EverQuest Online Adventures: The One Sony Let Go.
(AfroGamers.com) It’s safe to say that the heyday for MMORPGs on PC was the late-1990s to the early-2000s. During the early part of that period, Sony’s EverQuest ran the scene until World of Warcraft came along at the beginning of the 2000s. Unless you owned a Dreamcast and had internet, there were no MMORPGs on console. There was just Phantasy Star Online on a Sega console.
Then early 2003 rolled around. Note that the PlayStation 2 released with ability to go online—with some pricey add-ons. The kicker was that, there was nothing that really warranted the add-ons. That is until sports games started updating rosters via the internet. Thanks, 2K Games!
Still there wasn’t much to use the adapter for. If you were like me and rarely played sports games and first-person shooters, that thing would’ve collected dust. That is, until Sony decided “We need to move these adapters, let’s release something that will use it!”
And thus PlayStation 2 owners were blessed with EverQuest Online Adventures.
EverQuest Online Adventures: Holding Down The PS2 Until 2012
So, what was special about EverQuest Online Adventures? It was a lot of people’s first hands-on exposure to MMORPGs. This was huge because MMORPGs could be unwieldy. One disc had all the main content, then you had a bunch of expansions, and oh, make sure your PC can handle the graphics. It can? Good, now make sure you have a decent internet connection.
Sony even knew this, it owns EverQuest and by the time Online Adventures came out, it had released five expansions for the game. Mind you, there’s 25 expansions in all with the most recent being released at the end of last year.
Sony decided to condense EQ to a degree, set it in 500 years before the core EQ game and put it on PlayStation 2. And why not? It only owns a whole line of consoles. Three of which have been able to go online. Remember that, we’ll be returning to this point.
When that game released, my younger brother got the internet adapter and we waited until our Mom took her nap so we could use the phone line. It was 2003, we still had dial-up and there was always some call she was expecting. The best time to play was at night, no one was calling unless it was a five-alarm emergency.
He scratched off the free code that game with a fresh game and we ventured into Norrath that Valentine’s Day weekend. When I say that it took us on a journey we’d never been on before and have never really experienced since…
Sony earned that $10 each month. Even when the serves would go down for maintenance, we never felt shorted in giving them $10. It would’ve been awesome to do it without setting foot in GameStop but hey, Sony has no control over that.
Adventures in Norrath
One of the best things about EverQuest Online Adventures is that my brother’s adventures and my own were different. He played as a shadowknight, a warrior, and a cleric while I played as a monk, a ranger, and a shaman. We each had different friends, we leveled up in different places, and all of that.
We both did pursue the Seafoam Robe and when Sony implemented jewelry crafting and a trade market? Forget about it. We were basically farming every evening and tagging out when he had to go to school. There was still plenty of dungeon diving and running on foot from one place to another city that would take 20-30 minutes but racking up money for the guild was important business now.
Dueling had its problems but everyone still did it even after complaining about it. This game occupied your time in a way no other game could. Of course, it was definitely a game of its time. Now, MMORPGs just aren’t as hot. You have a few fun ones such as Elder Scrolls Online and D&D but there was something about EQOA.
And Now The Escape
So, we’re on the fourth in a line of consoles that started in 1994. EverQuest Online Adventures was released nine years into that line on the second console. It was shut down in 2012, roughly a year before PlayStation 4.
In that time, you’d figure Sony would be cooking up something for the new console. It makes sense it skipped over the PS3 since they were still getting subscriptions from the game on PS2. But if you’re going to close down the servers, surely you have something else in store for console EQ fans.
And Sony did! They announced EverQuest Next the same year the EQ Online Adventures servers closed. Unfortunately, they stopped development in 2015 when the team started to put the game together and weren’t pleased with what they got.
So, is that “back to the drawing board?” You’d think that was the case but Sony’s said nothing about bringing the franchise to console. To be honest, I don’t even know how big of a deal it would be at this point considering the other MMORPGs on PlayStation 4 and how things have moved more towards MOBAs and competitive gaming.
Maybe Sony actually looked at the landscape and said “Scrap it.”
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.