Last Friday when EverQuest Next was announced, longtime fans of the franchise lustfully cheered the eventual arrival. Boasting over 40 classes, breakable environments, and the reuse of certain regions from the original game, EQ Next is already panning out to be a fan service to those who are in absolute awe of the franchise. Apparently, that’s not enough.
Sony Online Entertainment is teaming up Wikia to give fans a taste of the MMO to come in exchange for feedback. The goal here is for SOE to reach out to their fanbase to learn what exactly they like and don’t like in the current build. This process is being called ‘The Lab.’ By having the ‘super fans’ give feedback in the early development stages of the game, SOE can make better educated decisions on the direction they would like to take EverQuest Next. This event occurs last weekend, August 1st-4th.
Fans who participated were able to play exclusive content, see early released images, chat with developers, read community manager blogs, and more. The Lab is the starting place for long lead activations and custom co-development programs and will work with Wikia’s Star Program. By the end of the year they are looking for 100 fan leaders who excel in content creation, social media, community administration, design, code, and ingenuity. Fans will create the content and keep it running before and long after launch of EverQuest Next.
"At SOE, we're always looking for ways to empower our players and deliver new opportunities that allow them to engage with our games and each other in a meaningful way," said Laura Naviaux, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "As the first game company to partner with Wikia to create a Wikia Official Community, we believe in supporting player communities and see community collaboration as a key pillar in how we're moving forward as a company. Wikia joined us at this year's SOE Live event with the debut of The Lab so our players were the first to learn how to best take advantage of the Wikia platform and player community."
TLDR – SOE and Wikia are working together with fan love to make EverQuest Next better.