Rumors of Future Daybreak Projects and the End of EverQuest

[Addendum: A year after this post I reviewed how the rumors may have played out.]

Because we just can’t stop staring at Daybreak now that they’ve drawn our attention.

The eye seems more angry today

Over at Massively OP they reported on a Reddit post by an alleged former Daybreak staffer who was part of the big layoff and who decided to spilled the beans on what the company has under wraps.  I am going to quote the substance of the post just to have it here for reference now and in the future.

The list re-ordered for narrative flow and importance to me:

Everquest will have one last expansion. The 20th anniversary will introduce a series of nostalgic raids that tie into complex quests. These quests can be done in order to grant alternate characters powerful scaling weapons.

Well, I have long asked how many expansions could EverQuest sustain.  20 years is a pretty good run, and I imagine that they’ll keep playing the progression server card.  But it will be a sad day when the final expansion hits and Norrath reaches its final size.

Everquest 2 will also have one last expansion and eventually a similar series of send-off weapon quests and raids.

It seems like 2019 (or 2018) will be a final kiss-off for the slowly dwindling and increasingly bitter base of Norrath fans.  EQII will have made it to 15 years but won’t end up with nearly the immense scope of places that EQ has.  Another sad day for the MMO with my favorite housing scheme ever.

Everquest 3 has been back in development for a year and is being rebuilt from the ground up. It aims to compete with Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and to be the first fantasy MMORPG to put an emphasis on team battle royal PvP.

I guess we should be happy about this, but after the first EverQuest Next announcement, then the restart, then the voxel word promises and Landmark and the faked AI in all the demos and the final cancellation I cannot find any enthusiasm for this at the moment.

There was a rumor going about last year that there was a Norrath based multiplayer RPG in the works that would not be an MMORPG, but I guess once you are on the stage with the other MMOs it is hard not to keep going that direction.

The idea of competing with Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen AND injecting the flavor of the month feature of battle royale PvP seems silly.  Would picking a focus be too much to ask?  And what would team battle royal PvP be anyway, and how would it be different from World of Warcraft battlegrounds?

I realize this isn’t an official announcement, but they have a lot to sell on this one if it is anywhere close to true.

Just Survive is on its last legs. Several ideas for increasing profits have been floated around but at this point it looks like a sunset is most likely.

Not unexpected.  Certainly the most credible item on the list.  The name seemed too on the nose when it was given, like naming a mayfly “dead by Friday.”

Planetside 2 was supposed to be getting new character models and animations in May. A new map and an aircraft carrier are planned for the end of the year.

Sounds okay I guess, unless you’re planning to replace the game.

Planetside 3 is in early development. Other teams will be siphoned into this project next year. This will be a team based battle royal game that combines the building aspect of Fortnite with territory acquisition.

Oh, you’re planning to replace the game.  The ghost of Smed continues to wander the halls of Daybreak I guess, which is odd because he isn’t actually dead.  And, of course, battle royale figures into it because of course it does.  Doesn’t Daybreak already have a battle royale game in H1Z1?

H1Z1 will get a smaller map as well as a remake of “Z1”. The PS4 port is looking good. After that new skins will continue to be released but most of the team will be moved over to Planetside 3.

Drop work on the current battle royale game save for cash shop items so you can work on the new battle royale game, which will probably launch when the market has gone well past saturation and will have to be altered to fit whatever the flavor of the month is at that time.

Well, down 70 people and with a handful of games to maintain I guess they have to make some tough choices if they ever want to launch anything new.

Of course, this could all be nonsense or misdirection too.  You can’t really know from the outside.  But I figured I would mark the moment so we can return to it later and see if any of it plays out.

I doubt there will be any official response to any of this, but we’ll all keep an eye out for announcements in the distant future from the house that Jason Epstein built.

Others on these rumors:

11 thoughts on “Rumors of Future Daybreak Projects and the End of EverQuest

  1. Bhagpuss

    I started to reply but it grew and grew so I turned it into a post of my own.

    The EQ3 thing is very odd, particularly with the Battle Royale tacked on. It’s also interesting to see how Pantheon has gone from a total joke to a serious contender. You don’t see many – or any – posts calling it vaporware or a vanity project any more. It’s definitely my most-anticipated MMORPG and it may well be the last big diku-MUD MMO I play – if Brad can get it to the finish line.

