P99 Officially Endorsed by Daybreak

Ding! EverQuest Project 1999 is now officially endorsed by Daybreak Games. Nothing changes for us P99 players. Technically it has always been “legal” for us to play. P99 players actually lose out in this deal at face value because we are having Velious pushed back until August. Maybe there’s more to all of this.

I’m worried about this line from the announcement:

The agreement establishes the guidelines that we as a project must follow, but it will allow to us continue to update the game without risk of legal repercussions.

What are those guidelines? Neither side is disclosing anything.  I’m waiting until the penny drops. What’s the catch, friends? It’s more than a PR move. It’s more than P99’s Velious release conflicting with a progression server launch. Why does Daybreak decide that now is the time to set precedent, endorse and allow P99, and actually RAISE awareness for P99? P99 has never before had this much press, and now that people won’t be banned on the official forums for talking about it, P99 may actually grow.

Damage, a member of our community, brought up a very good point: There are a number of servers on the emulator that can be played, but only one (2 if you count Red) are classified as “Project 1999.” What of the other servers? He also reminded me that P99 is really the only EverQuest being streamed on Twitch. That counts for something.

Daybreak is a business and exists to make money. Where is the money in this deal? It’s certainly not the 3 month window. It’s certainly not in making P99 more popular than it has ever been. Will it be paid expansions to P99? Access to the code of P99 to incorporate some of this into their own progression servers? Bringing P99 officially under the Daybreak flag? Here’s what I’m certain of: Both sides are making money or getting something out of this deal.

I’m super skeptical, but for now I’ll just smile and keep playing EverQuest.

Official P99 Post / Official DBG Post

  • Generally i think it is a smart business move to reestablish some credibility with something that doesn’t cost them anything.

  • Due to the general unavailability of EQ Titanium and not wanting to torrent it..does this mean that you can now download the client from the p99 site?

  • @Wufiavelli: Raising awareness of P99, which actually can be viewed as competition, is a cost to them. There has to be something brewing.

    @Hans Erik Borge: Our community is speculating that Daybreak will make the Titanium client available for download at a cost, or P99 will and Daybreak will get a cut.

  • Oh, there is most likely something brewing even though P99 is really only slight competition to them. Very few people that play P99 would actually play Live if P99 didn’t exist. That is where they recognize that P99 offers something that they can’t. Now of course the Velious release at the same time as progression would have increased competition which is why that was moved.

    I think it’s a given that something is going to happen to make Titanium more easily accessible for some kind of cost.

  • Competition is minuscule at best. Players who are are on P99 are most likely players who would play both a progression server and P99. On the other-hand they get street cred with a hardcore fan base. People who are setting up nostaliga servers for your games are customers that will be subscribing on and off. Having a good relationship means they will try your other products. They will also likely be the ones to drag others into. Kind of think of HBO ignores piracy.

    Your kind of thinking only matters if their future products are going to suck and they are on their death bed. If they are at a point business wise where p99 is any real competition their business they have bigger issues at hand.

  • @Wufiavelli: Why make the street cred play now, though? What changed? I’m struggling to believe it’s just because they are DBG now instead of SOE. Something changed or a new opportunity presented itself.

  • I keep looking at this and (because we’re talking about SOE/Daybreak) wondering how it will go wrong.

    My first guess is that somehow Daybreak will end up being the bad guy either due to some unstated restriction in the agreement or simply because they endorsed P99 and not any other emulation project. There is just too much history to believe that this won’t blow back on them somehow.

  • I find the news awesome at face value. I have several friends who won’t play on P99 because it isn’t official and even though I have played there, I always was hesitant knowing it could be shut down at any time. It now has real credibility. Legal or not, I find it impossible to believe P99 would have been online one day after getting a C&D from Sony.

  • @Wilhelm: See, that’s where I’m at too. SOMETHING here is going to go wrong or there will be a catch. It’ll turn up eventually.

    @Jenks: If Sony/SOE could have shut them down they would have done so years ago. It wasn’t possible then, and without Sony’s lawyers it isn’t possible now. I agree with the good news at face value, and I think this will only help P99 grow tremendously.

  • ” If Sony/SOE could have shut them down they would have done so years ago. ”

    What would make you say that? I have absolutely no reason to believe that.

  • @Jenks: We know they did not look upon them favorably. Any mention of P99 was immediately deleted off the forums. There were rumors for years about legal issues. If you didn’t want someone taking your game, emulating it, and releasing it to the public — even an older version — and you could top them, would you? If I were SOE and I could shut them… I certainly would.

  • Maybe they are announcing something, maybe its part of a larger PR push with eqn, maybe some code exchanged. I doubt its anything sinister probably not even that exciting.

  • I can see how P99 benifits from this but how does Daybreak? They get nothing out of the deal.

  • p99 is going to be monetized someday. Period. Even if there were no plans initially, it’s got to happen. There’s too much value in the codebase and playerbase to think otherwise.

    Remember, if it’s free you are the product – not the customer. It’s just a matter of time here. But that doesn’t mean that it will be bad for the players of p99. There are any number of ways to monetize the project without hurting the playerbase.

    I’m interested to see what will happen. And I think it’s disingenuous not to publish the agreement. After all, it is we players who provide much of the value to the project.