Thanks to Eldariel, author of the blog StarShadow , for pointing this out. It seems that current Everquest 2 european players won't be forced to migrate to ProSiebenSat.1 after all. New european accounts will still have to be created with ProSiebenSat.1 though. However in the future they will give an option for the current european SOE accounts to migrate. If it will be forced then or optional I have no idea.
I am assuming it will be the same thing for all other games that got included in the deal. The exception would be DC Universe Online accounts that have migrated. Those won't be able to be converted back to SOE accounts unfortunately. No clue about people who got their account flagged but never migrated. That was a question someone asked in the feedback thread on page 134. So I assume if they give any answer about it, then it will be somewhere after that.
Anyway, the official announcement can be found here.
For those who don't know what I am talking about here is a rough recap:
Almost an year ago, SOE announced they made a publishing deal with a german company called ProSiebenSat.1. They claimed it would be to offer better customer support for european players, more advertisement on Europe, etc., etc. Current SOE european players would be able to keep their accounts with SOE while new one would have to be created with ProSiebenSat.1
The catch though was that servers would be region locked. European players would only be able to play on european servers. While the rest of the world would only be able to play in american servers. People who had characters in the "wrong" region would still be able to play those characters but would be unable to create new ones on that region.
Obviously, people complained about it. A few months went by and SOE changed it so there would be no server restrictions anymore. However they also changed it so all european accounts would be migrated to ProSiebenSat.1. Any outrage about the previous version of the deal paled compared to the anger that this one caused.
More months passed, a lot of players protested about it, pointed all the flaws in the deal, raised concerns about ProSiebenSat.1 ability to properly handle SOE games due to the company's bad reputation, etc. Many quit over it too as they refused to deal with ProSiebenSat.1 in any way. All the while SOE response was the usual "We are listening to your feedback." or some variant of it.
Meanwhile, more games got included in the deal (Everquest 1, Vanguard) and DC Universe Online actually transitioned. The DCUO transition had a lot of issues (items people already had disappearing, billing problems, terrible customer support, among others) proving that player's concern over this whole deal were actually justified.
Now we come to today's announcement that current players will be able to stay with SOE. It is a victory for all those who have been patiently posting about all the issues of this deal as well their concerns. Without them and all the people who quit in protest I don't think things would have changed. Now let's hope SOE doesn't somehow make things worse.
As for myself, I am not an european nor did I play on a european server so I was not affected directly by this deal. However there were a some european players, whose house decoration work I admired, who did quit over this. That and the region lock thing in the beginning really upset me to the point of quitting the game entirely. Obligating players to transition to another company in exchange of no server region restrictions didn't make things much better either.
This announcement comes a bit too late for me. As far as MMORPGs go, Guild Wars 2 is where my heart is now. And if I do subscribe to a MMORPG just for the housing it might end up being Rifts as they will have a very nifty housing system in their soon to be released expansion. For now I am just pondering about going back to EQ2 as a free player to finish up some house decoration projects.
In any case, I am happy that there is at least some happy ending of this whole mess, even if it might be just temporary. It is just a shame they didn't do this from the beginning or they didn't do it before DCUO transitioned.