Unfortunately, this day has been coming for a long, long time.
[su_expand more_text=”Read the rest of Russel Shanks’ relese” less_text=”Read less…” text_color=”#2a2a2a” link_color=”#011948″ more_icon=”icon: file-text-o” less_icon=”icon: eject”]To Our Daybreak Community,
I’m writing today to let you know that, after much review and consideration, Daybreak is discontinuing development of EverQuest Next.
For the past 20 years EverQuest has been a labor of love. What started as a deep passion of ours, as game creators, grew into a much larger passion shared by you, millions of players and Daybreakers alike. Watching EverQuest’s ability to entertain and bring people together has inspired and humbled us. It’s shaped our culture and has emboldened us to take aggressive risks with our game ideas and products. When we decided to create the next chapter in the EverQuest journey, we didn’t aim low. We set out to make something revolutionary.
For those familiar with the internals of game development, you know that cancellations are a reality we must face from time to time. Inherent to the creative process are dreaming big, pushing hard and being brutally honest with where you land. In the case of EverQuest Next, we accomplished incredible feats that astonished industry insiders. Unfortunately, as we put together the pieces, we found that it wasn’t fun. We know you have high standards when it comes to Norrath and we do too. In final review, we had to face the fact that EverQuest Next would not meet the expectations we – and all of you – have for the worlds of Norrath.
The future of the EverQuest franchise as a whole is important to us here at Daybreak. EverQuest in all its forms is near and dear to our hearts. EverQuest and EverQuest II are going strong. Rest assured that our passion to grow the world of EverQuest remains undiminished.
President, Daybreak Games[/su_expand]
The reasons for failure are many.
- Losing Dave Georgeson, Steve Danuser, and the heart of SOE to form Daybreak was the day EverQuest Next officially died.
- EverQuest (Next) Landmark and EverQuest Next brand confusion and crossover were a huge detriment to development and brand hype.
- EverQuest Landmark’s failure foretold EverQuest Next’s failure. The same team worked on both titles.
- Omeed Dariani and embracing the Twitch mentality destroyed the early days of EQ Next’s marketing hype and building a MMORPG community.
- Destructible environments aren’t necessary and are indicative of a phased and ‘reset-able’ world. Voxels and tech demos aren’t what true MMORPG gamers want. We don’t need the gimmicks. We’re looking for substance and heart.
- “Dynamic” events will never, ever, yield a world that feels immersive.
EverQuest Next was always treated as a tech demo. They weren’t talking about the heart and soul of the game, but always focusing on the superficial surface. They weren’t talking about the gameplay. We saw tech ideas and voxels. We were fed teaspoons of information about Landmark like it was supposed to make any sense at all. Every time they brought up Landmark and Next — even a few days ago in the video I just watched of them sitting in a conference room — it was this weird disjointed and awkward conversation of how the two would make sense together. Reality: They never did, and never would.
Just like you can’t take a huge budget and ridiculous themepark ideas and throw them together expecting a successful AAA launch, you can’t take an idea based in technology with zero gameplay vision and expect the successor to EverQuest.
Some people are praising them for trying something “bold.” I’m shaking my head wondering why they were so foolish. The recipe for success never included they ingredients they were tossing into this one. Oh well.
Hopefully the team working on the game can at least be assigned elsewhere and stay employed, and the people who were overseeing the project and came up with the foundation will learn from their mistakes and move forward making something better. Hint: Not H1Z1.
I’ll continue to support EverQuest. I am an EverQuest fanboy at heart, and will continue to actively play EverQuest. My subscription is current, and I am enjoying Kunark on the Phinigel server.