Daybreak layoffs hit Landmark, EverQuest Next, H1Z1, more

Well, here's a news post I didn't want to write. SOE Daybreak Games has laid off popular Global Community Relations lead Linda Carlson as well as EverQuest franchise lead Dave Georgeson as part of a staff "realignment" that comes in the wake of the studio's sale to a holding company last week.

"I have been released from the best and most challenging job I have ever had, " Carlson posted on Facebook. "I thank you all for being part of that incredible experience. Too many people to thank personally, but know that I am extraordinarily grateful and very curious where life takes me now."

Carlson started at SOE six years ago after making waves with her fansite TheBrasse.com. Georgeson also confirmed his release via Twitter: "Yeah, I'm sorry folks but it's true. LM, eqn, eq and eqii are no longer guided by moi. Other dreamers will steer now." Daybreak released an official statement on the SOE forums; we've included it below.

Dear Players, Partners & Friends,

Last week we announced that we were acquired and are now operating independently as Daybreak Game Company. To better position our newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and to deliver on our legacy of making top online games, we have had to make some tough choices including realignment of resources.

Unfortunately, this realignment means adjusting staffing as well. We announced today that we will eliminate positions in our San Diego and Austin studios. We deeply value our employees and never take these decisions lightly so we've done our best to do what's right for the people affected. Although extremely difficult, these are necessary actions that will ultimately drive improved results and help strengthen our company's foundation for success. Many of us are saying goodbye to close friends and colleagues who we've worked with over the years, and we are grateful for the memories and all that they've contributed. They will be greatly missed, and we wish them nothing but the best for the future.

These reductions will not affect the operation of our current games and as mentioned above, will help better position our company for future success. As we move forward, we are committed to delivering the best online games and working side-by-side with our players to drive the future of our online games.

Thank you for your continued support,

The Daybreak Games Team

EverQuest II guild RRC Raiders has been rounding up more names of those let go, including Endymion, Aaron "Gnobrin" Bisnett, Akil "Lyndro" Hooper, and numerous customer service reps. Steve DanuserEverQuest Next's lead content designer, likewise tweeted and blogged about his departure.

MassivelyOP has reached out to Daybreak for more information. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the layoffs.

[Source: Facebook via EQ2Wire, with thanks to Chris.]
SHARE THIS ARTICLE

LEAVE A COMMENT

482 Comments on "Daybreak layoffs hit Landmark, EverQuest Next, H1Z1, more"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
abology96
Guest
abology96

http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d9%83%d8%b4%d9%81-%d8%aa%d8%b3%d8%b1%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%85%d9%8a%d8%a7%d9%87-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d9%83%d8%b4%d9%81-%d8%aa%d8%b3%d8%b1%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%85%d9%8a%d8%a7%d9%87-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%b5%d9%8a%d8%a7%d9%86%d9%87-%d9%85%d9%86%d8%a7%d8%b2%d9%84-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d9%83%d9%86%d8%a8-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d9%81%d9%84%d9%84-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d9%81%d9%84%d9%84-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d9%81%d9%84%d9%84-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d8%b4%d9%82%d9%82-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d9%81%d9%84%d9%84-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d9%82%d8%b5%d9%88%d8%b1-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d8%ae%d8%b2%d8%a7%d9%86%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d8%ae%d8%b2%d8%a7%d9%86%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%b9%d8%b2%d9%84-%d8%a7%d8%b3%d8%b7%d8%ad-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%b8%d9%8a%d9%81-%d8%ae%d8%b2%d8%a7%d9%86%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%b9%d8%b2%d9%84-%d8%ae%d8%b2%d8%a7%d9%86%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d8%b3%d9%84%d9%8a%d9%83-%d9%85%d8%ac%d8%a7%d8%b1%d9%8a-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6-0542120109/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d9%86%d9%82%d9%84-%d8%a7%d8%ab%d8%a7%d8%ab-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%8a-%d8%af%d8%a8%d9%8a/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d9%85%d9%83%d8%a7%d9%81%d8%ad%d8%a9-%d8%ad%d8%b4%d8%b1%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d9%85%d9%83%d8%a7%d9%81%d8%ad%d8%a9-%d8%ad%d8%b4%d8%b1%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d8%b1%d8%b4-%d9%85%d8%a8%d9%8a%d8%af%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/
http://naqel-ksa.com/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d9%86%d9%82%d9%84-%d8%a7%d8%ab%d8%a7%d8%ab-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%8a-%d8%af%d8%a8%d9%8a/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%83%d8%a9-%d9%86%d9%82%d9%84-%d8%a7%d8%ab%d8%a7%d8%ab-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6/

bazildragon
Guest
bazildragon

there is still a mmo rpg you can play and is just as respectible as eq with a better respective community in devs and players. its 12 years old now. i still play it and its fun.

spinedoc77
Guest
spinedoc77

I feel bad for Georgeson, I would never wish a layoff on anyone.  But as an avid Everquest 2 player and raider who was there when he first came on board and watched him single handedly ruin the franchise I say good riddance.

