Why Sony's EverQuest sells
J.C. Herz, president, Joystick Nation
The game centers on an online fantasy world called Norrath, where players create characters, engage in online activities and gather elements such as armor and weapons. Through the Internet, players can interact with each other, fighting, talking and trading, and building up more power.
"EverQuest"'s phenomenal popularity has also earned it some; some mental-health professionals have warned that players may become obsessed with the game. Other studies have focused on the , concluding that if Norrath were a country, its per-capita gross national product would be $2,266--comparable to the 77th-richest country on Earth.
More than 400,000 subscribers pay a subscription fee of $12.95 a month for access to the huge virtual world where the game takes place.
The new version will be able to host hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users from throughout the world, thanks to real-time translation in English, French, German, Japanese and Korean, as well as localized servers in select countries, Sony said.
Other new features will include a new "tradesman" character class that allows "nonconfrontational means of character advancement."