Daybreak Games confirms that John Smedley will be taking some time off from the company for the near-term and transitioning to a different role to be determined. Upon finalization of his plans, further communication will be provided.
RadarX, EverQuest II forums
l go away for a few days and this happens. While I was down at Pismo Beach watching the beach bunnies and avoiding the horde of German tourists… seriously, they were everywhere… only to come back home and find that Smed is out as the boss at Daybreak.
- EQ2 Wire
- Game Informer
- Game Politics
- Keen & Graev
- Massively OP
- MMO Fallout
- The Mittani
- Venture Beat
- Brad McQuaid
- Hardcore Casual
Smed was, of course, a pillar of the MMO development community who helped make EverQuest possible. He was also a staple of “Quote of the Day” posts here and not universally loved, having run SOE and Daybreak through various controversial periods including the NGE, the transition to free to play, the current era of early access sales, and the sale of SOE to Columbus Nova Prime. While he has fans both inside and out of Daybreak, not everybody will be sad to see him step down.
But that just brings us to the next question; who will replace him at the helm?
Smed was at least a gamer through and through. Russel Shanks, another long time member of the Daybreak team is stepping up for now, but it is not clear to me if that is a permanent move of not. So the next person running Daybreak may not be cut from the same gamer mold. And while Smed stepping down may have had something to do with his online conflict coming home to roost at Daybreak, it could be about something else as well… something like money even.
Having worked for a company that was acquired by an investment group in the past, I can tell you that I was often reminded of that scene from Goodfellas:
Now the guy’s got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with the bill? He can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy’s gotta come up with Paulie’s money every week, no matter what. Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? Fuck you, pay me.
This may be simply the first round of, “Fuck you, pay me.” Or it could be something else.
What will Daybreak be without John Smedley?