[Everquest 2] Forced migration for european players is dead

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.

14 thoughts on “[Everquest 2] Forced migration for european players is dead”

  1. it is good news indeed, though over the years I get more and more wary of what SOE will do next… Still it means that if I wish, I can go back and decorate if I want to and I can carry on noodling around in Vanguard (there is just *something* about that game :))

    I don’t expect I’ll ever play another SOE title as my main MMO again, but I’m glad that they finally listened to the community. It was also great to see the whole community – not just the Europeans – in complete agreement and support of those affected.

    • Agreed. I have been suffering with decoration withdrawals since I became aware of this whole mess. It will be nice to actually get a bit of a fix for it.

      And yeah, it is really hard to trust SOE nowadays. They just seem to have a knack for shooting themselves in the foot.

  2. Oh, thanks for that summary!

    I’ve been very confused about all that and where we’re standing now. I haven’t even played much but I tried out EQ2 and Vanguard. I was thinking of going trying out DCUO but… ProSiebenSat.1 – bah. They’re mostly known as being two television channels here in Germany and hosting some browser games. No idea why they want MMOs now and if they really know what they’re getting themselves into. 😉

    • No problem. I thought a recap would be nice for those who have been unaware of it so they could understand what the news meant.

      As for how it ProSiebenSat.1 got involved with MMORPGs… The theory on the forums is that Sony made a deal to broadcast their shows on ProSiebenSat.1’s channels. Then somewhere along they way they thought it would be a good idea to include SOE games too. Both parties probably didn’t have any idea of the repercussions this would cause…

      • Yep, that’s my point. 🙂 I don’t think PSS1 knew what they’re getting into. I’d also assume that MMO players are very different from people who play the typical games that PSS1 offers. Heck, my MOTHER plays games on one of their channels and she’s very different from me and my way of playing games – although, at the end of the day, we’re both gamers… which made her grin when I told her that we’ve got that in common. ^^ Anyway, what I mean is that we have different expectations and very different playstyles which leads to different needs.

        I’m curious what will happen, but I’m not optimistic here.

        • *nods* Agreed. Not only different types of customers but also very different infrastructure and customer support, I guess. This just sounds like one of those deals that were made by people high in the hierarchy, who just saw the possible money they could make without taking into consideration all the details because they are all just “the same thing”.

          Yeah. I am not very optimistic either. But it is at least a small victory where I didn’t expect any before.

  3. That’s great news! A couple of Europeans that I knew have already moved on after the initial announcement a while back. I wonder if they will return or have gotten over SOE after that blow.

    My EQ2 account is still active (I was doing the yearly sub) and I snuck in to take some screenshots of my houses the other day. My Halfling house is unfinished and for a brief moment I did get the urge to work on that, but quickly lost interest because I just didn’t have desire to be there. Housing is pretty much the only thing I miss, so I’m pretty sure I’m definitely over it.

    Everyone in GW2 would have to quit and go back to EQ2 for me to be willing to play it again. 🙂

    • Yeah. I have no idea if anyone will return after this either. There were some who were taking the “Waiting and see” attitude though so for them it will be good news.

      And yes, housing is pretty much the same thing I miss about EQ2 as well. Well, that and ratongas. 🙂

      But I doubt I would ever return to it as a main game. Any love I had for it had gone long before this whole mess started. I just kept playing because I loved the housing and at the time there was no other MMORPG that was all that interesting either. This deal pushed me to just quit outright though and then Guild Wars 2 just cemented my decision over it.

      • Cel might not miss Ratongas (after Sneakytail got into her garden AND diary), but I do! 🙂

        *really hopes we get to play Skritt in the future*

        • I too wish we could play Skritt (but then I would have to rename my asura to something else and give the name Rakuno to the new skritt!) however I doubt it will happen. If they add a new race it would most likely be the Tengus since it was planned to be a player race back during development but they scrapped it. So they might have a lot of half-finished work with them already. Plus they could link it with Cantha if they decided to explore what is the current situation there.

          More than anything though I am wishing to see what they will do as a housing system! (Whenever they get to it, that is)

  4. It seems that the whispers on the winds are about Tengu and Quaggan. Personally I would love to see the types of fight animation they would put on a Quaggan wielding a broadsword. Though the Skritt would be awesome too.

    Housing is something that I see coming in about a year. A-net is really great about taking suggestions, not to mention that they could add limited housing shine-ies to the gem store. I would kill for a doylak woven shagg rug.

    • Hm. The Quaggan would be a very unusual choice for a player race. Although I guess they are just as popular as the skritt, Also, since they already went all the way to make underwater combat feels like a natural part of the game so a race whose cities are in the water wouldn’t feel too out of place.

      Yeah, my expectation is for it to come in about a year too. The only question becomes of how it will work. Don’t get me wrong, I do think Arenanet is one of the best MMORPG companies right now. But they are still just humans and they can still make mistakes. So my position right now with housing in Guild Wars 2 is of a “wait and see what happens” one.

  5. I was one of those player that quit, since it seemed inevitable that Sony would have its way and was happening, with DCUO. My daughter still plays on a free, as she would have been upset, over stopping not being able to understand the reasoning behind it.

    May well reload the game as I feel alittle bit down when she asks me why I don’t play it anymore, and wants company, as most gamers wouldn’t deal with her age and the view dungeons are only there to get more money for another house Cat and not gear

  6. At the time I saw some european players I knew quitting over this too. I am not sure if any of them came back since I haven’t really gotten back to the game either due to a lack of interest on it.

    In any case, it is sad that it took them so long to come to a reasonable arrangement to everyone instead of having things working like that from the beginning.

    I hope that you were able to go back to the game without issues (I haven’t been keeping up with SOE so I don’t know if they shot themselves in the foot with something else) and you are having fun playing with your daughter again! 🙂

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