PlanetSide Next confirmed for 2011, GR editor faints in joy

It's time for some personal revelations here for anyone who still doesn't know: I have a crush on PlanetSide that rivals Charlie Barratt's love affair with Gabriel Knight. I mention it any chance I get. It's my favorite game of all time. I played it on a regular basis for seven years. And so, with the confirmation today that yes, the next installment in the PlanetSide franchise is indeed coming in 2011, I'm excited for a game in a way I haven't been in years. If you're wondering why you should be excited, let me enlighten you below.

Above: This was me on any given night since 2003, igoring all other games

The "announcement" started earlier this week when John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, let slip to The Escapist that, "We have a very big launch coming in the month of March. It's a big first person shooter franchise that we're really happy with." When asked if it was PlanetSide Next (a term coined by Smedley on his blog, and still considered a working title), he answered: "Could be. We haven't technically announced it."

Well, consider it official, because today on the PlanetSide forums, Paul "Virrago" Williams, the Senior Community Relations manager casually mentioned in a thread: "We’re excited to confirm that we will be continuing the PlanetSide franchise with an all-new FPS action game next year. More details will be coming soon…"

When I normally ask people if they've heard of PlanetSide, it's usually either "What's that?" or "Yeah I heard of it, never played it though." Well, I'll assert to the day I die that it is the single most important multiplayer FPS of the decade. It's the largest-scale FPS game ever conceived (at least until PlanetSide Next arrives). Think MAG is big with 256 players on a map? Puh-lease. Try, in its peak, five hundred players on one map. But wait, it's even bigger than that, because that one map is not an isolated match - it's simply one continent on a connected world of ten continents, with actions on each continent affecting the flow of battle on all the others. Although it never acheived those numbers, PlanetSide had the capability of having 5000 players on one server all participating in the same war.

Now, huge numbers of players does not make a great game - it's just the foundation. PlanetSide features a sci-fi conflict between three factions, each of which has unique weapons and vehicles, creating an asymmetrical balance similar to StarCraft. I have characters on all three factions, and they are so different that playing each one is like playing a new game. Throw in endless customization of your character's equipment, huge possibilities for teamwork (30-player platoons, troop transports that can carry ten players each), and an advancement system that brilliantly doesn't make you stronger as you level up, but just more versatile, meaning even newbies have a fighting chance. Here's a player-made video showcasing all of PlanetSide's awesomeness:

Above: You're going to tell me this doesn't intrigue you?

You can be sure I'll be covering the crap out of PlanetSide Next, because if it achieves anything like the original did, it will make other shooters feel like hollow shells with their non-persistent worlds and sad little 32-player deathmatches.

[Sources: The EscapistOfficial PlanetSide Forums]

Dec 10, 2010 


  • Dogstar6 - March 6, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    Follow us at, I'm personally keeping our blog up to date with any of the latest Planetside Next information that the Internet has to offer. We don't require signups and we are NOT politcally correct! Come over and post your comments - quick and easy. We all can't wait for PS2 - I just resubbed myself and have been enjoying the hell out of it! See you on the battlefield, guys.
  • Ghazrin - February 9, 2011 8:41 p.m.

    So, it's been two months since this news was released and confirmed, and I haven't heard anything since. I've been all over the net, looking for any further information, but I just can't find a damn thing! I'm foaming at the mouth over here...I need more PS:Next news!!!
  • distalled - January 26, 2011 11:11 p.m.

    It's official, GamesRadar has won me over now. While I'm a month late, Matt, please let me get down on my knees and thank you properly for this post. 1. EVERY diehard PS player knows that EXACT conversation.. that is, explaining what the hell Planetside is. I could have written that. 2. Along those lines, there's a reason no one has heard of Planetside, even geeky gamers with crazy towers who love the idea when told. SOE does not advertise or hype the games at all. God help us if they don't again. Even if it's a beta release in March, they need to get on the ball so we can have pop-locks allllll around. For all the slow-ness the MMO aspect of the game creates when moving people around, nothing can begin to approach the epic-ness of a squad of mag-riders rolling in to a 3 hour push on Cyssor. Nothing. 3. I just resubbed, I played beta, back when they actually sent you disks and a NDA in the MAIL. I'm happy to hear that GR has staff along my lines. Hope to see you in game! I'm an avid listener to Talk Radar, and now, I'll be allll up in your grill. GR, you win.
  • insinfinity - January 21, 2011 5:58 p.m.

