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Sony Online Entertainment is looking to hype up gamers for its upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game EverQuest Next. The developer is enlisting the help of Wikia, a company that oversees a collection of community-driven webpages, to get people talking about and engaging with EverQuest Next.
Earlier today, Wikia launched an EverQuest Next portal that SOE will use to communicate directly with fans. This is the first official gaming portal on Wikia’s site, which hosts scores of user-made communities.
SOE will post exclusive content such as EverQuest Next screenshots, chats with the developers, and behind-the-scenes blogs on the site. Wikia community members can also collaborate and help flesh out the EverQuest Next portal with original content.
“Industry leaders are coming to Wikia because they now recognize the collaborative power of our superfans,” Wikia senior vice president of marketing Jennifer Betka said in a statement. “Our Wikia Stars, [which are the biggest contributors to the site], are among the foremost experts in movies, TV, gaming, and fan culture. They are uniquely positioned to help studios and publishers create next-generation content and gameplay.”
This partnership between the two companies also marks the launch of Wikia’s new program called The Lab, which is a gaming-focused effort to help connect fans with their favorite developers.
Wikia is giving SOE the opportunity to help fans feel like they’re taking part in the development process.
“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,” SOE senior vice president of global sales Laura Naviaux said. “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.”
SOE began showing off EverQuest Next to its dedicated fans last week. It will take some inspiration from the original EverQuest MMORPG but is also ambitiously different in most ways.
“EverQuest Next is not the continuation of a familiar story. It represents the fundamental reimagining of the characters, lore, and environments of the EverQuest universe,” said Dave Georgeson, the director of development for the EverQuest franchise. “Make no mistake: While great care has been taken to respect the extraordinary influence that EverQuest has had in this industry and with our player community over the years, this is a boldly different game unlike anything that has come before.”
EverQuest Next is free to play, but Sony isn’t talking about a release date yet.