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.