    This article has captured how I feel about Planetside perfectly. It was a very very well designed game which at times required clever and creative strategy, and at other times required pure will and perseverance. The action was great, the sense of community was brilliant and the feeling of accomplishment was massive when you won a heavily contested position. In the day the game wasn't that heavily demanding. I hope they focus on making it scalable to allow many to join the battles, because huge battles of the kind Planetside executed so well, have been the holy grail of game makers ever since. I will be counting down the days until I can start playing again.
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - December 13, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    The original PlanetSide was free to play at one time, but I believe that's been removed now. I think they just have 14-day free trials, but you can just keep creating new ones.
  • SideOfBeef - December 12, 2010 3:26 a.m.

    I've been looking for a Planetside since I first got a half-decent computer after Planetside died. I cannot describe with words how hard I'm throwing devil horns right now.
  • Longnuts - December 12, 2010 1:21 a.m.

    NC Markov "Devil Dogs" and TR Emerald "Markov" outfits here, and I played PS for quite a few years. Great game, too bad it never got as many people playing that would have made the game truly epic. SoE did some great stuff with this game, but also some bad (BFRs... what a wreck). No machine to run either planetside anymore, which makes me kinda sad, but oh well. This looks awesome though.
  • SmOkM - December 12, 2010 12:48 a.m.

    Planetside did SO MUCH right that it was easy to overlook things you didn't like about it, to this day ive wanted an up-to date masive scale fps in the same vain on pc, the success of consoles over the past 5 years and more i think has damped the onset of such pc titles as they are for some reason considered niche.... but really arnt. I loved my time in PS and if they next game is Planetside updated... im in!
  • Pantas - December 11, 2010 7:49 p.m.

    After moving to Vista the original planetside plays like crap now. I'm eagerly waiting for this new installment of one of my favorite games.
  • Spybreak8 - December 11, 2010 6:54 p.m.

    @ GamesRadarMatthewKeast Oh man you just blew my mind! I loved Tribes so more than likely I'll love this.
  • Darthspud - December 11, 2010 8:55 a.m.

    Hey Matthew, that video said its Free to Play? True? And is it better than Quake Live?
  • Eliath - December 11, 2010 12:49 a.m.

    Matthew, you just became my favorite GR editor instantly. I am excite. I've gone years talking about Tribes and PlanetSide with people just giving me blank stares.
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - December 11, 2010 12:32 a.m.

    You know why it reminds you of Tribes? Because the original designer worked on Tribes 2. The Vanu MAX units (heavy infantry armor) have jump jets like in Tribes.
  • Spybreak8 - December 11, 2010 12:17 a.m.

    Hmm yeah never played the original but this reminds me of Tribes and I'm interested.
  • KNITEpanda - December 10, 2010 10:55 p.m.

    Excuse me while I lift my jaw up off the ground. That was pretty epic, no lies about that. Machine probably wouldnt run it though.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - December 10, 2010 10:55 p.m.

    *prays for console release*
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - December 10, 2010 10:50 p.m.

    PlanetSide won't ruin your life the way a typical MMO will. In a standard MMORPG, you feel compelled to play because of the carrot at the end of the stick. PlanetSide is a shooter, so you play for fun instead of compulsion. I played it a lot over the years, but I never felt the mindless compulsion the way WoW did to me in a very short time.
  • HumorTumor - December 10, 2010 10:45 p.m.

    Wish I could play the original. This sounds like exciting news, unless it's pc only (a good chance it is), then I don't have the machine to run it.
  • StrayGator - December 10, 2010 10:45 p.m.

    I'll pass. Not for lack of interest, mind you. I just know that joining this game will ruin my life.
  • GhostBurns - December 10, 2010 10:34 p.m.

    Good to know not much has changed since 2003. maybe this time you'll get me to throwdown with you.

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