I know this is old news now, but I’m still upset: Everquest Next (EQN) was canceled on 3/11/16. Even the EQN website was shut down and redirects to the Daybreak Games (DGC) home page.
The announcement was here: https://www.daybreakgames.com/news/daybreak-president-community-letter-everquest-next-2016 and it upset me on many levels.
As an original EQ player, I am extremely sad that this looks like the last chance for a new iteration of the much beloved game franchise. As a PC MMORPG player I am sad because it was also the genre’s last best hope for a revival. As a nostalgist, I miss what EQ represented to me: a way to have fun and interact with people across the globe in a “world” where nothing really mattered but it felt like everything mattered.
The game was going to be new, innovative, and (*gasp*) fun! Players’ actions were going to actually change the game world. The graphics were stepped-up and looked awesome. And best of all: it was a real sandbox, where players could invent any story they wanted to play. Sure, there would be quests and story lines created by the company, but it was up to US where to go and what to do, what cities to build and what factions to back. In a real and meaningful way. I’m sad that’s gone forever.
And I’m angry. I’m angry at the blatant betrayal by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). And I’m really angry about all the Station Cash I was tricked into purchasing with the promise of a new game. I am now stuck with more than 35,000 Daybreak Cash which is completely useless to me. And that doesn’t even count all I’ve spent on Landmark that has now been converted into the in-game currency because they have wiped the things I purchased with it.
I’m not really angry at DGC. They’re just the “company” where Sony sold off the failed gaming branch. They were the hit man; SOE was the mastermind.
I have come to believe that Sony purposely sold off the dying brand in a last-ditch cash grab by using vaporware. There is no evidence that EQN ever actually existed as anything more than an idea and short demo. Landmark was the only actual product, and it was poorly designed and couldn’t deliver on the promises.
I think Sony planned to cut all the key creatives and shut down the game (all of them, in fact, but that’s another theory), but didn’t have the balls to do it, because their stock would have tanked.
So they made up the new fake gaming company and “sold” EQN to them. Of course, it had to look like something separate, so they made a deal with a venture capital group. Let them cut the staff. Let them shut down the game(s). Sony isn’t touched. In fact, the stock went up because it was “a sound business decision” and made them a pile of money on the sale. Not in the grand scheme of things, of course, Sony is huge. But certainly in the stockholders’ eyes.
It’s a win-win for both companies. After all, venture companies are expected to lose money on some of their investments. That’s the nature of that game. Unfortunately for the online PC gaming community, it meant killing off something we’ve longed for since EQ2 came out: a really new and innovative MMORPG.
But most of all, I’m extremely disappointed. EQN was canceled because “it wasn’t fun”. Why not let us decide what’s fun? Or take the time it takes to make it fun. There were a lot of gamers who were very excited about this game. We would have waited.
What do you think? Was EQN just another company dreaming too big, or was the project doomed from the start? Let me know in the comments!