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EverQuest turns 14: Secrets of the original online multiplayer game

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Video game years are kind of like dog years, and that makes the game EverQuest, which turned 14-years-old this month, positively ancient.

EverQuest was the first Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game, a genre that allows large numbers of players to join one another online.

Dave Georgeson of Sony Online Entertainment says MMO’s tap right into what players want: Recognition.

“Most people play games to be able to brag to somebody else that they are good at it,” Georgeson says. Plus, MMO’s often maintain public leader boards and recognize in-game achievements so “you don’t have to be a jerk about your bragging.”

But that’s not the only way the game attracts players. EverQuest uses a “free-to-play” system which allows users to start playing without buying the game.

“Once you get used to the idea, it’s a very friendly way to play a game, because everything is completely optional,” Georgeson says. “We work really hard to make sure that our games are robustly playable without paying a dime.”

And then there’s the all-important entertainment factor. According to Georgeson, Sony is constantly focused on making sure their games are fun to play. For EverQuest, the fun started with the game’s camera angle, which gave users a first-person perspective rather than a platform view.

“There had never been a game like it,” Georgeson says. “We realized that if you went to first person or third person, you’d get lost a lot, it would be hard to find things, you’d get blind-sided by monsters. And guess what, it turned out that was really really fun.”


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