After over two years of drama, with SOE customers feeling cut off, marginalized, and second class just for living in Europe, the grand experiment of German media conglomerate ProSiebenSat.1 managing SOE customers in the EU region is finally over!
When it was announced that Sony Pictures had licensed their entertainment library to PSG to try to be the Netflix of Europe, the writing was on the wall that SOE gamers might be along for the ride. While I do think Sony Online Entertainment eventually made some heroic efforts to try to make this deal work — after a few scathing reviews penned by this and other gaming sites — the deal was likely doomed from the start. ProSiebenSat.1 had never handled a AAA MMO title, let alone three, and the inexperience of its fledgling Alaplaya brand at supporting anything beyond F2P browser games became apparent even before the SOE-PSG transition began.
Much like the ill-fated Ubisoft takeover of EU-based EverQuest Live accounts in the early 2000′s, and despite promises of localization improvements and copious advertising, these deals seem to only ever end up souring the playerbase and having a negative impact on server populations and general goodwill.
As of today, June 18, 2014, new EverQuest II, PlanetSide 2, and DC Universe Online players in Europe now do so with SOE. And as of July 1, 2014, existing EQ2, PS2, and DCUO customers will be transferred back to SOE.
After the jump, the official statement from Linda “Brasse” Carlson on the SOE forums: