Five weeks after posting a Frequently Asked Questions that left many questions unanswered, today brings a revised FAQ which fills in some of the gaps. We’ve highlighted in blue the sections which contain new and notable information. From the EQ2 Forums:
Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) recently announced a new multi-year partnership with ProSiebenSat.1 Games Group to license eight of its online games in Europe, including DC UniverseTM Online, EverQuest® II, Star Wars®: Clone Wars AdventuresTM, Free Realms®, Magic: The Gathering – Tactics®, Pox Nora®, the upcoming PlanetSide® 2, and the next installment of the EverQuest® franchise.
This new partnership will enhance players’ gaming experiences by attracting new audiences into our online worlds (more players = more fun!), plus will deliver additional dedicated Community and Marketing support, and resources for providing an even more localized experience.
We’ve received many questions and comments regarding the new partnership. We sincerely care about our player community and take your feedback seriously. As such, we have put together an updated FAQ that further addresses some of the most common concerns and questions from our online player community. The most recent updates to the FAQ can be found at the bottom of each category.
Importantly, we want to address up front the most common concern that players have had, which is server accessibility. SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games have determined that it is in the best interest of the players and the Community to allow players to continue to play on any server regardless of where they live. That means that European players will be able to play on U.S. servers and vice versa.
Additionally ProSiebenSat.1 Games will offer its own version of an All Access subscription that will be available to all European customers once details have been finalized. As of March 29th Sony Online Entertainment will no longer offer the All Access subscription to European customers. In the meantime, All Access players who have running subscriptions can continue playing SOE games as usual. All current European All Access subscribers with accounts in good standing can continue to play games offered by SOE until the ProSiebenSat.1 Games version of the All Access subscription becomes available.
Again, we appreciate you sharing your thoughts and opinions with us. Your feedback is valuable to us in the ongoing effort to make your experience with SOE and ProSieben more enjoyable.
Is ProSiebenSat.1 Games now the official publisher of SOE games?
Yes, ProSiebenSat.1 Games is the official publisher in Europe for EverQuest II, DC Universe Online, Free Realms, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Magic: The Gathering – Tactics, and PoxNora, as well as the upcoming PlanetSide 2 and the next game in the EverQuest franchise.
Which European territories will be included under this new partnership between SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games?
SOE has secured a multi-year partnership with ProSiebenSat.1 Games Group to distribute eight online U.S.-based games in more than 40 European territories, including Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Other countries may be added later.
What changes should we expect to see with this new partnership?
With the new partnership between Sony Online Entertainment and ProSiebenSat.1 Games Group, players will benefit from more focused European support for the eight SOE games covered under the agreement. In general, this means additional oversight and tailored support by a local company to ensure that the above mentioned SOE games are a reflection of that region’s culture and individual games’ core values.
What exactly is the job of ProSiebenSat.1 Games Group? What can we expect from ProSiebenSat.1 Games on a day-to-day basis?
ProSiebenSat.1 Games Group is the European publishing partner for select SOE games, including PlanetSide 2, DC Universe Online, EverQuest II, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Free Realms, Magic: The Gathering – Tactics, PoxNora, and the next installment of the EverQuest franchise. In this role, ProSiebenSat.1 Games will be responsible for managing all aspects of the European player experience.
What does this partnership mean for European players from countries other than Germany?
ProSiebenSat.1 Games will utilize its strong partnerships, company structures outside of Germany, and the power of TV and state-of-the-art media offerings to promote SOE’s games across the above mentioned European territories. These activities will vary depending on local demands and requirements, and once implemented, players can anticipate an even more tailored gaming experience in their region.
When will this partnership effectively begin?
The partnership between SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games is effective as of now; however given the complex nature, it will take both companies time to finalize and manage the integration process in order to ensure a smooth transition for players. Games will be rolled out individually in the upcoming months, and details and updates will be provided to players accordingly.
When will more detailed information become available?
SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games will provide detailed information soon on any particulars regarding the game experience and other player-focused topics and concerns. We will communicate this information via all official game channels (i.e., individual game web sites, social media platforms and forums).
ProSiebenSat.1 Games is a company that is targeting a broad range of customers with diverse interests. Will there be changes to in-game content in order to appeal to the masses?
SOE’s game line-up is packed with hundreds of hours of content for players to enjoy and explore. As we kick off this partnership, the first and foremost objective will be to deliver a fun and engaging experience for players in the above mentioned games. Looking ahead, SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games will closely monitor the needs and wishes of local communities to bring special content as appropriate to European players.
How will the partnership with ProSiebenSat.1 Games differ from past partnerships with Ubisoft and Koch Media in Europe?
SOE has been publishing games in Europe successfully now for many years. Past partnerships with other game publishers were primarily distribution agreements, meaning those companies manufactured and distributed boxed editions of select SOE games to common European retail outlets. Under the new partnership with SOE, ProSiebenSat.1 Games will oversee all accounts and commerce, and become deeply involved in leading marketing, community and product management in European territories.
Who will continue to develop the games, ProSiebenSat.1 Games or SOE? Will game quality or content be affected as a result?
SOE will continue to operate the games and develop new content as part of the agreement with ProSiebenSat.1 Games so players can continue to expect fun, compelling online entertainment to be included in their favorite SOE games.
Under the new partnership with ProSiebenSat.1 Games, what can existing SOE customers expect to happen to their game characters and progress?
We will offer a simple way for any current SOE European player to create a new account with ProSiebenSat.1 Games and to have their existing characters and game progress transferred and the value of any Station Cash in their SOE account granted to the new ProSiebenSat.1 Games account. After the process is complete, European players can login to their ProSiebenSat.1 Games accounts and continue to play with their existing characters, rewards, and content.
Will the European version of the game still include a /bug and /feedback mechanism?
Yes, there will continue to be mechanisms in place. We will share information specific to each game as details are finalized and the individual games are rolled out by ProSiebenSat.1 Games.
Will EverQuest 2 players in Europe continue to receive LON cards?
Yes, European players will continue to receive Legends of Norrath (LON) cards as part of EverQuest II, which is included in the ProSieben partnership.
Who will host and manage the servers, ProSiebenSat.1 Games or SOE?
SOE will continue to host and manage the European servers for all games under this agreement.
Will server capacity scale with this new demand?
SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games will monitor and ensure that server capacities will be available to meet player demand on an ongoing basis.
Will the servers remain in Amsterdam?
SOE is currently exploring locations in Europe that will provide secure, fast, and reliable server availability. We will provide more information as it is available, but we can confirm that the servers will be located in Europe.
Will International servers be merged with the U.S. servers?
No, European and U.S. based servers will exist independently of each other. However, European players will be able to play on U.S. servers and vice versa.
Will new servers be specifically created for the ProSiebenSat.1 Games game platform?
European players will play on EU servers through ProSieben’s service. SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games will ensure that all game related services and servers are readily available and augmented based on player demand.
Can players still access the U.S. servers?
We have developed a plan that will allow European players to play on U.S. servers and vice versa. We will share more specific details regarding servers as available.
Can U.S. players log on to the European servers?
Yes, U.S. players can play on European servers and vice versa.
Will European players be able to access Test or Beta servers in order to provide feedback on upcoming game content?
Yes, players with a Test or Beta access can continue to test the games and provide feedback before release of the games that offer these servers.
Will cross server communication mail/chat/server channels be permitted?
Yes, cross server communication will still be permitted as we believe in-game interaction is one of the keys to a successful game.
Will players continue to be able to transfer between servers assuming all requirements (billing, age, etc.) are met?
Yes, based on each game’s current transfer rules, players can continue to transfer between servers. Please refer to the Knowledge Base of each game to find out the character transfer requirements.
Will US players who currently have a character on a European server and do not wish to play on ProSiebenSat.1 Games servers, receive a free character transfer to a US server?
