Tobold's Blog
Friday, February 13, 2015
That didn't take long

Apart from some stupid remarks from SOE haters, there was a genuine discussion about whether leaving Sony was good or bad for the future of the studio now renamed to Daybreak and its games. But the optimists just took a big hit, as Daybreak now announced huge layoffs. Of course those are accompanied by the usual press releases of "don't worry, firing people will have no negative effect on the games these people were developing", but frankly, nobody believes those.

As EQ Next was pretty much the only remaining MMORPG on the horizon that I had any hope for, this isn't good news. If EQ Next is either rushed out cheaply or abandoned, we are left with an outlook on a selection of games rehashing old ideas and marketing themselves with nostalgia rather than innovation. Games that might have a certain niche appeal, but which won't revive the genre. That is too bad.

Although I was looking forward to EQ Next I still wonder how it does not "rehash old ideas and market itself with nostalgia"?
To me the Storybricks AI and dynamic world they promised could be game changers. But if the new owners cut funding for that and just do "yet another EQ", you might well turn out to be right.
Oh don't be such a Negative Nancy! It's far too early to see where this is going. I would expect 6-12 months for CN to get to grips with the situation, followed by a further reconsolidation/restructuring before we have a clear idea what it means for we, the players, in the medium term.

And let's be realistic here - it wasn't as if the EQN project was going anywhere under the previous management, was it?
It is less of an issue for me since after seeing the console/twitch combat I realized that EQN was not for me. Very disappointing.

In particular, the Storybricks AI was the huge appeal and potential significant innovation that I regret not being able to see.

OTOH, Almost all the fans and many of the devs were, to use my phrase, "insisting on all the EQ1 features that made WoW so successful."
Just wait. An entrepeneurial Korean company like Perfect World will snatch Daybreak up in a few months and then it'll be F2P microtransactions with obscure coinage as far as the eye can see.
Nice games don't need to be built on nostalgia so long as the players will accept some rough edges.

If by "revive the genre" you mean produce games with WoW production values that will please everyone, that ship has sailed. Arguably, that is what has killed the genre, or - more benignly - created a new genre of pseudo-MMORPG social games. How and whether THAT genre gets revived, I don't really care.
Looking at it optimistically, these type of companies always come in to create value not destroy it. Hopefully this is through the focusing of resources on producing a quality product as opposed to a grab for monetarisation at the expense of long-term quality.

SOE has always been a bit of a mess so a reorganisation was to be expected, especially since the lead devs were probably wedded to their ideas. If you're looking at producing the best possible product a fresher set of eyes might be preferable?

or at least the technology and ideas I was most interested in seem to be withering away.
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