The Agency, a modern-day spy shooter, is still on track for "late this year," which has a "slightly smaller" team than DC Universe. Then there's Free Realms...
PlanetSide Next is a sequel of sorts to the PlanetSide MMO that SOE launched an ice age back, introducing a sci-fi shooter where three factions continuously vied for control of smaller islands. It grew a dedicated community over the years.
Now it's almost back. "We've announced publicly that the game is in development," said SOE president John Smedley, "it's a game that's codenamed PlanetSide Next."
"And we haven't announced a release date for it but you can expect it... We're looking at late first-quarter, early second-quarter." He wasn't talking this year as that is far too soon so he means we'll see it sometime in early 2012 - hopefully.
The Agency has been delayed a few times but SOE are still mining away at it. It's a spy-themed MMO shooter for PS3 and PC. "We're not giving out a specific date yet because we don't know it," he said but did confirms it's for "late this year."
"One thing that we've learned over our company's history is that it takes time to make great games. And we're not trying to make cookie-cutter MMOs."
"There's some stuff coming out in the next two or three months, MMO-wise, and a lot of it is generic copycats of other games. That's not what we want to do. We want to make new experiences for people. So The Agency is a new kind of MMO so we want to make sure it's as good as it can be," added Smedley.
Now we come to Free Realms which already commands over 10 million registered accounts for the PC. "This is in submission at SCEA right now," says Smedley. "Once it's done with that, once it's through, we'll be launching it in SCEE."
SCEA and SCEE are Sony Computer Entertainment America and Europe respectively. "If I was a betting man," he muses, "I'm betting sometime early February it gets launched on the PS3 in SCEA. And probably, and this is a guess, sometime in March for SCEE. And that will use a free-to-play business model on PS3."
Sony Online has those three but also DC Universe Online and 'EverQuest Next', the upcoming third full instalment to EverQuest. Amazingly they're juggling even more than those five. "Can't even disclose a number, but a lot," teased Smedley.
"We're constantly in development on things. We are a company that wants to make new experiences for players so needless to say that we're working on that hard."
World of Warcraft... "What's going to happen is as more great games come out, it's going to fragment their user-base over time, and you're going to see death by a thousand cuts," he said. "You've got some great games out there - look at the great numbers EVE puts up, look at our own EverQuest II, look at all of the new games coming out."
Are you looking forward to The Agency, or maybe PlanetSide's return?