Cambruin
Guest
Cambruin

I'm sorry, but when big corporations 'invest' into gaming companies, it is never to add, only to subtract. They want a return on their investment and they want it yesterday.

ZaiyaKai
Guest
ZaiyaKai

I don't know how Smed keeps his job... they should have let him go and kept 5 of the people they sniped.

Denice J Cook
Guest
Denice J Cook

Nanulak This would be better if they hadn't already become lean and mean with the previous closure of 75% of their development teams in the past year or two, and had several rounds of nasty layoffs previous to this latest situation as well.

Nanulak
Guest
Nanulak

From my experience, over time organizations become bloated and salaries inflated.  House cleaning may be the best thing here.  Try to get back to "lean and mean" in order to remain competitive in today's modern world.

Kherova
Guest
Kherova

This sucks - like all layoffs. Guess you guys and gals are more sensible rif now than ever before. So am I, since it happened to me about 15 months ago.

sfrees80
Guest
sfrees80

Without Dave to protect EQN from Smeds greed, it will be a train wreck. I think Dave was one of tue few top game developers left who actually did tue job for the love of games and gamers.
I suspect otuer companoes will see this as a windfall and snap this kinf od talent up like a dropped joint at a ragae concert.

I0Shift0I
Guest
I0Shift0I

Zariarn 
First thing I thought when I heard of the acquisition was Dragons Prophet would get dropped. But we wont hear about that for a few more months since the minimum contract is two years.

Gottphoenix
Guest
Gottphoenix

Remianen Gottphoenix That's why I wrote "excluding contract layoffs" :)

Issmir
Guest
Issmir

I get the business decisions behind it (kind of), but that really bites.  My condolences to all of those who just lost their livelihood.

I think getting rid of popular and high profile team members is going to be tough for the company. They're going to have to do a lot of damage control to keep good will.

ITPalg
Guest
ITPalg
ITPalg
Guest
ITPalg

phillbatchelor

You people need to get on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/j_smedley/status/565993340261257216

Exiani
Guest
Exiani

R.I.P. EQ :( 

I hope that all those fired employees will find a new job a soon is possible

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

Remianen mysecretid 
you are right they may not take it apart. But it does point that way with the substantial amount of layoffs. They will do whatever turns the most profit. At this time my instincts are cut to the bone sell off what they can and make 1-2 games with what is left. You make a profit and hopefully build off the IPs being worked on.

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

Hotblack 
get a group together and make an offer. If the community can raise a site from the grave I am sure it can raise a game as well.
Get to work and reach out.

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

sad to see it happen and I feel for those who lost. I expect those games making a decent profit to be sold off.

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

Thought half of h1z1 was let go as well. It was hinted at i think.

Zax19taken
Guest
Zax19taken

Ah no, seems like people were afraid for a reason :/

CromulentWord
Guest
CromulentWord

I've never played anything Everquest, but EQ Next looked like the last best hope for fantasy sandbox MMOs. No longer.

Best of luck to everyone who lost their jobs. Who knows, perhaps Dave Georgeson could pull a Chris Roberts and crowdfund the next big thing?

phillbatchelor
Guest
phillbatchelor

I really hope EQNext isn't going to be on the chopping block next.

Nucleon
Guest
Nucleon

JosephDeStefano Dope_Danny Right? Has SOE done anything that remarkable in the last 6 years? It's been a bunch of largely meaningless EQ expansions, no vision or goal or even attempt to compete with the real players in the market. While other companies are updating their products to keep up like Blizzard and CCP, SOE is just keeping theirs on life support, if that.

PS2 is quite average. Landmark is an intriguing start but so far from a product that we can't judge. H1Z1 is in the same boat, it has potential. It could be good, but it's got a good chunk to go.

Zariarn
Guest
Zariarn

Up next, Dragon's Prophet is set to close down.

