to be an unquestionable success.
    The agency is in big trouble despite what soe says.  For a game this far along in development to be this quiet raises some questions.  To see the leadership of the project walk out when they should be ramping up for release makes things seem even worse.


     



     

    I agree with all of that, plus the bit missed out to the effect that Vanguard's future development work was totally cancelled.

    I don't personally hate SOE, but clearly a lot of people do and that won't change all the while Smedley is in charge. I do dislike SOE's business methods, and I do distrust them in general and Smedley in particular, but hatred isn't a term I'd use in the context of computer gaming which is a hobby for me and therefore not to be taken too seriously.

    All that said, EQ2 remains an outstanding MMO for the right type of player, with the right type of rig, and no other MMO can match it in terms of features like player housing, collection quests, the broker and so on. If you're a "dumbed down raider" type player on a low spec rig then that other game will be the one for you, but for a lot of other players EQ2 would fit the bill very well and more should try it in my opinion.

    A lot of these issues like the evil things that SOE have done tend to be way over-stated by the vocal minority. For example, if everyone whose nose was put out of joint by the SWG:NGE saga had actually been actively playing that game then SOE wouldn't have needed to do the NGE in the first place! Just like if everyone who claims AC was the best MMO ever had been actively playing it then it wouldn't even at its peak have been the least successful of the mainstream MMOs of its generation by a long way.

    The big question for all MMO developers in 2010 remains the same as it was in 2009 - how to wean a couple of million players off that other game. No-one has found the answer yet, and I doubt SOE will do so either. I always thought the masses would move on from the other game to play more MMOs, but perhaps they simply aren't mobile in that sense and will always be tied to the one game until such time as they move on from the genre entirely,  or possibly Blizzard lauunch another MMO themselves.

  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912

    Sorry folks but you must be either stupid or outright hateful to STILL regard SOE as especially bad, given how many mediocre, failed, closed and otherwise bad MMOs we had seen in the last 2 years. No chance. SWG was great until NGE, EQ2 was always great, Free Realms was great for the right audience. So I know they are CAPABLE of doing a good MMO. Which is more than I can say about Funcom or Crpytic!

    Seriously, guys, get a damn grip and get the heck over it already. There is nothing worse than an ex wife bitching about the bad character of the ex husband 10 years after the divorce as if was yesterday. No one has sympathy with that!

    I don't know any more detail about The Agency or DCU as anyone, but from what I know I think they can be cool, and I am looking forward to them. DCU seems a lot better than CO (which isn't so hard truth be told), and Agency looks like something fresh and casually entertaining. I am surely going to try them out.

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • Kungaloosh1Kungaloosh1 Member Posts: 260
    Originally posted by Elikal


    Sorry folks but you must be either stupid or outright hateful to STILL regard SOE as especially bad, given how many mediocre, failed, closed and otherwise bad MMOs we had seen in the last 2 years. No chance. SWG was great until NGE, EQ2 was always great, Free Realms was great for the right audience. So I know they are CAPABLE of doing a good MMO. Which is more than I can say about Funcom or Crpytic!
    Seriously, guys, get a damn grip and get the heck over it already. There is nothing worse than an ex wife bitching about the bad character of the ex husband 10 years after the divorce as if was yesterday. No one has sympathy with that!
    I don't know any more detail about The Agency or DCU as anyone, but from what I know I think they can be cool, and I am looking forward to them. DCU seems a lot better than CO (which isn't so hard truth be told), and Agency looks like something fresh and casually entertaining. I am surely going to try them out.



     

    I am someone who played SoE games faithfully from March 17th 1999 until recently.

    I gave them chance after chance after chance to redeem themselves. Always being forgiving and continuing to subscribe.

    Always full of hope that they will make the right decision to correct something wrong.

    Almost always dissappointed in them.

     

    As i said in another thread, SoE has a history of bringing out some damn fine games and then letting them turn to utter garbage.

