The upcoming EverQuest Next is going to "turn the MMO genre upside-down", according to a Sony Online Entertainment executive.
Senior vice president of sales and marketing Laura Naviaux told CVG in an interview that the reason the publisher had only revealed limited information to date is because the game is different from anything else it's created.
When asked why zombie MMO H1Z1 was revealed fairly early in development whereas info on EverQuest Next is still thin on the ground a year after its announcement, Naviaux replied: "The easy answer there is that EverQuest Next needs new technology.
"So we've spent a lot of time actually making a voxel world, and the technology and the infrastructure and the data pipeline that it requires to service a game of that magnitude, and the dynamic AI, and some of the other pieces and parts.
"Whereas with H1Z1, we were able to leverage a lot of our existing technology from PlanetSide 2 with the vehicles, Forgelight, the map, the fact that it's a shooter. So we weren't having to reinvent - and I'm not discounting H1Z1 by any means, but it's just apples and oranges, so I don't know if it's a great comparison.
"But we really are wanting to be just as open with EverQuest Next as we've been with H1Z1, we're just focused on different things right now. And H1Z1 will be an early access product, where Next probably will not."
Asked if SOE's typical crowd-focused development process was probably best suited to conventional titles like H1Z1, Naviaux replied: "With EverQuest Next, we're turning the MMO genre upside-down. I wouldn't disagree with your statement, and maybe it is a little bit genre-specific.
"But when you're trying to turn an entire genre upside down, it is very different than when you are able to bring a game to market so quickly and there's sort of an established path."
EverQuest Next was announced a year ago as a free-to-play PC MMO that aims to evolve the genre with fully destructible environment physics that apply to "every piece of the world", more advanced AI and an open-ended storyline that will force the player to face the consequences of their actions and decisions.
In January, SOE president John Smedley confirmed it would also be coming to PS4.