E3 2011 MMO Previews and Predictions

G4 has provided us with a write-up on a few of the MMORPGs that are expected to make an appearance at next week's E3. Star Wars: The Old Republic, Defiance, EverQuest Next, and PlanetSide Next are all included:
Sony Online Entertainment will probably be spending most of its time NOT talking about the recent attacks by hackers on their user database, recent staff layoffs or cancellation of long in development action spy MMO The Agency. What they would rather be talking about instead is DC Universe Online and the two big MMOs in development EverQuest Next and Planetside Next.

Not much is known yet about EverQuest Next. The game was announced last year at SOE's annual Fan Faire in Las Vegas along with two gorgeous screenshots and footage of the panel where developers talked in generalities. Many MMO gamers enjoyed the original EverQuest back in the day, but don't have the time for the hardcore grinding that defined the game. This reimagining of the world of Norrath with state of the art graphics engine and the latest in game design may just be the ticket for SOE to keep this franchise alive. Hopefully they will have more to show us at E3, even if it's additional shiny screenshots.

Planetside Next is SOE's sequel to another long-running title of theirs, the MMOFPS Planetside. Though not yet in open beta, Planetside Next was first supposed to come out in early 2011, but SOE layoffs have now pushed the launch to (later in the year.) There has been very little information available about the title despite its imminent arrival except for some screenshots and a lot of hype. A playable demo at E3 would go a long way in generating the kind of buzz SOE is going to need to get this shooter MMO off the ground this year.
It'll be interesting to see if they go with "EverQuest III" or somehow breathe new life into the original "EverQuest" name.