Ten years ago, the launch of EverQuest arguably changed the gaming industry forever. Its combination of gameplay, story and cosmetic appeal was precisely what gamers had been waiting for and would soon be the inspiration for many great, and some not so great games to come. Over the years, Sony Online Entertainment has released a number of subsequent EverQuest games set in the world of Norrath; most notable of which being EverQuest Online Adventures and EverQuest II. While both titles continue to retain an active player-base, lately "Will there be an EverQuest III?" has been an increasingly popular subject. Keep reading for official confirmation that "EverQuest Next" is in development.
Recently, we got our hands on a copy of the 10th Anniversary EverQuest Book written by Rusel DeMaria and Paul Lipscombe. The last chapter of this book is intriguingly titled "EverQuest Next" and was individually written by EverQuest Creative Director, Rich Waters. "As we contemplate future EverQuest games, we have to ask, what does the modern MMO player really want from today's games? What will they want four years from now? Current MMOs are still designed traditionally with a pen-and-paper game feel behind them-lots of stats and numbers, experience-based levels and a focus on auto-attack dice roll combat. Will that work for next-gen MMOs, or do we try something different?" Waters writes inquisitively. Later he mentions how they were "ahead of the curve" with EverQuest Online Adventures for the PlayStation 2 because "few players had network adapters for the PS2, and even fewer knew what an MMO was". It's the final statement of the Chapter that confirms "EverQuest Next", however. "So you can see there's a lot to wrestle with as we begin laying the foundation for EverQuest 'Next.' As I write this, we have concept artists and game designers working hard in our studio-taking the lessons of the past, the best parts of the present and the most promising ideas for the future-to bring the world of Norrath to a new generation of players, as well as the dedicated legions of fans who made the EverQuest franchise timeless. I hope we'll see you there."
Does this mean that "EverQuest Next" will give players an innovative, outside of the MMO box look at Norrath? Is it safe to assume that the next installment of EverQuest will be console bound? Currently, there's not much room for anything other than speculation. One thing is clear though, with a confirmed EverQuest Movie and a new EverQuest MMO in the works, our beloved franchise has a bright future ahead of it.