In a rather surprising bit of news, artificial intelligence gurus Storybricks announced its closure on its website earlier this week, after being unable to find a partner to sell the company to.
Storybricks is most familiar to gaming fans for its work on the emergent AI in EverQuest Next. According to the letter, the closure is not related to the recent Daybreak Games acquisition by Columbus Nova, and had been in the works for some time. The letter states that the “Majority of the work we have done is about EverQuest Next and is co-owned by Daybreak,” though it’s clear that, with no dates regarding EQ Next’s availability, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
We profiled the Storybricks work on EQ Next at SOE Live last year, and, to me at least, it looked like one of the most promising and unique aspects of the game. So maybe this news hits me harder than any of the layoffs or other news we’ve heard out of Daybreak over the past few weeks. Not to say that the laid-off workers weren’t valuable, but on some level, you can find always new people to create and code an MMO; what Storybricks did was potentially groundbreaking, the kind of work that’s not so easily replicated, even if all the tech’s been moved in-house. It’ll be very interesting to see how this affects one of the most crucial elements of EverQuest Next.