EverQuest Next, the ambitious MMO by Daybreak Games (formerly Sony Online Entertainment), has been cancelled.
The colossal MMO had been in development for years, and indeed our John Bedford played a build of it back in 2013. He came away from his EverQuest Next preview equal parts impressed and skeptical that the developer would be able to follow through on its ambition. Verily, that skepticism was warranted.
So what happened? Daybreak president Russell Shanks quite bluntly admitted in EverQuest Next's cancellation announcement that the game simply "wasn't fun".
"For those familiar with the internals of game development, you know that cancellations are a reality we must face from time to time," Shanks said. "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," he added. "In final review, we had to face the fact that EverQuest Next would 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 2 are going strong. Rest assured that our passion to grow the world of EverQuest remains undiminished."
Indeed Daybreak is still expanding on the EverQuest brand as the company's executive producer Holly Longdale stated in a forum post this morning that Landmark, the Minecraft-esque voxel-based sandbox spin-off, is launching this spring.
"As the community has grown and designs have flourished, we no longer view Landmark as just a building tool," Longdale said. "We've been toiling away making Landmark into a wonder unto itself. While the look of our world was inspired by what was intended to be the voxel world of EverQuest Next, Landmark has evolved into its own game with its own unique identity and purpose."
"The creativity of the Landmark community and the potential for telling stories in this digital world is beyond what we imagined. Our vision for Landmark is to provide a place where you can create ANYTHING, tell your own stories, and share your creativity with other players. We are wrapping up a HUGE game update for Landmark with LOTS of new additions and improvements."