The Real Reason EQ Next Was Cancelled: Daybreak Couldn't Overcome "Technical Hurdle"

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor March 27, 2019
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Remember when EverQuest Next was cancelled three years ago? The reasoning given by Daybreak President Russell Shanks was that the company

"accomplished incredible feats that astonished industry insiders. Unfortunately, as we put together the pieces, we found that it wasn’t fun."

The "wasn't fun" line didn't sit well with a lot of gamers. It sounded like "PR talk" and a rather flimsy reasoning for cancelling the most-anticipated MMORPG in years. There had to be another reason, right?

In an interview last week with Variety, EverQuest Franchise Producer Holly Longdale offered a different reason for why EQN never saw the light of day. Basically, its makers just weren't skilled enough to do deliver on their grand promises.

"There was a real nugget of an idea there, but a technical hurdle the team just couldn't get over. All the other stuff that EverQuest is kind of got lost because it was focused on voxels and a dynamically-generated changing world. There was not enough computational power. If people are digging holes, you have to update pathing for the entire world."

That makes Shanks' earlier comment -- about how they "accomplished incredible feats" -- all the more stinging. What Daybreak did was show off all sorts of fancy tech and promise the moon to gamers while having absolutely no idea how they'd deliver on those guarantees. In other words, all they "accomplished" was hype and a few limited tech demos. That, and Landmark.

As I said when the cancellation was announced, it's probably best that EQN remained perfect in everyone's minds and never saw the light of day because it never would have lived up to its sky-high expectations. That appears to have been the case, as it would have likely either been riddled with bugs during a years-long "early access" period or launched with a mere smattering of its promised features.

Another thing I've said multiple times over the past couple of years also still appears to be true, and it only becomes clearer every day: There's no reason to believe anything Daybreak Game Company tells you.

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (9)

Patrick High 1 year ago
Um, you just need server architecture to support various zones, and expand as needed. The fact you would need to update pathing for the entire world is hogwash and just means their technical resources are garbage and lack technical creativity.

ninetenduh 2 years ago
They couldn't make it is a by far more believable reason as that "wasn't fun" nonsense. They could have come out and say that they promised something they cannot deliver, that the technical hurdle is too high and that they have to remove some features in order to make the game, shit, even without destructible Terrain it would have become a great game, they could have used that idea for scripted or Dynamic events where they have more control over things then just players making the world a big Crater. That would have still gotten people mad no doubts, but it wouldn't have made literally everyone get mad. this way I wouldn't be mad and Daybreak wouldn't owe me 100$, 200$ for you Mike? Didn't you buy 2 Trailblazer packs?

Allwynd 2 years ago
They could've just released it as-is and work on it post-release, even including the community in the process by doing surveys on what they want in the game...

Stupid studios/CEOs.

brett young 2 years ago
I payed good money on a hope it wood come true cry cry I ripped off

Antarian 2 years ago
If this were made by Square Enix, it WOULD live up to the expectations. I recommend a partnership. Mostly because I want EQN to be a reality. *prays to the heavens*

James 2 years ago
They did the right thing.. Game didn't live up to expectations so they decided not to release it. Nexon on the other hand would have just thrown it out there to try and make some money back.

If you want to hate on a company hate on one that is money hungry and does anything for a quick buck. Not releasing a game which they invested in is a good sign from the companies point of view (not for their stakeholders but for their reputation. (Not that it's good atm)

View 1 reply
Crystal 2 years ago
Not sure why you want to continue to bash Daybreak. There are a lot of hard working employees there that don’t need this kind of thing.

View 1 reply

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