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Brad McQuaid leaves Verant

Everquest creator to "explore other opportunities"

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Everquest producer and co-designer Brad McQuaid has revealed that he is leaving Verant after five years with the company behind one of the world's most popular online role-playing games. "It's time for me to explore other opportunities in the creative development of massively multiplayer games", Brad announced in a press release. "I wish [Verant owners] Sony Online Entertainment the greatest success with all future releases and I have the greatest confidence in the ability of the development staff that we've assembled over the past few years to continue expanding the EverQuest experience." On the surface at least it appears to be an amicable split, with Sony Online big wigs lining up to wish Brad well. COO John Smedley commented that "it's been a pleasure working with Brad for the past few years as a colleague and a friend and I'm certain that he will continue to contribute innovative and exciting game technology in the future", while President Kelly Flock believes "he will continue to be a force in this emerging market and all of us at Sony Online Entertainment look forward to the possibility of working with him again in the future". It's not entirely clear yet what Brad McQuaid is planning to do next, but it seems highly unlikely that Verant would just let him go and start up a rival company designing massively multiplayer games in direct competition to their own forthcoming titles such as Planetside, Sovereign and Star Wars Galaxies. When Ultima Online creator Richard Garriott left EA's Origin studio last year he was forced to sign a non-compete contract that kept him out of the industry for twelve months and barred him from hiring former colleagues away from EA, and it would be odd if Verant hadn't done something similar to McQuaid. Unless of course he was simply leaving to start up another Sony Online spin-off studio, or his departure was more of a push than a jump. No doubt all will become clear soon though...

Source - press release

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