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EverQuest Next confirmed for PS4, free-to-play MMO launching next year

on 25 January 2014

Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley has confirmed that Everquest Next, the third in the series of blockbuster MMOs, will be coming to PS4 alongside its PC launch in 2015.

The announcement came in response to a fan's query (in a Reddit AMA) about whether SOE would bring more games and support to the newest PlayStation console. "Yes," Smedley replied. "We will absolutely bring EQN to the Playstation 4!"

However, the release of EverQuest Next isn't planned until 2015, so console gamers have quite a wait ahead. That's partly because EverQuest is a historically ambitious license, and EverQuest Next is no exception--a companion client, EverQuest Next Landmark, will give players the tool to build complete worlds that may be added to the game proper.

Sony has been notoriously tight-lipped about the series' subscriber numbers, but Smedley told the Los Angeles Times in 2012 that about 5 million unique people have played the original, which went free-to-play shortly after its sequel. EverQuest II launched mere weeks before World of Warcraft in November 2004. While often compared on gameplay and mechanics terms, World of Warcraft speedily eclipsed EverQuest II player counts.

As for EverQuest Next, SOE now exclusively deals in free-to-play games. We just don't know if a PS Plus subscription will be required to enjoy. Furthermore, Smedley hopes to subvert expectations of the genre being watered-down, hyper-accessible, and soulless. "Couldn't agree more," he said to a fan who cited MMO aspects like instant gratification, instanced content, and being guided by the nose through the world as undesirable. "That's why we had to make a new kind of MMO that can break these paradigms. I really think we've watered down our gaming a little too much. But I think that's more because of doing the same thing over and over again. New ideas will help this. That's the route we're taking."

Even more exciting? Player Studio, the software that allows players to create and sell in-game items in EverQuest and EverQuest II, will return for EverQuest Next. It's unknown whether PS4 players will have the same kind of access to these tools as PC players, but SOE has previously shared 40 percent of revenue from Player Studio items with their creators.

Looks like an MMORPG war is building on Sony's new home console. Are you more interested in DC Universe Online, The Elder Scrolls Online, or EverQuest Next? Share your thoughts in the comments below.