Nucleon
Guest
Nucleon

I'm surprised to see the amount of support the SOE guys are getting in these comments. I have nothing against them personally, but I really did not like their game design decisions. Ever since EQ1 all of their games have the same vibe: Excellent foundation, but no meat. EQ2 really could be a great game, it has all of the pieces, but it lacks design vision. The raiding wasn't compelling, the PvP wasn't compelling, the social experience wasn't compelling. It just did everything average. I feel the same way about H1Z1. Because of that I didn't have much hope for EQN or Landmark.

Maybe a change of leadership is a positive sign. Or maybe they are liquidating the company.

pudgybunnybry
Guest
pudgybunnybry

sunkzero Most of these guys are likely the ones that were making the biggest salaries, top execs excluded. I think Omeed put it best during his stream on Twitch today, in regards to having to let go of people based on how much Columbus Nova wanted to spend in a year on salaries. Of course we don't know that number, but a lot of these guys have been with SOE for a long time. Their time, loyalty, and work have earned them bigger salaries. It's likely that CN gave Smed a per month or year salary number to be at or below, and those are the guys that you have to look at and consider the most.

mysecretid
Guest
mysecretid

Remianen mysecretid
 
A very detailed response! Thank you for this, Remianen. I appreciate the addd "business perspective" as well.

MrPoolaty
Guest
MrPoolaty

Dave and Omeed should start a company!

Remianen
Guest
Remianen

mysecretid Sony divested itself of SOE (i.e. sold it) to an investment firm. That firm then presided over the renaming of the company to Daybreak Game Company. Columbus Nova is owned in large part by one of the richest of the Russian oligarchs. However, while some people seem to be of the opinion that this presages a dismantling of the company, I don't think that's true. Rhapsody is one example that comes to mind. Much like they're getting their teeth kicked in by the likes of Spotify (and Pandora to a lesser extent), SOE was getting curbstomped by the likes of Blizzard. It doesn't make sense to dismantle the company.You cut staff and make the company run leaner, like a boutique development house (remember how Bioware started? How 'bout CCP?). The difference being, most boutique developers don't have the income of an EQ/EQ2/DCUO/PS2 to their credit. If they can produce a hit, it might make the company attractive enough for an IPO. THAT is where your biggest potential profit lies. Look at what Blackstone did with Hilton (and they're still making money off it. They didn't dump the company).

Boboton
Guest
Boboton

Dave's attitude and enthusiasm were contagious! He really knows how to get the gamers attention! Best of luck to him.

Remianen
Guest
Remianen

Gottphoenix "Layoffs a few months after a mmo launched (excluding contract layoffs) are already somehow of a warning sign,"

What? That's normal. Most games carry a surplus of people in some departments pre-launch (art, coding, etc). You need that before launch to get things done in a timely fashion. Many of those people are contract workers (they're on staff specifically for that project until, say, 90 days after launch). Why is that 'somehow of a warning sign'? It happens on almost every major release. You don't need a huge art department post-launch (for example), unless you've cut a ton of stuff to get the game out the door (then that surplus of people works on finishing the cut bits and when that's done, they can be released).

altered3
Guest
altered3

For those of you speculating about Columbus Nova, a simple search reveals that it is a subsidiary of the Russian Renova Group (http://www.renova.ru/en/structure/company/detail/130/), owned by one of the top 3 richest Russian oligarchs.  Fascinating article in Forbes this week about said oligarch, entitled "The Four Horsemen of Russia's Economic Apocalypse" (http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanvardi/2015/01/21/the-four-horsemen-of-russias-economic-apocalypse/).  Hard to say what direction CN will take, but this is certainly a landmark in Russian ownership of US gaming properties.

I'm very sad to see EQ2 on its last legs.  Hopefully the next wave of innovation will come from outside corporate gaming.

Hotblack
Guest
Hotblack

I am hoping (and praying to any deity that's listening) that EQN will continue in its development; the idea of a world that you you have an affect on, where actions can have consequences, is utterly compelling.

A friend and I were discussing what it means to have a world like this and how you'd stop the flighty I"LL KILL YOU NOOBZ FU ALL player from taking a sandbox like this and pissing all over it. IF they manage to construct such a world, there would have to be a rule-set of consequences to your actions, something akin to "you did that, now go and fix it". 

If the players won't, they face penalties, if they leave, the effects of their actions diminish. It's like asking Oppenheimer et al to go and rebuild Nagasaki, and they wouldn't, but over time, it's become a thriving city again without their help. Although, I doubt they'll be getting a dinner invite from anyone there soon.

