John Smedley relinquishes his post at Daybreak

VentureBeat is reporting that John Smedley has stepped down as President of Daybreak Game Company, the studio behind multiple MMOs, including the entire EverQuest franchise. Chief Operating Officer Russell Shanks will take his place.

A Daybreak rep told VB, “I can confirm that John Smedley will be taking some time off from the company for the near-term and transitioning to a different role to be determined. Upon finalization of his plans, further communication will be provided.”

Smedley oversaw the company’s transition from Sony-owned Sony Online Entertainment to Columbus Nova-funded Daybreak Game Company earlier this year. He made headlines this summer after he spoke up — forcefully — about his harassment at the hands of Lizard Squad e-thugs responsible for the bomb threat that diverted his plane nearly a year ago, among other alleged crimes. In apparent retaliation, the hackers assaulted Daybreak’s game servers with multi-day DDoS attacks and offered a $5000 reward for the defacement of Smed’s father’s grave.

Last week, he deleted his Twitter and Reddit accounts, saying he would “miss the interaction with […] players” but wanted to avoid distractions that stopped him from doing what he liked doing: making games.

It’s the end of a very long era for the company formerly known as SOE and Verant. Good luck to you, Smed.

Source: VentureBeat. Thanks to all of you who sent this in.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

339 Comments on "John Smedley relinquishes his post at Daybreak"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
Union Jack
Guest
Union Jack

IMO this man could talk the talk all day long but the actual lack of seeing shit get done is why I am glad to see the back of him. I’m suprised he lasted as long as he did. I am still concerned that the lack of capable people to continue to take EQN forward means that we may now never see the game as it was meant to be. The other issue is that Day breaking your games have shut up shop and are hiding behind a wall now with little or no information coming out may be due to constraints being put on them from within due to Smed’s antics on social media.

The people left running what’s left do not inspire me with confidence at all and the fluff they providing us with is pathetic to say the least. The funniest thing I have seen so far is that they getting players to design their game for them which has to be the Coup De Grace for any gaming company so what a stroke of genius. If Landmarks is even 10% what we can expect to see in EQN then bad news imo. Smed lack the accountability here than he had at $OE and had no clout here either, that is the reason I believe he was removed he was not able and brought to much bad press and the owners were not prepared to put up with it. 

Now I can  see both him and Dave Georgeson getting it on in the future whether that proves fruitful only time will tell but for the love of gaming I hope someone can combine all the good of the industry into a decent MMO as its still not happened since EQ1 days imo hence why I still play on project 1999

wjowski
Guest
wjowski

rottenrotny 
People always say that until the devs start saying things they don’t like.

syberghost
Guest
syberghost

Denice J Cook upup2211 that’s more about what information you saw than about how he felt; he definitely expressed regret and frustration that those folks had to be let go, and started helping them network to find new jobs. For instance:
comment image

Denice J Cook
Guest
Denice J Cook

upup2211 
Well, he didn’t really seem to be care when Dave Georgeson got canned, and from my perspective as a long-time Everquest 2 player, I respected what Georgeson did for the EQ2 franchise more by far.

Smed only ever seemed to care about the Planetside franchise, and more recently H1Z1, both inferior copies of other games and nothing more.

FrancescoSpycher
Guest
FrancescoSpycher

Im a bit in sorrow about this next thing it lasts too long now feeled  i know thats not rational but i fear it could cost the good name if that fails. All that holliwood like bogus toons were seeing now the clumsy movement and controles  wish me we could take one big step back to eq2 and just give it a new modern engine but keep things as it is and evolve from there on . I was one of the first everquest online customers followed that  over 12 years felt that some of the charm of old freeport was lost after the big change. The huge city the transitions and loading screens surely where stressing but as well gave the feeling of a huge important city. My first lvl one ogre that i did run from oggok to freeport through the forest along the coast to freeport noobzone to grow him there with my friends is unforgotten and has a warm spot in my hearth. I levelled that ogre to lvl 18 or so moved through the tunnel to fight sand giants giant crocs for the druidstaff that the bossmob dropped there. Well i hope the people at the helm dont forget that spirit that was deep in everquest one  and try to reproduce that and dont make a  holliwood boulevard game out of it please it would break my hearth in some way m8 frank switzerland one of your hardcore followers since day One.

