The mystery has finally been solved; we finally know what John Smedley — best known for his work with free-to-play games like EverQuest and H1Z1 — has been up to since leaving Daybreak Games. In a press release, Smedley announced a new game company — Pixelmage Games — as well as its first game.


Pixelmage Games has been working in secret, developing the new game since October and has already raised $1M in funding for its new 2D pixel art action RPG, Hero’s Song. Smedley’s studio consists of a 13 man team featuring talent from both within and without the game industry — including Bill Trost, Lead Designer and co-creator of the EverQuest franchise, and Patrick Rothfuss, Author of “The Name of the Wind”.

The game is being billed as an “open world roguelike fantasy game done in beautiful 2D pixel art style,” that will let players “create epic an fantasy world uniquely shaped by [their] choices, the power of the gods, and thousands of years of history.” Players will be able to control their own servers and host “thousands” of players — with hundreds playing at a time.


In addition to the funding Pixelmage has already received, Smedley is hoping to raise an additional $800,000 via Kickstarter in an effort to deliver the game by October of 2016. However, unlike his previous projects, Hero’s Song will not be free to play, instead it will have a currently unannounced box fee.

the author

QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various hobby sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community. For the past five years she's been a writer at Gamebreaker TV.

8 Readers Commented

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  1. Cloak on January 20, 2016

    So much for the “temporarily leave” from DayBreak. I hope it flops and he goes back in a hole where he belongs. Fat Scumbag Lair!

  2. asd on January 20, 2016

    Faking soe scammer, fake free to play games, very bad games, most of them are dead already atleast, existing ones are soon to be down, no clue why they trying reanimete these fake f2p craps and waste

  3. RPGPig on January 19, 2016

    Yooooo The Art looks like it’s from RPG maker~

  4. What on January 19, 2016

    But theirs Albion online….

  5. Curst on January 19, 2016

    Sounds like a (unnecessarily) deeper version Realm of The Mad God. Sadly, I’m quite unimpressed. -_- Looks like they’re desperately trying to look cool, but can’t quite remember what it’s like anymore. “No free to play, no subscription”, “uplifting soundtrack”, “talent from within and without game industry”, “ability to play with hundreds of your friends” (hundreds of friends? excuse me? that one made me feel a lot more antisocial than I am). Sigh.

  6. Hantzie on January 19, 2016


  7. Deadnstien on January 19, 2016

    Am I the only one around here that’s getting tired of the pixel art/voxel fad? As well as the devs who desperately want to recreate the open world sandbox ideal of Star Wars Galaxies and Minecraft? They were singularities, just like WoW was for theme park MMOs, stop trying to remake them and try something new, and no just making everything procedurally generated isn’t new. And the term roguelike has lost all damn meaning, everyone needs to stop using it…

    Smed’s a nice guy and all and I know I’m just being a downer here but I look at this and I see it either never happening and everyone forgets about in six months or it gets released and it’s nothing like what the claims were and again everyone forgets about in six months.

  8. Chris on January 19, 2016

    “Smedley’s studio consists of a 13 man team featuring talent from both within and without the game industry”

    “within and without the game industry”

    That makes no sense…