On November 9, 2005 Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a global leader in the online games industry, will celebrate the first birthday for EverQuest®II. On that day, SOE will offer in-game rewards to EQII players based on the length of time they have subscribed and there will be fun virtual treats for all EQII players to enjoy. However, the most extraordinary gift is the option for US and European players to use unique Asian-styled characters that were only previously available for the EverQuest II East project created by SOGA, an SOE joint-venture development studio based in Taiwan.
"It has been a fantastic year for EverQuest II," said John Smedley, president, Sony Online Entertainment. "The team has been amazing, continually adding great features to the live game, creating adventure packs, releasing our first expansion pack, Desert of Flames, and launching Station Exchange. We've been so busy that it's hard to believe we're already coming up on birthday celebrations. The team has created a lot of great gifts for our players to enjoy next week and we're already planning exciting things for the year to come."
In-game rewards will be given to players who have subscribed for any time from one day (a 12 slot bag) all the way up to those who subscribed for the whole year. The gifts will be given at the following intervals: at least one day, one week, one month, three months, six months and one year. The gifts stack up so, for example, a player who subscribed for 6 months will also receive all previously accrued rewards. Exciting gifts include experience bonuses, a special title, unique house items, and fireworks.
All EQII players will be able to access the special SOGA created characters. Earlier this year, news of these models spread to the EQII fan community when screenshots were released to the Asian press. Players expressed a strong interest in these characters, but weren't aware of the details surrounding the EverQuest II East project that was created by SOE's SOGA studio in Taiwan. While most companies simply translate text for international use, SOE chose to "re-culturalize" its game for the Asian market creating EverQuest II East. Of the game's 16 playable races, 13 were redesigned with an Asian style and major user interface changes were made to accommodate Asian styles of play such as "point-to-move" use of the mouse rather than use of the keyboard for character movement. EverQuest II East is scheduled for launch in China, Korea, and Taiwan later in November with high expectations for success.
North American, European, and Japanese players will now be given the option to see their characters, and other characters, in the EQII East style. This style adds such unique flavor to the already exciting world of EverQuest II that SOE expects most players to enjoy viewing the SOGA created models.