Please please please continue the development; the immersive promise has me slavering with anticipation.

Zulika_Mi_Nam
Guest
Zulika_Mi_Nam

eLdritchMD Zulika_Mi_Nam Cutting expenses is actually pretty hard if you have a target number to get to that you need to hit at a known time.  You can stop spending on new assets, like servers, but what you have spent is already sunk.  If you were already running lean, you could cut everything except the people and still not get to where you need to stay open. Not being able to produce product due to lack of resources cut can also create a death spiral -hard to pay car makers who cannot make cars because you stopped buying metal.

Whenever the time comes for people cutting though you have to make the right decisions for the future and while I have zero insight to the internals at SOE, these choices appear to not be in the best interest of the future.  Just as you state these are not baggage people at all.  Maybe there was some personal or political beef involved as well - it happens.
I got laid off by a huge company once (Market Cap of $250B yep that is a "B").  My manager did not even know about it.  I had to call her up and tell her about it actually at which point she started crying.  That company no longer exists (Death Spiral) and everyone who worked there lost their retirement.  Greed sucks.

Norlamin
Guest
Norlamin

It's terribly sad that all these people lost their jobs, but I still can't fathom as to why or how Dave Georgeson was let go.

I0Shift0I
Guest
I0Shift0I

FWIW, Smokejumper was with the company since the early days of Planetside 1. Why would anyone in position want to let him go is beyond me.

Mortam
Guest
Mortam

The best way to support the remaining Daybreaker employees, is to log in and play their games. Today.

Sargonnax
Guest
Sargonnax

Ive worked in the corporate world all of my life and for the most part when things like this happen very little good comes from it. The bottom line of the company looks great, but everything else tends to go downhill.

Wandris
Guest
Wandris

If this was a move to ensure the long term survival of all the games
currently on the roster than it isn't a betrayal. This is a setback
sure, but if there intent was to stop supporting development of any of
there games would they not have just done it now instead of prolonging
the uncertainty? It isn't to hard to believe that they have stretched
themselves thin attempting to build several new games at the same time
as developing/maintaining older ones. I am hoping this was a well
thought out and calculated move to solve a problem sony was unable or
unwilling to solve for themselves. Hopefully the emotional backlash from
players won't render their plan futile. One of SoE's greatest strengths
in my eyes is the fact that they have a large selection of games which
share a common subscription and points. I can live with a major setback
but would be sorely disappointed and betrayed if they did not intend on
maintaining there roster of games and going forward with EQN. People
talk like EQN is dead but I would be surprised if that is true as it is
one of the most promising games on the horizon and what was to be their
flagship product for the next 10-20 years. I don't see how they could radically alter the EQN vision at this stage as there are already years of planning and development behind it.

Lanarchy
Guest
Lanarchy

That sucks so much.... we totally knew this would happen.

Rayko
Guest
Rayko

I think EQ Next is not going to turn out well. I love the EQ franchise but none of the EQ players I know want to play it.

Gottphoenix
Guest
Gottphoenix

Sad news. Layoffs a few months after a mmo launched (excluding conract layoffs) are already somehow of a warning sign,  but layoffs long before the game even launched?

The most positive outcome of this would be that eq:next will be rushed with unfinished features and above average amount of bugs during launch.
The realistic one however...

Tierless
Guest
Tierless

New name new place same channel.

sunkzero
Guest
sunkzero

I'm pretty sure an investment company didn't decide WHO would go (except possibly the community support people)... it was more likely Smedley was told "lose 20 people" and he/other seniors would have decided who would go. Odds are, a lot of it was already decided  and agreed by SOE senior's before SOE was bought. SOE wasn't just bought off the shelf overnight, there would have been months of analysis and due diligence done under confidentiality agreements.

JosephDeStefano
Guest
JosephDeStefano

Dope_Danny And the last 6 years of total crap expansions has? =]

Cujo H
Guest
Cujo H

DaveG is a hell of a personality.  His positivity is really sad to see go.

Darkdrakke
Guest
Darkdrakke

Saw this coming as soon as I heard they got bought by a (Mis)management company, they are there to trim the fat make the company a valuable commodity they can then flip for a profit...the fact that the company makes games vs anything else has zero to do with their decisions. What a year man!

rottenrotny
Guest
rottenrotny

Oh man. Terrible news. I fear for the future of H1Z1 and EQn.
Also, first post on the new site! Love the layout!

wpDiscuz