Ex-Daybreak President John Smedley starts his own company

The MMO industry trembled last month as John Smedley left his long-held post as president of Daybreak Game Company (and before that, SOE), but now it might have a reason to rejoice as the former EverQuest creator announced that he’s started up a new company.

On his Facebook page, Smedley released a brief post stating that he’s the CEO of an unnamed company with “Info coming soon :).”

While it was previously understood that Smedley was going to return to Daybreak in a new position, now it looks as though ties between the two have been severed. Daybreak issued a statement regarding Smedley’s new post saying, “On behalf of Daybreak, we wish Smed well in his new endeavors. Any questions regarding his new business should be directed to him.”

GameInformer reached out to Smedley for a comment and wrote, “[Smedley] indicated that he’s not ready to announce anything right now, but news should be coming in the next few weeks.”

John Smedley resigned from Daybreak following a particularly rough series of events involving hackers who harassed him and performed DDoS attacks on Daybreak’s titles. After publicly posting strong words against the hackers and disappointment in a legal ruling against one in particular, Smedley took his Twitter account offline and left Daybreak shortly thereafter.

Source: FacebookPC Gamer, GameInformer. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
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214 Comments on "Ex-Daybreak President John Smedley starts his own company"

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MewmewGirl
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MewmewGirl

Elven_Seraph

I don’t think you ever really find that same magic feeling again that you got when playing your first MMOs, no matter what they were.

Elven_Seraph
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Elven_Seraph

I hope he doesn’t do anything that hurts Everquest Next.  I have never wanted a game to launch more than that one!  I want to find the magic that was Everquest 1 when it launched, though not sure it’s possible.  Dare to dream I guess.  But Smed, I wish you the best, you didn’t deserve the negative campaign against you.

melissaheather
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melissaheather

groo the wanderer We should all be so lucky!

melissaheather
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melissaheather

Honest question:  D’you think any publishers have approached Daybreak about purchasing the EQ franchise/IP and project?   You’d have to think someone smells opportunity (like Sony or Microsoft or EA)… 

I mean, there’s either a whole-lotta-trouble, or Daybreak is the worst at public relations and maintaining positive “buzz” about a game that we have ever seen.

Jalek
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Jalek

Craywulf Jalek  The only threats I ever saw were the ones around the plane and his more recent activities, unless you consider the thousands of people spouting off about cancelling accounts to be threats.  I had a paid account with the company the entire time though, so my dislike of him must have been mild.  I just assumed anything he said was worthless.

Craywulf
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Craywulf

Jalek  Definitive statements does not warrant personal attacks or threats of any kind. That’s advertising no matter how a developer spins it.

Jalek
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Jalek

Craywulf Zer0K  Some of the vitriol he did earn, the few times he ventured into game forums he would spout of definitive statements, then a few months later go against them with actions.
He’s also the only CEO I can think of who, while his new, shiny product was released the same month as a market maker (World of Warcraft), would give an interview talking about how he and his family enjoyed the competitor’s product and didn’t mention his own.  I though he should’ve been gone then, ten years ago.

Margrave
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Margrave

Zer0K If that were so … RIP Daybreak. We hardly knew ye.

Zer0K
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Zer0K

Just announced!  Brad McQuaid the new CEO of Daybreak Games!  :P

MesaSage
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MesaSage

I’m guessing it’s a card game.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

So…drove SOE into the ground causing it to be sold…promised that it wouldn’t affect the games then laid off a lot of people. Quit making it seem like he was ‘forced’ to do so….and now…starting his own company.

Honest guy. Would definitely go work for him at his new company. 100% chance not to be screwed over!

Craywulf
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Craywulf

Zer0K Making constructive criticism about a game is vastly different than expressing personal hatred and launching a barrage of insults towards a CEO or any game developer. I never said people should be silent. I said no amount of invested interest or hours of leisurely time wasted playing video games is excuse to hurl insults to anyone! 

Reddit forum is no barometer to how to behave. Call outs happen in every industry, but the line is drawn when you start making it personal.

Let me be clear, opinions are welcome, as long as they are constructive and without vitriol.

