John Smedley (developer)

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John Smedley
Born (1968-08-27) August 27, 1968 (age 45)
Residence San Diego, California
Occupation President, Sony Online Entertainment

John Smedley formerly was a computer game programmer, Product Development Director and is now President of Sony Online Entertainment since 2002.

Smedley was born August 27, 1968. He became heavily involved in table-top RPGS such as Dungeons & Dragons, which would later give him the ideas for Everquest. He attended Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego, California, before graduating and attending San Diego State University.

In the early 1990s Smedley started a development company called Knight Technologies that produced contract games.[1]

Smedley was involved with the creation and development of the original EverQuest, and was co-founder of Verant Interactive, Inc., which became Sony Online Entertainment, Inc. (SOE) after it was purchased by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2000.[2]

As President of Sony Online Entertainment, Smedley oversaw the relaunch of Star Wars Galaxies in an iteration of the game known as the New Game Enhancements (or NGE). During the time period immediately after the relaunch, as subscriptions were dropping rapidly, there was much unrest on the official game forums. Smedley decided to participate in these threads in a manner most participants found antagonizing. In response to a discussion on the possibility of an emulator to recreate the game as it was before the New Game Enhancements, one such post by Smedley read: "ROFL. Ok. Without engaging in the obvious "we'll bust out our lawyers and sue people" rhetoric" .. "You don't seriously think we're worried about this do you".[3] Since then, in an online interview with the social media site reddit in July 2012, John Smedley admitted to “stupid decisions” regarding Star Wars Galaxies Combat Upgrade and New Gaming Enhancement policies,[4] and acknowledged player led emulator projects seeking to restore a free-to-play Galaxies circa April 2005, Publish 14.1, pre-Combat Upgrade, such as the SWGEmu project.[4]

In 2007, he announced a change in direction for Sony Online Entertainment, including a broadening of business models beyond the subscription model and pursuing female consumers to balance their audience, which was 85% male at the time.[5]


  1. ^ "Moby Games - Knight Technologies". Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "John Smedley Biography". Sony Online Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  3. ^ (SWG Pre-CU Scrapbook:
  4. ^ a b "IAmA John Smedley, 22 year game industry veteran, President of Sony Online Entertainment AMAA". reddit. year 2012. 
  5. ^ "Sony’s Other Games Division Makes Push in New Direction". NY Times. 2007-06-11. 

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