There is no need to transfer to a different server because U.S. players can play on European servers and vice versa. If players are interested in transferring their characters, they can purchase character transfer tokens, if available.
Will ProSiebenSat.1 Games take over the localization of the games?
ProSiebenSat.1 Games will be heavily involved to ensure localization meets European player expectations.
Will updates for the U.S. and Europe occur at different times and will they contain different content?
SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games will work closely to communicate future content updates and releases without any significant delays between announcements in the U.S. and Europe. Of course, different time zones and regional distinctions could result in minor delays in the flow of information and updates being pushed live to servers.
Will ProSiebenSat.1 Games implement localized voiceovers for DC Universe Online and other games?
SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games will work together to handle current and future localizations of each of the above mentioned games, including DC Universe Online (DCUO).
Marketing and Distribution Questions
Will Free-to-Play players see more in-game advertisements? Will subscription-based players see in-game advertisements at all?
There are no plans to incorporate in-game advertisements at this time.
Will you promote EverQuest II, DC Universe Online, and other games on television?
SOE has chosen ProSiebenSat.1 Games as its publishing partner due to the company’s vast knowledge of the entertainment space and its wide reach throughout Europe. With ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s full media power, players can expect professional, in-depth, and entertaining marketing campaigns in Europe for the above mentioned SOE games.
Will ProSiebenSat.1 Games distribute localized versions of the games in European stores?
ProSiebenSat.1 Games will focus its efforts on digital distribution and streaming of data technology for the above mentioned SOE games in order to provide players with the best possible gaming experience. Distribution of boxed products is always a possibility and one that could be taken into consideration by ProSiebenSat.1 Games.
Will there be ProSiebenSat.1 Games-specific promotional items to attract new customers?
Players in Europe can expect special content, offers and promotions, including in-game items for the above mentioned SOE games that are included as part of the agreement with ProSiebenSat.1 Games.
Upcoming Games/Future of Current Games Questions
Can we still expect to see PlanetSide 2 in Europe?
Yes, PlanetSide 2 will be available through the publishing efforts of ProSiebenSat.1 Games in Europe.
Will SOE launch the next game in the EverQuest franchise with ProSiebenSat.1 Games?
The agreement between SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games includes the publishing rights for the next game in the EverQuest franchise.
How does this partnership affect the long-term plans for the future of current games?
SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games will work closely together to develop ideas and activities that further strengthen the above mentioned games for a great and entertaining future.
Customer Service Questions
With this partnership in effect, will there be a full-time European Customer Service team?
Yes, ProSiebenSat.1 Games will have a dedicated customer service and community team for the above mentioned SOE games.
ProSieben is best known for its TV channels. Does it have the internal teams with the skill-set to support MMO games?
ProSiebenSat.1 Games employs highly skilled and passionate MMO players. These skills, combined with the broadcasting and entertainment experience of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, will be the key to attracting new audiences into SOE games.
Who should players contact for technical issues, SOE or ProSiebenSat.1 Games?
All technical issues will be handled by ProSiebenSat.1 Games in collaboration with SOE. More information will be made available, as the games are ready to be released under the ProSiebenSat.1 Games umbrella. For now, players can contact SOE as normal.
Will players be able to continue using the U.S. Customer Service Team?
European players will only have access to the dedicated customer and community service team of ProSiebenSat.1 Games.
Will European players only have access to German Customer Service?
European players will be provided with support and customer service in their own respective language, including English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German.
Will account information be shared with ProSiebenSat.1 Games?
No personal information will be shared. We will offer a simple way for any current SOE European player to create a new account with ProSiebenSat.1 Games and to have their existing characters and game progress transferred and the value of any Station Cash in their SOE account granted to the new ProSiebenSat.1 Games account. After the process is complete, European players can login to their ProSiebenSat.1 Games accounts and continue to play with their existing characters, rewards, and content.
Will my account information be secure?
