Keep in mind that EQ 2 will not be WoW's only worry. Matrix Online, Guild Wars (created by Arena Net, which is a studio composed of former Blizzard empolyees) and Middle Earth Online amoung others are MMOs that will give WoW some trouble when it comes to attracting the consumer. Also there has been a recent movement of companies like Turbine and Mystic trying their best to attract gamers back to their respected MMOs. This is where most people that are informed on the EQ 2 vs WoW fight are weak in when it comes to these kinda arguements. Its not really "EQ 2 vs WoW", its "EQ 2 vs WOW vs everybody else, whether the game is new or old".
None of these games really count if the only place I've ever seen any mention of any of them is /gucomics. I know absolute squat about those games. There are very few other MMOs in development I know a hair about, and none of them are on the list you mentioned above. Granted, this could be my own ignorance, but I'm going to assume that most people playing an MMO are too busy playing it to do a lot of research on all the other games of next year. This is why most people are locked into an "EQ2 vs WoW" mindset. If I don't know about a game, I'm not going to go down to a store to pre-order it.
Actually, Guild Wars have been covered numerous times by the major game sites on the net and have recently been covered by Game Informer Magazine, which is a very popular game magazine which was the first to provide GTA: San Andreas info. Also, during E3, Arena Net allowed the public over the internet to play the game. One thing that has people excited about Guild Wars is that its the first big budget MMORPG that is actually free. Also, NCsoft is backing this title and they are not new to the genre.
As for the Matrix Online, that already has been public known since the info can be found in the Matrix Revolution DVDs. Also, since beta was just released, news on the game have been coming at a frequent pace. Just on the name alone will get people into the Matrix Online bandwagon.
Just wanted to add this statement since it somehow didn't made it through my first edit. Any MMORPG, whether its already out or not, will be competing with each other. It really doesn't matter if one is more popular then the other and it doesn't matter if you personally know about it or not.
Think of it as a run for a position in office: you have two main parties (EQ2 and WoW) that will be seen the most since they hold the most attention but there are independents and other parties fighting to hold the top spot. Are they really different from one another? Well, aside from what the bring to the table, no. They all want that top spot and will do anything to get it. Someone small can come in and hit it big. I never really heard of Blizzard or even cared about it till recently. I read up on the developer and dug deeper until I found something about the company that I enjoyed. This was when I finally played Warcraft 3 and found out that Blizzard developed two favs of mine (Lost Vikings and Blackthrone) I fell in love. Can a smaller, lesser known company do the same? Sure, of course!
The point I wanna make is that whether you are in the spot light or not, your good work will be noticed. WoW could be the worst game ever or it could be the blessing that the genre needs. Same thing when it comes to EQ 2 but try not to discount lesser known games like Guild Wars, Matrixs Online, Middle Earth Online and Tasula Raza amoung others. Who knows, one of the smaller games might become the next Everquest. Edited, Sun Aug 1 07:56:59 2004 by Redmoonxl