Daybreak snuffs out the last flame of EverQuest Next

landmark

With yesterday’s announcement of the closure of Landmark, Daybreak not only gets to continue its streak of shutting down more MMOs than it creates but also extinguishes the last vestiges of EverQuest Next in existence. It’s like a kick in the crotch of the deceased — disrespectful, unnecessary, and completely devoid of class.

Daybreak these days is pretty much two things: A hot mess of confusing messages and weird silences, and a company that is much more interested in closing games than creating them. I don’t think there are many people left who still hold the opinion that the Columbus Nova buyout was a portent of a bright future.

And while we can say that it wasn’t a huge surprise that Landmark was next on the chopping block, it doesn’t take the sting out of this — even for non-players, like myself. This move really stinks for many reasons:

  1. As mentioned, Landmark was all that was left of EverQuest Next and the only consolation prize that those fans had. Now it’s going to be taken away.
  2. Daybreak is creating a public image of a studio that doesn’t really want to make or operate games. It hasn’t put out a vision for its future, it’s been shifting leadership since Smedley left, and its fans have been given so little to be excited about.
  3. People dropped some serious money for the alpha that won’t be reimbursed. $100 bucks a pop to play a game that was in testing for most of its life? That’s a cautionary tale that is going right up there with the people who bought a lifetime sub to Hellgate London. At least when Smed’s Hero’s Song went down, he offered everyone’s money back. Not so here.
  4. In fact, Daybreak’s closure message and FAQ are nearly devoid of sympathy and compassion. No, you ain’t getting your money back. No, you can’t run a private server or emulator. No, you don’t really matter.
  5. It always sucks when an MMO goes down, but let us remember that Landmark is a game that featured much more player created content than what you usually find elsewhere. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of hours of creations are about to be flushed down the toilet. They’re not just closing a game, they’re taking away people’s work.

Would it have really hurt or cost so much to leave the lights on and put the game in maintenance mode? Did Daybreak just want another PR hit and remind players how much they hate the studio for killing EverQuest Next last year? Could the studio have shown a little decency and empathy for the players this affected?

This leaves EverQuest, EverQuest II, DCUO, both H1Z1 games, and PlanetSide 2 under the Daybreak umbrella — one of the smallest libraries the studio has ever had. The EverQuest games are probably fine, considering their legacy and last year’s expansions, and DCUO has always seemed to do pretty well for itself on console. But Just Survive and PlanetSide 2 appear more vulnerable now that Landmark has been shown the door.

And it should be pointed out that as Daybreak is nearing its second anniversary from its SOE transition, the studio has yet to announce a new game or launch one (and splitting the H1Z1 titles doesn’t count). I have so little respect or hope for this company, and I am far from alone in stating this.

Landmark… I’m sorry. You deserved better. You could’ve led into something better. They should’ve known better.

6 thoughts on “Daybreak snuffs out the last flame of EverQuest Next

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus January 6, 2017 / 10:49 am

    “Would it have really hurt or cost so much to leave the lights on and put the game in maintenance mode?”

    Unfortunately with only a couple hundred regulars, most of whom paid their money back in 2014, which has long since been spent, and no reliable source of income, even in maintenance mode it was probably going to lose money. And who knows what back-end or under-the-covers technologies they had to license for the game. There can be surprising costs even with a game sitting still.

  2. Tanek January 6, 2017 / 10:55 am

    I was trying to come up with some reason to pull the plug entirely rather than leave servers in maintenance mode or somehow find a way to license player-run private servers (similar to ARK or what is planned for Conan Exiles…I am really starting to like this kind of model). All I could come up with was a) they are so strapped for cash that nothing could go to these servers, b) the new bosses are just not going to allow any kind of maintenance mode, or c) the technology and/or assets of the game are sold/up for sale.

    I don’t see a new MMO (or even a new PC game, period) coming out of this company for a long time, if ever. And I don’t know how much the Landmark tech will help on any mobile games they may be working on.

    another aspect of this shutdown that irks me is that apparently they are reducing the cost of items in the Landmark shop to 1 DBC*. I know there are people who would see this as a good thing. Almost two months to play around with anything you wanted to do in the shop for next to nothing. But why should it cost ANYTHING at this point? The shop should be a free-for-all until the shutdown. I know I don’t want to put a single bit of currency into this game anymore.

    *it was suggested to me that this may be the limit of what can be done with the coding of the shop. Fine, if that is the case, set it up to refund anything spent between now and the end of the world.

  3. melbrankin January 6, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a MMO gamer guy and commented:
    I was going to post something about the sad closing of Landmark but Syp covered this so well I’m reblogging his

  4. Tesh January 6, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    I keep hoping they will release the code to let players make their own private servers. I know it won’t happen, but it seems like it would be a good fit… and I thought that before they decided to close it.

  5. Evil Eri (@ausj3w3l) January 8, 2017 / 6:39 am

    I don’t think it’s fair asking for a refund after the game running (even in early access) for two years. if you were playing and using it for that long you prob got your money’s worth and let’s be honest – it’s more time than some mmos get these days.

    The comparison to smed is a little off in my mind. They were giving refunds for a rather long time after the initial early access release. I got my 100 refunded just because it wasn’t what I wanted… and it was very alpha at the time. Everyone had the opportunity to do that then so after two years, there really isn’t any point yelling about it now.

    Let’s be honest too. This wasn’t EQN, and was miles away from what was promised of that mmo and even more removed from the EQ franchise.

    Also, I think this speaks more about Daybreak (soe) as developers rather than a company. They are just unable to create good games anymore. It isn’t that they have a penchant for killing dreams, just they can’t actually envisage that dream in the first place.

    My biggest problem with them as developers now is there abuse of Early access as just a way to push out barely functioning games and seeing what sticks.

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