EQ2 Everquest 2 Beta
April 26, 2004, Sony Online Entertainment sent out a press release announcing that Beta was to begin in June of 2004, with the actual beta program sign-ups occurring in May. Much anticipation from this announcement caused many to take the day off from work, school, and other responsibilities to fill out the application for a chance to be part of the EverQuest II beta program. With a press release sent out on May 3rd to all of the major fan and news sites stating that the official EverQuest II site would be open for the public to sign up at 12:00PM Pacific Standard Time, the wildfire of chaos started. Just before noon, the official EverQuest II site crashed under the stress of thousands attempting to be the first to enter their name into the ranks of many to sign up for beta.
Approximately 40 minutes after noon, the official EverQuest II site was back up and running, sluggish, but up for the thousands of interested gamers to send in their application. In May, an update was released stating that beta was to be pushed back with no release time set as a new estimate, but they did still plan to have the European Beta program start in conjunction with the Americas Beta program. July 9th, Steve "Moorgard" Danuser, Community Manager for EverQuest II announced that they were ready to start the first phases of beta that they call, "Friends and Family".
On September 6th, John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment announced that with nearly 5,000 people in beta, the progress being made was great enough to start the next phase of Beta that slowly began to allow more into the testing process. He also announced that in addition to the change in the Americas beta status from Friends and Family to Closed Beta, both the French and German servers had just started the process of closed beta.
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