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SOE: sandbox "at the core of everything"

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Zen sandbox

Sony Online Entertainment boss, John Smedley, has updated his blog. In it, he evaluates the future of MMOs, and argues that sandboxes are the way of the future. Time for Sony to jump on that bandwagon.

According to Smedley, the problem with MMOs is that they are generally content driven and simply aren’t sustainable. Sure, studios can make excellent games with plenty of content for players to explore, but they need to keep on making more or gamers get bored and move on. Plus, when new games launch, they aren’t just competing with WoW’s starting content, but all nine years of growth. This can make the genre unapproachable.

What the solution? According to Smedley it’s about letting players make and be content for each other. He sites battlegrounds, auction houses and Eve Online as successful models. We could be seeing more interaction with players from SOE:

We want to innovate and let players be a part of everything we do including make the game in the first place. We’re going to take the idea of sandbox gaming and we’re putting it at the core of everything we’re doing. We’ll obviously still be making awesome stuff for players to do, but we’re going to aim very high in terms of letting players be a part of the game systems. The more emergent sandbox style content we can make the less predictable the experience will be.

I certainly like this idea. If there’s one thing MMOs need, it’s to feel alive. With more players working together to create environments and make the world unique, we should be seeing a deeper, more organic gameplay. I’m keen to see how Sony puts this into practice, of course, as there are plenty of players online who will take advantage of any opportunity to troll others.

Last Updated: February 12, 2014


  1. VampyreSquirrel

    February 12, 2014 at 12:54

    Sandbox good… more MMo’s… probably not!

    We’ll see what comes of this though.


  2. CrasH

    February 12, 2014 at 13:04

    One day there will be a MMO with a starting area and nothing else. (Wishing)

    All cities and quests with NPC’s will be player driven. Like an EVE, Wow, minecraft, civilization mix blended into one.

    Imagine you build a small town and more people build onto it but the city needs food, power, resources so you hire NPC to make collect quests,

    Random World Bosses and instances are all over the place. Smaller factions break out, not just good and bad.

    Trade routes and protection there of with proper escourt quests that has ripple affects on cities if they get hi-jacked

    You can become major and need to micro manage a town, a area, a country or even continent and have dynamic raids happening trying to destroy the town/push it back.


    • ElimiNathan

      February 12, 2014 at 13:23

      If/when this happens it will be epic. Most MMO’s try and get this right, at least its the message they deliver in their trailers, but after playing a while you are just left with a sour taste in your mouth, its open/dynamic but NOT REALLY


    • Rags

      February 12, 2014 at 13:42

      Sounds like Joburg.


  3. Kromas

    February 12, 2014 at 13:42

    DayZ will most likely have done it right when it is fully released. Also Project Zomboid as well as what Star citizen is doing. Then again sometimes you want a little bit of story but we always have Mass Effect for that. 😛


  4. Gerhard Davids

    February 12, 2014 at 13:45

    Currently in the Sandbox. Looking very good. Lot’s of fun and shows potential.


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