Privacy and security are very important topics for SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games. SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games have invested substantial energy and effort into establishing and maintaining a secure and reliable infrastructure with effective and proven technology to prevent any security breaches or issues.
Will my account information be kept private?
Yes. ProSiebenSat.1 Games will never publicly disclose or discuss your account information.
Pricing, Accounts, and Payment Questions
Will pricing remain the same?
Generally speaking, prices for game content, in-game items and services will remain similar. Please note that currency conversions and local economic conditions may affect pricing.
Can players continue to use Station Cash?
European players will be able to use a new virtual currency similar to Station Cash.
Will there be any changes applied to the new Free-to-Play concept or will the games continue to stay Free-to-Play?
At SOE, we view free-to-play as a big part of our future and we strive to follow a business model philosophy of Free to Play. Your Way, meaning that the decision is in the players’ hands so they can play the games on their terms. Giving players choices is the theme of how we’re moving forward as a company.
Will the billing and account management be done by ProSiebenSat.1 Games or SOE?
Billing and account management for European players will be handled by ProSiebenSat.1 Games.
What happens to our running subscriptions?
Players who have pre-paid, non-recurring SOE subscriptions will automatically have their subscriptions transferred over to ProSiebenSat.1 Games so they can continue enjoying any remaining play time left on the account. For players who have a pre-paid, recurring SOE subscription, their remaining subscription time will also be transferred over to ProSiebenSat.1 Games; however, the subscription will not renew at the end of the current cycle. Once the subscription expires, players will be required to re-subscribe through the ProSiebenSat.1 Games system in order to continue enjoying the benefits of a similar membership.
I’m a European player; after I create my ProSieben account, will my SOE account be shut down?
No, your SOE account will not be shut down. You will be able to access the above mentioned SOE games through your ProSieben account, and you’ll be able to access other SOE games (like the original EverQuest) through your existing SOE account.
Will my ProSieben account be automatically deleted if I don’t play for 90 days?
No, ProSiebenSat.1 Games does not use automatic procedures to identify or delete “inactive” accounts.
Will European players still have access to games that are not included in the deal (i.e., the original EverQuest)?
Yes, European players will still have access and can continue to play these games through their SOE account.
Will new accounts be given the option to sign up with either SOE or ProSiebenSat.1 Games?
European players will need a ProSieben account to play the above mentioned games. European players can access other SOE games through an SOE account.
All Access Questions:
Will ProSiebenSat.1 Games continue the All Access plan or provide a similar program?
ProSiebenSat.1 Games will provide a similar plan for the SOE games. More details will be disclosed as the SOE games are rolled out by ProSiebenSat.1 Games in Europe.
Can European players still purchase an All Access plan from SOE?
European customers will no longer be able to purchase new SOE All Access subscriptions beginning March 29, 2012. European customers with existing All Access accounts in good standing will be able to continue playing the All Access games until ProSiebenSat.1 Games begins to provide its multi-game plan. We will share more details as available.
How and when will SOE inform the players about each game migration to ProSiebenSat.1 Games?
Existing customers will be notified by email 30 days prior to the migration.
Website and Forum Questions
Will European players still have access to the SOE forums in order to interact with the Developers? If not, how will Players be able to communicate with and provide feedback to SOE?
European players will have their own localized forums and service, and will still be able to access the U.S. forums.
How will access to beta forums be handled?
Players will continue to have access to Beta forums.
Will we still be able to launch the game from the SOE page or will we have to go to the ProSiebenSat.1 Games website?
ProSiebenSat.1 Games will provide a web-gateway and corresponding game centric websites to all SOE games included as part of this agreement.
Will we have to use a new launcher?
Yes, European players will receive a new launcher similar to the one recently deployed by SOE to provide a secure and reliable login process for the EU servers. Using the European launcher will be mandatory since it will also be used to deliver game patches and news updates.
Why will this partnership not affect EverQuest 1?
The original EverQuest was not included as part of the agreement between SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Games.
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