John Smedley co-founded EverQuest developer Verant Interactive, which morphed into Sony Online Entertainment following EverQuest‘s huge success. He even hung on after Sony sold SOE earlier this year, turning it into Daybreak Game Company.
Smedley, however, has now stepped down as president and chief executive officer of Daybreak.
“I can confirm that John Smedley will be taking some time off from the company for the near-term and transitioning to a different role to be determined,” a spokesperson for Daybreak told GamesBeat. “Upon finalization of his plans, further communication will be provided.”
Chief creative operating officer Russell Shanks will take over for Smedley.
Smedley recently threatened to sue one of the hackers who took down Xbox Live PSN and other services during Christmas. Julius “zeekill” Kivimaki, 17, was found guilty of more than 50,000 charges, receiving two years probation as punishment.
“I’ve also been swatted (multiple times) and had over 50 false credit applications submitted in my name and had to deal with the ramifications of what happens to your credit when this kind of thing happens, Smedley said. “It’s not good. And to top it all off they decided to submit false tax returns.”
This trend of online harassment and identity theft is a common tactic for those wishing to impart a message, or those who simply wish to cause chaos. And it is surprisingly effective at making people aware of just how important security is both physically and online. Sadly, it is likely these tactics will continue to be used by those with an axe to grind for the foreseeable future.