Monday, September 28, 2009

God does listen!

Well, after blogging recently about how poorly Sony had treated PlanetSide, we got some exciting news over the weekend saying that Sony are, in fact, hard at work on a sequel.

Late Friday night several former subscribers that I know (although not me personally, despite having had a subscription for over a year from release) received an email from Sony informing them that they intended to "expand the PlanetSide universe with another game" and linked to online survey asking former and current subscribers what features they enjoyed about the original game and what things they would like to see in a potential PlanetSide 2.

Questions included: asking what setting the game should have, which gameplay elements from the first game they most enjoyed, what sort of subscription model they would like to see in a new game and asking how many factions the new game should have.

A couple of weeks ago I was directed to John Smedley's Twitter feed (President of Sony Online Entertainment) where he stated somewhat cryptically on 2nd September: "PlanetSide Next..." followed shortly after by "You will like." At the time I suspected that this was either going to be an announcement of the original PlanetSide becoming free-to-play, or the disclosure that PlanetSide 2 was coming. Of the two I believed that the first was much more likely, that after so long PlanetSide was basically going to be left to die the slow and painful death it was currently experiencing. I will say that I was very, very happy to be wrong.

Not only that, but further news escaped revealing that there would be a new major content patch for PlanetSide that would fix some bugs and eliminate some exploits that are prevalent in the original game right now. John Smedley was also quoted as saying:

"Planetside fans will be happy We have big things planned in the next 12 months. We're working on something new that's really cool."

No further information is available, and indeed we have no idea when we will be hearing anything else about this. It's unlikely that any major work has been done on PlanetSide 2 since the survey Sony sent out asked some very basic questions that would come ahead of any development, but it is at least a good sign that they are engaging the fan base in this discussion.

This all begs the question...why now?

PlanetSide was originally released way back in 2003, which means that Sony have had 6 years to think about how exactly they screwed it up. I think likely they have seen the interest over MMOFPS games currently in development (which, for those of you paying attention at home, you would know as MAG, Global Agenda and Huxley) but that these games (at least Huxley and GA as the two of those three that will be hitting the PC) are heavily instanced and are not true open-world MMOFPS's as PlanetSide was. Sony have figured out that they really didn't do right by the original game and in many ways the game was ahead of itself by several years, and that the time is ripe to revamp the graphics, bring in a dash of new gameplay mechanics and then promote the hell out of it as the original and best MMOFPS with no instancing in sight.

As if in confirmation, Sony have also picked up the domain which has for a couple of years now been a fake site that had no real content. It now redirects to the main PlanetSide site, and was apparently transferred to Sony only a few days ago.

All in all this is great news, and I very much hope that we have more concrete details from Sony outlining their plans for PlanetSide very soon.

1 comment:

  1. Hope your're right re Planetside. I'm starting to wonder if they are really doing it or they think MAG covers it.