What if SOE Can’t Recover?


I was thinking about this today and a post by Wilhelm over at TAGN is in a similar vein.

What if Sony decides that it is so far up the creek without a paddle that it needs to close SOE altogether? Honestly I doubt this will happen, but stranger things occur these days. I mean if it can’t open the doors for as much as a month, maybe it will be the straw that breaks the camels back. Seriously, SOE is not doing great these days and this could push them over the brink.

Plenty of subscribers will likely jump ship after this for a variety of reasons. Couple that with the amount of incentives that SOE will have to give out to retain the people that don’t go running away and Sony might just cut its losses and drop the whole thing. Focus on making more overpriced 3D HDTVs and their ilk.

So assuming that this does occur, what then? There will be somewhat of a vacuum left where the SOE lineup was. Obviously it would not be a huge vacuum (i.e. if Blizzard shut its doors), but it would leave a significant hole in the MMORPG landscape. What would fill this hole? Would it be a good thing or a bad thing for the industry?

Sadly, I don’t think it would be a horrible thing for the industry as a whole. Sure all the people who could lose their jobs might argue with me, but overall it might free up the industry to grow. A little pruning might make room for some new shoots and eliminate some dying branches. It might allow for another company to buy the rights for Everquest or one of the other titles and take the franchises into a new direction that SOE was not intending or capable of doing. Some new leadership on existing titles might bring them back from obscurity. If EQ2 had a decent F2P model, I think many more people would play it. What if Turbine bought the rights to the game and worked their freemium magic on the game?

I wish I had a crystal ball to see what this predicament portends for SOE and its games. I wonder what the aftermath will look like. Maybe my ideas are way off base, but then again…


2 Responses to “What if SOE Can’t Recover?”

  1. Chordian Says:

    I’m also curious to see what will happen in a few months. The past few days I’ve thought; what if they’ll make use of this spring cleaning break to kill *some* of their older MMO? Vanguard, for instance.

    • Pid Says:

      Yes, that would be another alternative. I know they say they will keep things open as long as they are profitable, but maybe they really need to focus one one or two titles for now.

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