EverQuest II Soundtrack, Laura Karpman, 2004
In some ways, EverQuest II ended up between a rock and a hard place. Its predecessor EverQuest – together with Ultima Online – had established MMORPGs as we know them today. That meant expectations for EverQuest II were high, to say the least. To the credit of developer Sony Online Entertainment, they released a polished product, accessible and among the best MMORPGs released up to that point. It just wasn’t the kind of quantum leap that EverQuest had been. And then World of Warcraft landed and changed MMORPGs forever. EverQuest II was ultimately far from a commercial flop – it did peak at 325,000 subscribers – but it didn’t stand a chance against World of Warcraft and the millions of subscribers it attracted. Still, EverQuest II retained a dedicated fan base, with the sixteenth expansion Reign of Shadows released in 2020, fourteen years after the base game’s release.