Rest In Pieces, Everquest Next


Today is a sad day. Just a couple of weeks ago, myself and Wilhelm had a long discussion about the state of Daybreak games on the podcast. A large chunk of that conversation saw us fanboying over Norrath, and how the company has done a good job of not letting the classic versions of Norrath die, including creating new progression servers and releasing new expansions. The big question on our minds though, was what is happening with EQ Next?

That question has been answered at this point, with the president of Daybreak Games announcing today that the game has been cancelled for simply being “not fun.”

I sort of wish they would have let us be the judge of that, but that’s more than likely developer speak for “we don’t have the money to finish it” or something to that effect. It’s unfortunate for people like me, Wilhelm, and others I’m sure, because some of us had our first MMO experiences in Norrath, and we would love to go back to the world in which we first fell in love. As I said on the podcast, I would be happy with a visual and client overhaul of the original or the sequel with today’s technology, but it’s not likely that’s going to happen. Here’s the snippet from the President:

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 Nextwould 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.

Yours truly,

Russell Shanks
President, Daybreak Games

Reading through the press release, it seems like they just threw their hands up and are either just going to focus on H1Z1 and the classic EQ games, or perhaps they do have plans to do something more with the franchise, but we won’t know for a while from the sound of it. I for one will play a new version of an Everquest game, just based on nostalgia and love for the franchise, but I’m not holding my breath for that title to ever surface.

Like I mentioned in my post about H1Z1 splitting up, I have been losing faith in the company as a whole. This announcement that there isn’t a new Everquest game on the horizon and the fact that I have basically found myself done with the classic titles in the franchise makes me lose it altogether. I still own H1Z1 so I’m likely to play it sometime after it releases, but unless they come up with some new title that is worth my time and enthusiasm, I may no longer be a fan of the company that was once Verant.