It isn’t new news, but when someone like John Smedley repeats things it becomes a safe bet instead of just a rumor. Check out this article over on Gamasutra. The relevant quote:
“We’re betting the company’s future on this game. … The last EverQuest game launched in 2005. We’ve blown up two design ideas over the last four years because they were too ‘me too.’ It wasn’t enough of a change. We settled on a design that, when we looked at it, everyone in the room thought we were crazy. We gave it a week and came back, and we all said ‘yeah, we’re still crazy, but we can’t get the idea out of our heads. … It’s going to be the world’s largest sandbox game.”
Also of interest:
“Players will get their hands on an actual release version of what we’re doing late [this] year – and I don’t mean a beta,” says Smedley.
I am an unabashed EverQuest 1 fanboy. It was my absolute favorite game until they tried too hard to WoW-ify it. I liked that it didn’t hold your hand and lead you by the nose through easily laid out quest hubs on a journey to max level and the end game. An EverQuest sandbox sounds to me like a glorious return to form. And soon too! Who knows, if they are quick enough about it, we might get it on the schedule for this year’s con.
Are you looking forward to another trip to Norrath?