Sony Online Entertainment exclusively deals with free-to-play. That means both EverQuest Next and Landmark will be free-to-play when they launch.
While the company has had a good track record with free-to-play (for the most part), EverQuest Next affords SOE a unique opportunity to approach monetization in a whole new way. With player creation a huge focus for Landmark, SOE hopes that Player Studio--which lets players build, share, and sell in-game items--will end up being the "backbone" for the game's revenue.
"We consider ourselves 'good guy' free-to-play," EverQuest franchise director Dave Georgeson told Shacknews. "We don't allow you to pay-to-win. We allow things like shortcuts for time, appearance options, and things like that. But everything that we sell, we allow you to get inside the game." This kind of approach is pretty much standard across all free-to-play games.
However, Georgeson hopes that Player Studio will "be a big backbone" for the company, because "if the players get excited about building the world with us and they start selling stuff to each other... that just lets us have to not worry about the other stuff."
Players will have reason to create goods for EverQuest Next, not simply for the sense of personalization. "We share revenue with the players," Georgeson pointed out. While figures weren't disclosed, when Player Studio originally launched, creators took a 40 percent cut of the revenue.