FrancescoSpycher
Guest
FrancescoSpycher

I wish you all Good Smed your Da Man that made that genre Big  ! I followed everquest and uo everquest 2  up till landmark where the line blurred a bit but your enthusiasm was atonishing and influenced my gaming interrests immensely! Thanks for that dont take that shithats comments serious thats barkin into the wind as you would say and such people dont deserve that attention at all  m8 Take care and dont get off the Grid . Frank.

Ravenesque
Guest
Ravenesque

Equilibrium31 It’s not just you

ohforfs
Guest
ohforfs

Equilibrium31 It’s not just you

upup2211
Guest
upup2211

This is the only site on the internet who actually feel bad for him stepping down.
He’s a piece of shit and hasn’t done a thing. This isn’t much of a loss.

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

Lightai 
If you think that freedom of speech is about the right to harrass and threaten other people then you’re mistaken. Freedom of speechis a guarantee that the state won’t stalk or prosecute you for your thoughts and voiced opinions. It has never been, and will never be, a right to say what you want to anyone at anytime. What you say has consequences under the law. Besides, we’re talking about private forums and discussions, where the owners have the right to permit or deny any access for any person.

And what you say about facism and my alleged insecurities is totally missing the target. It’s a personal attack on my personal integrity and values, and hence over the line for a discussion like this.

Remianen
Guest
Remianen

DudeMcDoodly Union Jack Yes, and I’m sure to you, Columbus discovered America. Let’s handwave the fact that a half dozen people had been there prior and ignore the fact that there were people living there when he got there.

John Smedley was not responsible for ALL MMORPGs. That’s the biggest load of fanboy hyperbole I’ve heard this year. He was a key figure, yes. But let’s not canonize him for being decent at his job.

syberghost
Guest
syberghost

Equilibrium31 it’s just you.

Lightai
Guest
Lightai

Vikingr Stopping free speech is the fastest way to fascism. If someone has committed a crime let him get caught and have their due process, other than that please keep your insecurities to yourself and let your dangerous ideas about censoring others just because you dislike what they say die. more freedom is always the solution.

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

sray155 
I do hope you are right because I would hate to see people hounded out of the industry because of idiots taking things too far.

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

direpath Sarigar 
the basement dwellers shown the light and neckbeards get trimmed

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

Union Jack 
I do agree that hopefully the studios models and business acumen will change. However it isnt ok that a guy gets hounded out of the industry because of harassment, swatting, bomb threats.

I guess now with social media etc the old fuck off and die letters of yore have gotten a hell of a lot more toxic and so much more nasty. Not to mention the disruption and pain they cause. That shit aint ok.

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

I would hope that this was due to his decisions and repercussions of his job actions that happened over the last few years.

If this is due to harassment then that is not ok. Criticism to his models and decision making is fine but taking it beyond that isnt. Ever.

I didnt like his decisions but that doesnt mean he should be hounded out of the industry. Many others liked his decision and frankly the effort he has done to the overall community has been positive.

Markillion
Guest
Markillion

Estranged Markillion We have to agree to disagree then. 
Nobody orchestrated or profited from the Witch Hunts, those poor women were killed just because “common people” thought they had an excuse. The Nazis had plenty of common, good people who delivered jews, homosexuals, gypsies, any outsider they could find to them, on occasion taking things into their own hands. The Stasi built a surveillance state in which neighbor spied on neighbor and many did so glady, because they thought it was their right and their duty. Whole villages in the south celebrated lynching blacks because they were different and nobody stopped them. The French revolution – oh, you acknowledged that. I wonder why.

And it has nothing to do with disturbed comforts. It has to do with having the opportunity and perceiving a greater gain than cost for it. Civilization is a thin veneer above an abyss of barbarianism. Who are you in your dreams, when nobody is looking?

Equilibrium31
Guest
Equilibrium31

Ouch…is it just me or does anyone else think that EQ Landmark may never come out of beta and EQ Next may never even see the light of day?  I mean…things just don’t look good for the behind the scenes of these games.

