EverQuest Next, the “next gen” MMO was announced in 2012, and has been cancelled by Daybreak (formerly Sony Online Entertainment). A letter to the ‘Daybreak Community’ confirms that development on the title has now ceased.
“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,” is the statement’s rather stark summary of the cancellation. “We know you have high standards when it comes to Norrath and we do too. In final review, we had to face the fact that EverQuest Next would not meet [those] expectations.”
EverQuest Next was preceded by an Early Access world-building tool called Landmark which, initially, was supposed to serve as a kind of foundation (and raise early funds for) the MMO portion. Landmark was eventually decoupled from the EverQuest name (giving rise to ultimately justified concerns for Next’s fate), and remains on Steam as an Early Access title.
This announcement comes on the heels of the refocus of efforts onto Landmark, the world-building tool turned standalone experience that Daybreak has been working on behind the scenes. Internal shuffles and a designation of a new Executive Producer for the project reaffirms their commitment to the product. You can read the full cancellation letter below:
To Our Daybreak Community,
I’m writing today to let you know that, after much review and consideration, Daybreak is discontinuing development of EverQuest Next.
For the past 20 years EverQuest has been a labor of love. What started as a deep passion of ours, as game creators, grew into a much larger passion shared by you, millions of players and Daybreakers alike. Watching EverQuest’s ability to entertain and bring people together has inspired and humbled us. It’s shaped our culture and has emboldened us to take aggressive risks with our game ideas and products. When we decided to create the next chapter in the EverQuest journey, we didn’t aim low. We set out to make something revolutionary.
For those familiar with the internals of game development, you know that cancellations are a reality we must face from time to time. 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. 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 II are going strong. Rest assured that our passion to grow the world of EverQuest remains undiminished.
President, Daybreak Games