    If this year is the last for EQ/EQ2 expansions I’ll be sorry. I can happily live without any more for EQ but the EQ2 ones are still very good and I buy and play them as they arrive. I hope, if true, it doesn’t mean an immediate descent into full maintenance mode. I could live with a couple of decent Game Updates a year and a new quest or two for some of the bigger holidays. I worry that the “siphoning” of other teams to PS3 “next year” actually means the devs that would have worked on 2019’s EQ/EQ2 expansions. I hope they leave someone there!

    If someone would get cracking on an EQ2 emu that would set my mind at rest. We already have a couple of good EQ emus and the excellent Vanguard one, not to mention the Free Realms project, but when EQ2’s sun finally does sink behind the horizon for the last time I fear there may be no second coming.


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I fully expected you to end up with a post out of this.

    I have mixed feelings on all of this. It seems unlikely that I will ever do anything more than dabble with either current Norrath title. I haven’t played EQII seriously for a while and haven’t hit EQ hard since the Fippy Darkpaw launch, save for some initial enthusiasm for the Vox server. But there is an emotional attachment to both EQ and EQII for me, so even though I likely won’t play either, halting live development will still be a blow when it comes to pass.

    As for the rest, it could all be a hoax. I have problems believing the EverQuest III plan, while PlanetSide 3 has credibility problems as well. Just Survive’s fate though, that one seems far too easy to believe.


  3. Telwyn

    I’ve kept away from commenting on this unfolding mess because I don’t really know what to say at any length. I just hope EQ2 survives for a time at least, there is still so much I want to explore in that game :-/ Also DCUO seems to have been left out of the discussions of the rumours that I’ve seen, maybe it’s protected by the licensing deal with DC/WB?


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Telwyn – DCUO is purported to be their best money maker over the long haul, discounting spikes from H1Z1. That and the fact there are no doubt licensing commitments are probably protecting it.


  5. Gaff

    You will buy the Everquest III Collectors Edition. This will give you a CD of the soundtrack, official art collectors book, a tin flying carpet, and a baby dragon for your house. The baby dragon will be worth 10s of dollars at some point.


  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Gaff – And a title. I’m not buying it unless I get a title that marks me as a sucker. Plus a title that says I was from the Crushbone server in 2004 and the E’ci server in 1999.


  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    While this list seemed a bit suspect back in May, at this point two items on the list have come to pass. Just Survive is dead and PlanetSide 2 is getting a new map. While those aren’t exactly the toughest items on the list, this seems to be more than the troll that some people declared it back when it hit.


  8. Havanli

    I’ll be honest, I would welcome an updated EQ game. Norrath is, by far, my favorite fantasy/mmo lore and background. ESO has done pretty well for itself, so if they lean more toward trying to compete with it in graphics and gameplay people will come back, I think. I know several of my old EQ friends (and I don’t just mean EQ 1, but also 2) stopped playing because of the draw of better graphics and combat mechanics in ESO….then several of those quit ESO because the lore just wasn’t as fulfilling as that of Norrath. It’s also difficult to draw NEW people into EQ and EQ2 because many of them (now) grew up with much better graphics (sad to say I had one friend start and then promptly stop after a day because of them….the last time he played an EQ game he was in fifth grade….=sigh= I feel old).

    I think there could be a place in it for a battle royal setting as well… Battle grounds, another server, a coliseum perhaps? (that seems most likely to be the best option for that sort of game play). It wouldn’t be terribly difficult to implement either, I think…it’s essentially just PVP with a specific set of rules. I personally wouldn’t play it, because I’m not a PVPer, but I know plenty of others probably would, and it would draw people to the game as an aspect of game play. The thing I’m curious about, however, is what they would bring for a new story arc….I was honestly pondering this the other day (strangely enough. Perhaps because I just returned to EQ2?…Again…and was pining for a more active community). I’m not certain where they would bring it from, though….the world has already had a -bunch- happen. I could maybe bite into a skewing of parallel timelines thanks to the constant fights the Gods are already having? This would at least allow for new races or returns of old races (I desperately miss the Vah’shir and Shar’Vahl), or perhaps the Erudites end up mucking things again and that’s what does it? I could even bite at perhaps a mortal or two ends up ascending to god hood and *that* mucks things up and the world has to deal with the backlash of it and that’s the starting point…..

    Anyway, with that very long-winded post….I do hope they are honestly and diligently working on an EQ3 and won’t simply let this lore stagnate and die. That would be a great loss and a waste of good lore and good setting….because Norrath is one of the more vibrant, exotic and fleshed out worlds and it should be kept going.


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