    Eq1 was almost unilaterally loved and adored up until planes of power and then the game fell off the deep end. Only the hardest of the hard core fans remain.

    Eq2 had a rough start but developed into a great game with a loyal following and within the last couple of years the development team started streaming out expansions that would best be equated to horse droppings.

    Volumes of moans and groans from their community over the introduction of item shops within established pay to play model games.

    Buying vanguard and stringing the core audience along with false hopes of the viability of their game.

    I could go on and on, but i will leave it with a single statement.......John Smedly is a tool.

  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912
    Originally posted by Kungaloosh1

    Originally posted by Elikal


    Sorry folks but you must be either stupid or outright hateful to STILL regard SOE as especially bad, given how many mediocre, failed, closed and otherwise bad MMOs we had seen in the last 2 years. No chance. SWG was great until NGE, EQ2 was always great, Free Realms was great for the right audience. So I know they are CAPABLE of doing a good MMO. Which is more than I can say about Funcom or Crpytic!
    Seriously, guys, get a damn grip and get the heck over it already. There is nothing worse than an ex wife bitching about the bad character of the ex husband 10 years after the divorce as if was yesterday. No one has sympathy with that!
    I don't know any more detail about The Agency or DCU as anyone, but from what I know I think they can be cool, and I am looking forward to them. DCU seems a lot better than CO (which isn't so hard truth be told), and Agency looks like something fresh and casually entertaining. I am surely going to try them out.



     

    I am someone who played SoE games faithfully from March 17th 1999 until recently.

    I gave them chance after chance after chance to redeem themselves. Always being forgiving and continuing to subscribe.

    Always full of hope that they will make the right decision to correct something wrong.

    Almost always dissappointed in them.

     

    As i said in another thread, SoE has a history of bringing out some damn fine games and then letting them turn to utter garbage.

    Eq1 was almost unilaterally loved and adored up until planes of power and then the game fell off the deep end. Only the hardest of the hard core fans remain.

    Eq2 had a rough start but developed into a great game with a loyal following and within the last couple of years the development team started streaming out expansions that would best be equated to horse droppings.

    Volumes of moans and groans from their community over the introduction of item shops within established pay to play model games.

    Buying vanguard and stringing the core audience along with false hopes of the viability of their game.

    I could go on and on, but i will leave it with a single statement.......John Smedly is a tool.

     

    All I know is: I played EQ2 for five years and had a blast, I played SWG 4+ years and had a blast, and my only personal gripe was the NGE. So MY logic is: stop whining over beans spilled years ago already. SOE made mistakes like ANY GODDAMN OTHER MMO company! Branding SOE as more evil/dumb is just plain out of any relations.

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • RavanosRavanos Member Posts: 897
    Originally posted by Elikal

    Originally posted by Kungaloosh1

    Originally posted by Elikal


    Sorry folks but you must be either stupid or outright hateful to STILL regard SOE as especially bad, given how many mediocre, failed, closed and otherwise bad MMOs we had seen in the last 2 years. No chance. SWG was great until NGE, EQ2 was always great, Free Realms was great for the right audience. So I know they are CAPABLE of doing a good MMO. Which is more than I can say about Funcom or Crpytic!
    Seriously, guys, get a damn grip and get the heck over it already. There is nothing worse than an ex wife bitching about the bad character of the ex husband 10 years after the divorce as if was yesterday. No one has sympathy with that!
    I don't know any more detail about The Agency or DCU as anyone, but from what I know I think they can be cool, and I am looking forward to them. DCU seems a lot better than CO (which isn't so hard truth be told), and Agency looks like something fresh and casually entertaining. I am surely going to try them out.



     

    I am someone who played SoE games faithfully from March 17th 1999 until recently.

    I gave them chance after chance after chance to redeem themselves. Always being forgiving and continuing to subscribe.

    Always full of hope that they will make the right decision to correct something wrong.

    Almost always dissappointed in them.

