Tuesday, January 21, 2020


Just going to put this up to mark the day everything changed and everything stayed the same. 
I'm sure everyone's already seen the announcement via whichever hyperactive MMO news site they use. Here's the straight, professional reportage minus the tedious snark. Oh, wait a moment... that was snark right there, wasn't it?

The gist is this: Daybreak Games is splitting into three new, quasi-independent Studios: Dimensional Ink Games, Darkpaw Games, and Rogue Planet Games. DCUO, which seems to have drawn the short straw where naming is concerned, goes to DIG; the fortuitously yet somehow wholly inappropriately acronymed RPG gets Planetside, while the innocuous DG becomes the new home for the EverQuest franchise.

Planetside is more than welcome to wander off and do its own thing as far as I'm concerned. I did try playing it once but I never really got on with it. I wish them well and wave them goodbye.

Jack Emmert, the erstwhile head of Daybreak (I think - it's so hard to keep track), takes control of the superhero success story. His team are also already working on a new "action MMO", title and subject unknown. I still play DCUO occasionally and would like to retain the option so I have a small dog in that fight.

My main interest lies inevitably with Darkpaw Games, headed up by the estimable Holly Longdale. Having lived through twenty years of highly variable management under numerous versions of Verant, Sony Online Entertainment and Daybreak, I can safely say the last few seasons under her stewardship have been some of the most stable and satisfying I've enjoyed to date. I'm very happy to see her and her team given autonomy to carry the existing games and the franchise forward.

There's a Darkpaw Producer's Letter up already. It doesn't give an awful lot away, unless you're gagging for an EQ T-shirt.  It does, however, say very much what I'd want to hear, as this paragraph suggests:
"Immediately, and in practical terms, our focus is on the fans and investing in our current games and the business of starting new ones. We’re already executing on the plans we had for 2020, like expansions and events for EQ and EQ2."
I read that both as a promise of Business as Usual and confirmation that we will get the usual annual expansions at the end of the year and maybe even a new EQ title someday. That's as much as I'd hope for and more than I would have expected a couple of years ago.

The letter also assures us that
"Currently, nothing will change for your accounts and membership."
Note the leading adverb. Given the supposed independent nature of the three new studios I wouldn't give too much for the continued existence of the All Access Membership. Time will tell.

Anyway, I have Overseer Missions to organize so I'm going to leave it at that for now. I think this looks a positive move, especially for the EverQuest games. Only time will tell if my optimism is well-founded, but things certainly look more promising than they did a while ago.


  1. Anything that stays the course for Holly and Norrath is probably good in my book.

    I do wonder where H1Z1 sits in all of this.

    1. Yes, it's a notable omission. And I would guess it's still profitable, or potentially so. Someone ought to be doing something with it...

  2. My guess is that we will see very little difference. I am curious to see who this changes all access membership as I play EQ and EQ2 but have always liked that I could try DCU someday. Hopefully Darkpaw can grow and potentially work on a EQ3 of some sort.

    My worry is that this makes it much easier for Daybreak Games to sell off different parts of the company very easily or bankrupt a game without it affecting the other games.

    1. I'm not sure that selling off Darkpaw would necessarily be a bad thing. Depends who buys it, really. And since it seems that Darkpaw's only IP is EverQuest and the Producer's Letter mentions new games, I think we can safely expect to see something EQ-related in development, always providing the company stays in business. As to what that might be, though, it's anyone's guess. I can't imagine them having the resources to make a modern, AAA MMORPG. Maybe a mobile game. Or a board game might be interesting. Board games are so hot right now.

    2. I agree, I doubt a AAA MMORPG would be possible. A new owner would definitely have to happen to make that a possibility.

      There is an older post (maybe on eq2wire) that listed off of the steps of asset-stripping of a company and it looks like Daybreak has been following those steps. I'll see if I can find it.


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