Amazon Game Studios has announced that John Smedley, who helped shape massive multiplayer games with his work on EverQuest and Planetside, will be heading up a new company studio based in San Diego.
"[John] helped create the blueprint for fusing massive game worlds with vibrant player communities, a vision that we share," a statement from Amazon Game Studios said. "His team is already hard at work on an ambitious new project that taps into the power of the AWS Cloud and Twitch to connect players around the globe in a thrilling new game world."
The company did not announce the name of the studio or provide concrete details on the project Smedley will work on. However, in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Smedley mentioned that he will be listening to fan feedback intently. "I learned two important lessons from Daybreak – first is to listen to customers no matter what. The second is to work with great people. I'm happy to say we're doing both," he said.
It wouldn't surprise anyone for Smedley to be working on an MMO. But what an MMO looks like in 2017 is anyone's guess. Smedley did say in the GamesIndustry.biz interview that MMOs look very different from World of WarCraft now. "We'll still see great MMOs, we're just going to see them evolve from what they are now."