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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

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