     

    As i said in another thread, SoE has a history of bringing out some damn fine games and then letting them turn to utter garbage.

    Eq1 was almost unilaterally loved and adored up until planes of power and then the game fell off the deep end. Only the hardest of the hard core fans remain.

    Eq2 had a rough start but developed into a great game with a loyal following and within the last couple of years the development team started streaming out expansions that would best be equated to horse droppings.

    Volumes of moans and groans from their community over the introduction of item shops within established pay to play model games.

    Buying vanguard and stringing the core audience along with false hopes of the viability of their game.

    I could go on and on, but i will leave it with a single statement.......John Smedly is a tool.

     

    All I know is: I played EQ2 for five years and had a blast, I played SWG 4+ years and had a blast, and my only personal gripe was the NGE. So MY logic is: stop whining over beans spilled years ago already. SOE made mistakes like ANY GODDAMN OTHER MMO company! Branding SOE as more evil/dumb is just plain out of any relations.

     

    i agree with you completely if EQ2 was made under the name of another developer people would be jumping all over that game. but because it has the brand of SOE on it stupid people avoid it.

     

    EQ2 is one of the best if the not THE best MMO out right now. and hopefully when they add PVP to PVE servers it will be even better.

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Member Posts: 3,138
    Originally posted by Elikal


    Sorry folks but you must be either stupid or outright hateful to STILL regard SOE as especially bad, given how many mediocre, failed, closed and otherwise bad MMOs we had seen in the last 2 years. No chance. SWG was great until NGE, EQ2 was always great, Free Realms was great for the right audience. So I know they are CAPABLE of doing a good MMO. Which is more than I can say about Funcom or Crpytic!
    Seriously, guys, get a damn grip and get the heck over it already. There is nothing worse than an ex wife bitching about the bad character of the ex husband 10 years after the divorce as if was yesterday. No one has sympathy with that!
    I don't know any more detail about The Agency or DCU as anyone, but from what I know I think they can be cool, and I am looking forward to them. DCU seems a lot better than CO (which isn't so hard truth be told), and Agency looks like something fresh and casually entertaining. I am surely going to try them out.

     

    Um, excuse me? You aren't anyone to tell people that they need to "get over" anything. People have the right to not give their money to a company who, certainly didin't as you put it make a mistake like any other MMO company. No, Elikal, they made THE MISTAKE IN THE HISTORY OF MMO COMPANIES TO DATE. That is belief is fairly universally held.

    It's perfectly fine if some people like you don't care about getting jerked around like that and will run right back like little puppies hoping the next time will be a nice pat on the head instead of a steel boot to the snout. Others, and rightly so, are well within their right to not come trotting back and you have no more ground to tell them to get over it as they have ground to call you and SOE stooge.

    Making a bad game is...well, bad, sure. You can point out Funcom and Cryptic for that. But changing a game  years after it has been out in a manner that thumbs its nose at its existing customer base practically states we don't want you anymore we're looking for X type gamers now.

    Now, I didn't proactively come into this thread bashing SOE and really had no intention of it. That said I still maintain that I will never buy nor play another SOE product and I took issue with you telling me that I need to "get over it". There is something worse than an ex-wife still complaining after 10 years: A person who has no idea of what went on in that relationships trying to dictate/being judgmental of the emotions/reactions of those involved.

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • Deathstrike2Deathstrike2 Member UncommonPosts: 1,777

    As far as SOE is concerned, I've found the company to be somewhat disappointing.  I was not around for SWG's release and honestly never played the game more than a few weeks way after NGE, so that's not my issue.  I just have never been impressed with any of their games.

    From my experience, they ask you to pay the same monthly fees for their games as other developers do, but you get far less support -- for example, look at VG or MXO.  EQ2 is zoned to death and they can't even come up with new armor models for the characters -- just reskins of the same old thing over and over.  Blah.

    Maybe SOE will impress me in the future, but as they stand today, other companies offer a much better product for the same price IMO.

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