Sony Online Entertainment has unveiled some surprising features to the upcoming MMO Everquest Next that could redefine expectations for the genre.
The game has been in development for four years and, reports Rock Paper Shotgun, abandoned and restarted twice, but now Sony has shown the first footage of the new entry to its classic franchise.
This is to be the first game of its class to use voxel instead of pixel-based graphics, allowing for an entirely destructible procedural world.
What's more astounding though is Sony's plan to scrap traditional closed-shop development and open up content creation to the community through a previously unknown free-to-play sister game.
Everquest Next: Landmark will give players the ability to stake out claims to territory and build their own structures using materials found in the game.
Other players can purchase and download these player-made structures, which gives Sony an additional source of revenue as well as more world assets for inclusion in Everquest Next itself
Sony admitted that it was inspired heavily by Valve's Team Fortress 2, but a publisher taking the leap into user content generation with a major triple-A MMO franchise is something entirely new to the industry.
"We're really inventing an entirely new genre within online gaming and we're moving our entire company toward the concept of emergent content,” SOE president John Smedley told GamesIndustry International.”
“Everquest Next is sort of the culmination of this concept of emergent gameplay where players are basically playing a large simulation, a large sandbox, and they're making content themselves. And they're part of this content ecosystem where players can sell or buy from one another, or from us. We're basically taking the game and we're stretching it in completely new ways with this emergent gameplay idea."