Project 1999 – Now Totally Legit

Well, I didn’t see that coming.

p99-gold-flat

In what I can only describe as something that wouldn’t have happened while EverQuest was under the Sony banner, Daybreak has officially recognized and blessed the EverQuest Project 1999 servers.

As part of the deal Project 1999 has agreed to push out the release of the Velious expansion until early August so as not to conflict with the upcoming EverQuest Progression Server.  So I guess we get a little bit of data on that front as well.  Of course, if you’re a pessimist, you might wonder what this says about Daybreak’s commitment to old Norrath, what with Smed’s words still fresh in our ears.

Meanwhile, if you think this means that the same might happen for SWG: A New Hope or SWGEmu, I wouldn’t hold my breath.  Daybreak owns all the rights to EverQuest, but a little company named Disney becomes involved when we start talking about Star Wars Galaxies.

The text of the announcement from the EverQuest site:

If you’ve ever looked for people playing EverQuest on Twitch, you’ll often find fans playing on the Project 1999 servers (often referred to as just P99) and engaging with other members of the community via their Twitch chat. Project 1999 is a fan-based, not-for-profit, classic EverQuest emulation project.

The guys running Project 1999 are passionate fans of EverQuest and our work, and we’re fans of what they’ve been able to accomplish with support from the player community. So, we’d like to bring you the following announcement from the P99 crew:

“It’s been an exciting year for Project 1999 and we have some exciting news we’ve been really anxious to share with all of you. As some of you may be aware, in the past there has been both confusion and concern over the status of Project 1999.  We have recently entered into a written agreement with Daybreak Game Company LLC that formally recognizes Project 1999 as a fan based, not-for-profit, classic EverQuest emulation project. 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. As a show of good faith to support the efforts of Daybreak Games, we have decided to reschedule our expansion release as to not conflict with the upcoming new progression server being released in the coming weeks. We would like to personally thank all the folks at Daybreak and acknowledge how awesome it is for a company to work with and embrace the creations of their fans. This is really something that’s unique in the gaming industry.”

To read the rest of the post, please visit the P99 forums.

We’re proud that the EverQuest community is one of the most passionate and engaged groups of players in the gaming world. We’re glad we were able to reach an agreement with the team behind the fan-based, not-for-profit emulation project as they continue to share their love of EQ with many.

6 thoughts on “Project 1999 – Now Totally Legit

  1. Jenks

    That is really, really cool. Might help my recruitment efforts in trying to get old friends to play EQ with me again. I just went from indifferent to Daybreak to a fan, this is both unique and incredibly cool on their part.

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  2. NetherLands

    Finally!
    Er…I mean, I am glad that at least one gaming company truly sees the added value of private nostalgia servers of offering services that the official company can’t/won’t (*cough* Blizzard*cough*).

    Would it be too optimistic to expect the same happening to the Vanguard EMU project?

    Iirc there were already some SOE employees (on a personal level) happy with that, so keeping my fingers crossed for a return of sorts of Telon :)

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  3. bhagpuss

    Took me completely by surprise as well. I saw it too late last night to post about it but I knew you and Keen would be onto it like hawks, as indeed you were. Keen seems singularly unimpressed but I’d like to think like Jenks above that its a genuinely positive move by Daybreak. And if they feel like making a little extra by selling a digital download of the required Titanium Edition then I tink tat would be fine – I’d buy one just to go take a few screenshots of old Freeport.

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  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    I don’t know if I am impressed or not. The implications of this announcement are not clear to me yet. And maybe Daybreak doesn’t fully appreciate what they might have started either.

    On the surface we have P99 now free from fear of being shut down… so long as they don’t make money. In return, P99 agreed to push out the launch of the Velious expansion… which doesn’t seem very 1999 to me, but whatever… so that it does not create any conflict with the upcoming progression servers.

    That was something of a “WTF?” moment for me. Does P99 have that big of a following? Somehow I doubt that anything P99 did would interfere with the new servers, but that might just be my ignorance speaking.

    Of course, by making P99 legit and linking to it on the main EQ site makes that competition more likely. And, as I noted, given Smed’s recent statements about the future being on the one popular console he was denied as part of Sony, an alarmist might wonder what this means for the future of EQ.

    And then there are the expectations that this sets. Other emulator projects will no doubt be contacting SOE to see if they can get a pass. Why should P99 get favored and not, say, The Hidden Forest or EZ EQ or Shards of Dalaya? And what about Vanguard and FreeRealms and whatever else, including the clearly off-limits Star Wars Galaxies emulators I mentioned?

    My fear is that we’re going to get a lesson in why corporations don’t simply do nice things for their customers, because once you do one thing customers will expect they will get it in all other scenarios, no matter how marginally applicable they are, because of the completely malleable and generally absurd concept of “fairness.”

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  5. SynCaine

    Considering Smed is involved, this isn’t going to end well for the players, and as Wilhelm has already stated, this is likely Daybreak not really thinking this through (because SOE) and, in their minds, gaining some ‘free’ good press that is ultimately going to blow up on them and cause far more harm and bad press than good.

    So really, just SOE being SOE once again.

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