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

Very sad. This is the latest example of how the industry is haunted by bad people. I’ve said it several times – it’s time to pre-moderate forums and article discussions so these people don’t get to have a voice at all. We don’t need this shit from kids who never learned to behave! And, perhaps it’s time also for developers to be more anonymous towards the public, so they won’t so easily be targeted by people who want them and their families harm.

DudeMcDoodly
Guest
DudeMcDoodly

Union Jack John Smedley is the person responsible for ALL MMORPGs you play today… every single themeparky one of them… and if you hate 100% of the MMORPGs out there… then sure, you can hate on Smed, but he isn’t now, nor has he ever been… a joke.

shadowlo
Guest
shadowlo

I am convinced he would still be in his position if H1Z1 never went Early Access. Sure there were loads of missteps along the way, but EA is a Toxic Cesspool and it is hard to wash the stink off once you are done swimming in it.

AaronTallman
Guest
AaronTallman

BigMikeyOcho I can’t blame him for wanting their heads for what they did to him.

AaronTallman
Guest
AaronTallman

Skyewauker Icnoevil Exactly lol

Union Jack
Guest
Union Jack

I’m glad to see the back of him personally he was and is a joke. Now we might get some new ideas and lets hope the next person to take control knows how to manage and organise shit, but more importantly get stuff done in a timely manor. In fact they should bring Dave back and give him a shot at it.

Azzura
Guest
Azzura

Wiexlon misanthropomorphic 542 Barbies

Estranged
Guest
Estranged

Markillion Estranged Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, No.  

Yes, people act worse when their comforts are disturbed, but nothing like the KKK.  Sorry.

Markillion
Guest
Markillion

rogerstim37 Markillion Estranged Bannex19 Even if i were to agree that calls for prison rape or people to be shot in the head were the exception, you are making my point. 
Who exactly determines what is the proper manner? Anonymous internet posters who in most cases didn’t even read the article, never mind that most articles themselves are more or less allegations and hearsay, or the judicial authorities? We have laws and procedures for these sorts of things, even if they aren’t perfect, precisely because the “common people” are wrong more often than they are right and the last thing we need is to sacrifice the sparse leavings of our progress and civilization we still have for some atavistic satisfaction.

Markillion
Guest
Markillion

Estranged So, the Witch Hunts, the KKK, the German purges, the Stasi, the French Revolution have all been done by corrupt leaders and extremists? 
How wrong you are can easily be demonstrated by the fact that every time there is a heat wave or power outage crime rates, especially for violent crimes, shoot up.

MinionDave
Guest
MinionDave

I was always told if I had nothing nice to say about someone then I should not say anything at all..

Midgetsnowman
Guest
Midgetsnowman

Zucatti360 We never got along. We just didnt always have the internet to let us all find out that the guys you occasionally saw at the fighting game tournament at the arcade were misogynistic assholes, or the guy from the next town over who came to your magic the gathering tournament was an entitled asshat who thinks anyone who doesnt play games the way he does isnt worthy of vuideogames

Cindy_Adorkly
Guest
Cindy_Adorkly

misanthropomorphic Man don’t put that evil on Daybreak :(

Wiexlon
Guest
Wiexlon

misanthropomorphic I can’t help but wonder how many dolls that would require. YOu may need to crowdfund the project.

misanthropomorphic
Guest
misanthropomorphic

“Up next in the news…Derek Smart signs on to head Daybreak Games.”  (I’d pay a million doll-hairs to see that happen.  It would provide years of entertainment value.)

Zer0K
Guest
Zer0K

I wish no ill will on this guy.

