Monday, September 30, 2019

Carry The News, Dude!: EverQuest, The Secret World et al.

Inventory Full has no pretensions towards becoming any kind of MMORPG news source but now and again I do read things in my blog feed that I feel I ought to share. I read a couple of items this morning that fit the bill.

One of them will be very widely reported on all the MMORPG news aggregators, I'm sure. The other might not get sufficient attention to draw it to the notice of the niche audience who'd appreciate it.

The first is the news that Chinese gaming giant Tencent has acquired 29% of Funcom, developers of The Secret World, Anarchy Online and Age of Conan among many other titles.

Here's the report from As they point out, this still only gives Tencent a minority interest, but it does make them the Norwegian company's largest shareholder.

Funcom's CEO gives the usual, upbeat, positive take, saying all the right things about the new investors having "a reputation for being a responsible long-term investor" and "insight, experience, and knowledge... of great value" but it looks as though the actual transfer of shares happened outwith any involvement by Funcom itself.

I hope this isn't going to affect the motorcycle parts supply chain...
Given Funcom's increasingly apparent lack of interest in the kind of MMORPGs they used to be known for, and indeed for the ones they're still curating, I'm not sure how much this matters. It's intriguing, all the same, especially following Pearl Abyss's acquisition of CCP. and that Chinese mining company's involvement with Jagex. The West is moving East, it seems, at least as far as European MMO deveelopment is concerned.

The other story will, I think, be of considerable interest to a few people who comment here now and then. It was only earlier this year that Wilhelm, blogholder of The Ancient Gaming Noob and longtime Norrath-watcher, drew my attention to a new website and videocast dedicated to the EverQuest franchise.

It's called The EverQuest Show and it's over there to the right, in my ever-growing blog roll. Over just a few months it's established itself as an authoritative voice in the EQ community.

Even Ulthorks watch The EverQuest Show

Most of the coverage revolves around the older of the two EverQuest titles, meaning The EverQuest Show isn't quite the replacement for EQ2Wire I might have hoped for, but it's doing a pretty good job of keeping the news flowing for both titles. It also specializes in covering the wider EverQuest community, bringing some amusing and surprising stories to light.

All this activity seems to have been recognized and acknowledged by Daybreak. The EQ Show team has just come back from a visit to San Diego, during which they "were granted a longform sit-down interview with Holly Longdale, executive producer for EverQuest and EverQuest II" as well as "panel interviews with developers from both EverQuest and EverQuest II about a wide range of topics".

From this they came away with "literally HOURS of video interviews and footage". Once they process and edit all of that it will be available in "several future episodes of The EverQuest Show". I'm particularly keen to hear the Holly Longdale interview, in which she's said to be "very candid about the approach to the future of the games, and the possibility of new ventures."

I wonder if she lets anything slip about the not-so-secret restructuring plans? Can't wait to find out!


  1. That second item is juicy! I look forward to the interviews.

    On Funcom, it's pretty clear that all of their proper MMOs are in maintenance mode.
    I'm glad that they are keeping the lights on, but I don't follow development there very closely any more.

    1. I think Funcom is effectively out of the traditional MMORPG market for the moment. They might come back at some point but they seem to be having a lot more success with their survival and other games.


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