Summary of EverQuest Next News on Feb 2015

There are a lot of surprising news in SOE this month, all pertaining to separations or breaking away. Read on.

SOE headquarters

Sony Sells Off Sony Online Entertainment, Renames it Daybreak Game Company February 2, 2015 – SOE has announced today that Sony has sold the developer of EverQuest, PlanetSide, DC Universe Online and the recently released H1Z1 to investment firm Columbus Nova. The developer, Sony Online Entertainment, will now operate under a new name, Daybreak Game Company, as an independent game studio.

The studio will continue to develop game projects started by SOE such as EverQuest Landmark, EverQuest Next and H1Z1. It will also develop titles for Xbox and mobile platforms, in addition to PlayStation and PC, now that it has become independent of Sony.

According to John Smedley, president of Daybreak Game Company, “We are excited to join Columbus Nova’s impressive roster of companies. They have a proven track record in similar and related industries and we are eager to move forward to see how we can push the boundaries of online gaming. We will continue to focus on delivering exceptional games to players around the world, as well as bringing our portfolio to new platforms, fully embracing the multi-platform world in which we all live.”

“Our games and players are the heart and soul of our organization, and we are committed to maintaining our portfolio of online games and pushing the limits of where we can take online gaming together.” the developer said in a post on Reddit.

John Smedley also said on Twitter that, “Can’t wait to make Xbox games.” Where he also later offered assurance to fans that, “All of our games are still here and will continue to be.”

David Georgeson

David Georgeson and Others Laid Off at Daybreak Game Company Today February 11, 2015 – David Georgeson, the man who has served as the face of EverQuest for so many years, is only one among many who is being laid off at Daybreak studio today.

There is no knowing how many people will be let go, since as of press time, staffs are still being informed who will remain employed and who will be not.

Daybreak Game Company, previously known as Sony Online Entertainment for almost two decades, is an independent gaming company and which has changed its name and ownership last week after Sony sold it to Columbus Nova, a management firm based in New York.

A statement from PR representatives at Daybreak says, “As part of a strategic decision to rationalize the business, Daybreak Game Company announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios. This alignment of resources better positions the newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and developments, including delivering on its legacy of making top online games and establishing a solid foundation for future multi-platform success. These reductions will not affect the operation of current games and the company will continue on its mission to partner with its player community to drive the future and push the boundaries of online gaming.”

EverQuest Imagination Gone Wild: Fantasy Classes

everquest-next-teaser-modelsLast month Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley teased the world with work-in-progress 3D models of what looked to be a heavily armored type class in EverQuest Next, the sweeping sandbox game that is set to shake up the world this year.

The image had our minds running wild with questions: Who is that character? What armor set is he wearing? Is he a good guy or a bad guy? How many equipment slots do characters posses? And most importantly — What class is that?

Based on the bulkiness of his armor, we think it is a Warrior-type class, maybe a Berserker based on that vicious snarl he has on his face. It would be cool to have the Berserker to make a re-appearance in EverQuest Next, but of course it would even be better to get a Berserker 2.0 class — along the lines of a Gladiator with the same bloodthirsty rage of Berserker but with access to a couple of long-range weapons like javelin spears and bola nets.

You may laugh now, but with EverQuest Next promising a fully sandbox world, that idea just might become a reality when players are allowed multi-class skilling. Here are a few fantasy hybrid classes that we wish we could create in EverQuest Next:

1. Doomsayer Bard – Most bards are often stereotyped into the support role, providing buffs and a few crowd control services to their party. But the doomsayer bard brings on the debuffs and damage over time with his ruinous tales of war and destruction.

2. Weapons Master Monk – Monks are best known for their peerless hand-to-hand combat skills, but they also train to fight with weapons and are in fact very good at using them (at least in the real world). It would be great to see a weapons-focused version of the monk, one that combines amazing acrobatic moves with intricate weapon attacks.

3. Possessed Mystic – Mystics tap into the spiritual world to provide mostly defensive benefits for their allies through protective buffs and healing. But what if the Mystic could channel the spirits in his or her body for a limited time, granting him or her heightened combat powers? That would be really cool, as well give Mystics more solo-friendly abilities.

4. Animator – Conjurors and Necromancers call upon the power of minions and the undead, respectively. The Animator goes a step further and gives temporary life to inanimate beings, like making a stone golem out of a slab of rock. A summoner whose toolkit changes based on the environment he finds himself fits in like a glove to the sandbox concept of EverQuest Next, although we realize implementing it will be quite a headache.