Though, I’ve been disappointed multiple times due to his decisions on how he treated the games under his province.
SWG was just one major one, but there’s been others.
Perhaps it’s better he step down and let’s see if others can do better or worse. haha

Midgetsnowman
Guest
Midgetsnowman

Kwasimoto Midgetsnowman It wasnt specifically a nexon dig as it was “great, now nothings to stop daybreak from becomingn a pay 2 win publisher*

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

phillbatchelor ManastuUtakata 
It’s vague and begs the question. Lots of things can be read into to it. This is why I could freely ask “Who and what is going in his place?” without misinterpreting a thing. And your qualifications so far after the fact haven’t really demonstrated I was wrong in asking that. So there is no real straw man here to speak of.
For the record though, I personally don’t care what you think of Smed. Nor am I a really big fan of him.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

phillbatchelor 
Naah…it’s just the casual ad hom just makes your position invalid (your choice). I guess the editors didn’t think it was worth readers’ time to keep it around (their choice).

thickenergy
Guest
thickenergy

direpath Sarigar Evertaken Next

phillbatchelor
Guest
phillbatchelor

ManastuUtakata phillbatchelor Lmao, wtf are you talking about? Let us remember this all stemmed from one single sentence, “About time they removed this clown”. You fanbois just cant handle that I didn’t like the guy. Pretty hilarious that from my one sentence you guys have dragged it out into all of this, just to defend a horrible CEO.

Wratts
Guest
Wratts

MJ Guthrie Esoteric Coyote You superglued his balls to your hand??  
That’s . . . very colorful MJ.  Most unexpected thing I’ve read today

phillbatchelor
Guest
phillbatchelor

hahaha saying someone is a “clown” gets moderated now? wow, you guys are really sensitive these days.

CharcoalCrow
Guest
CharcoalCrow

EatCandy what_security What a non-sequitur. 
We know this. This isn’t a question for debate. It doesn’t have any effect on anything else at all. Big surprise! A Cyber-terrorist is a cyber-terrorist!

CharcoalCrow
Guest
CharcoalCrow

Serrenity CharcoalCrow I do! I promise!
In this case? I think the benefit and positive is that Smed is a brilliant game designer who will have more personal happiness via being involved in design than in being a CEO. In a lot of ways I’m really reacting to this zero-sum mentality that has been in force during the Smed/Smart series of articles lately that take an extreme side before we even start. 
But it is all the same issue. I’ve been nasty lately and overall shitty. I have a real desire to get back to happy points. My “happy point” is acknowledging the missteps here and seeing how this is better for Smedley than playing PR-dude which he always hated.

I do not have much patience for drama despite my renowned ability to look mods in the face while I ask for bans that don’t come. But personally? I’ve cut down my game list and am trying to focus the joy of specific games instead of the larger MMO-malaise that causes me to install every MMO ever searching for… something I won’t find.
ESO provides a really slow-paced, well-written experience. As a B2P I encourage people to get it cheap (http://fyre.it/C7KcMA.4).
I have a lot of good things to say about my time as a newb in Guild Wars 2015. Upcoming on L4P. SWTOR had a good effect on me via the story x12 XP content.

Skyewauker
Guest
Skyewauker

Icnoevil Plebs really?  Please go back to 4chan or your twitch communities.  Takes a real immature kid to spout what all the 14 year old sheep are .

CharcoalCrow
Guest
CharcoalCrow

Serrenity Samizdat Frankly, a spot hands-on in dev is probably a better spot for him anyway. At least I hope it would provide better happiness.

Serrenity
Guest
Serrenity

CharcoalCrow Crow really – I haven’t seen you make a post in weeks that wasn’t condemning or negative or trying to make someone out to be this ultimate evil or posts lauden with schaudenfreude – really do you ever have anything happy or supportive to say about gaming?

advocate2001
Guest
advocate2001

CharcoalCrow MorpayneRADIO  It appears the COO is not going to become the CEO

CharcoalCrow
Guest
CharcoalCrow

I don’t have an amazing grip on the details of Twitter, but his account is back up as far as I can tell: https://twitter.com/j_smedley/

This is a good thing. Especially if he deleted out of a self-censoring desire.

Serrenity
Guest
Serrenity

Samizdat Now you ask questions to which you know I don’t have the answers.  Just because I want him to open his own studio doesn’t mean I know if it’ll be better or worse.  I literally just said I wanted him to do that and I financially support an attempt.  
I don’t quite understand the hostility but whatever.

wpDiscuz