Margrave
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Margrave

I wish him well in his new venture.

Just leave EQ alone. Thank you.

Zer0K
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Zer0K

Craywulf Zer0K I’m talking about the gaming industry only, and comparing MMO games to other types of games.  My point is, again, with MMO games, you have a higher ratio of people who invest tons of hours/days/years into an MMO title versus a typical console game that has only 50-70 hours of gameplay.
So, you’re gonna have more people piping in their opinions on how things are done in the MMO title, because they have a much more vested interest in the game.  Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if people who play MMO titles play the same title longer than they own a car!
Given the proper forums and vested personal interest in other industries, people would do the same thing if they’re dissatisfied with a product.
Heck, take a look at the Reddit forums.  There are plenty of outspoken call-outs to what’s going on with a product.
And, just because people are vocal about the MMO title they play, doesn’t automatically mean they’re “adolescents with no experience in consumerism” <—-  As you put it.
There are plenty of professionals out there who have professional experience in the industry and in other IT professionals spanning from application developers, database administrators, project managers, graphic artists, etc, etc, who aren’t afraid to call foul when they see it.

IMO we need people raising points about when things go awry.  If everyone just shut up and said nothing, you might as well hope for some oppressive regime where everyone should just bend over in the shower and take it.

Sinaptic
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Sinaptic

the trolls got to him. They bashed him out of the industry. looks like people where wrong.

amkosh
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amkosh

PhunThymes I don’t think EQN is any worse off than when SOE became Daybreak.  I thought then and think now its likely EQ1, EQ2 and EQN will merge into the same game when EQN releases.

amkosh
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amkosh

Wild_Phil It’s impossible to know.  Sony never split SOE’s reporting from their games division.  Honestly it never looked like SOE registered.  They did well when the playstation biz did so, shitty when it didn’t.

amkosh
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amkosh

I wonder if people will give him crowdfunding dollars?  I doubt he’ll get publisher money, nor investors, not with what he did to Columbus Nova.  

Guess time will tell, I don’t see the guy as super talented, so I doubt I would contribute or would contribute at the level of other game devs.

Bannex19
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Bannex19

Well that didn’t take long….
Godwin is a genius

schlag sweetleaf
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schlag sweetleaf

SirMysk i was actually attempting this but sadly….complete lack of skill…..

Craywulf
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Craywulf

Zer0K Customer dissatisfaction exist in every conceivable product and services. Video game developers are not exempt from bad behavior because if highly devoted consumerism. Does and avid car enthusiasts who spends thousands, possible millions of dollars on cars go around on messagboards expressing animosity and vitriol toward a CEO of a car manufacturer? Do cooking enthusiasts post hatred and vile comments on recipe sites to the CEO of baking goods? Do stamp collectors hack the personal accounts of CEOs of stamp makers? I love movies, but I don’t go around expressing vitriol towards an actor, director, or CEO of studio.

The reason why it happens in this industry is because the entire market is full of adolescents with no experience in consumerism. Even grown 40 year adults are behaving like petulant children because they don’t know how to differentiate between advertising and so called “promises”. Let me clue you and everyone else….there are no such thing as promises when a developer speaks. It’s 100% advertising. If a developer says ” I promise…” They are merely expressing their personal hopes and desires, they are not stating a fact nor can they truly predict how the execution of these said promises turn out. Developing games is an extremely technical process. No amount of talk ever equals the results of the game.

rottenrotny
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rottenrotny

I’m guessing EQN is toast at this point. /sad face

Alex J
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Alex J

Zer0K LOL, I wouldn’t be surprised if they would. They are “perfect” for each other – both have ran their companies into the ground due to personal incompetence and both have desperately attempted to shift the part of the blame onto other people ;-)

NobleNerd
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NobleNerd

There is a lot of stuff Hitler said and had a passion for I actually agreed with, but then there was that whole take over the world and kill the inferior thing.
Just because you can find a few things to agree with doesn’t mean Smedley lost his way and failed us as a whole

skardon
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skardon

Zeplini That’s actually a really good idea.

Zeplini
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Zeplini

SMEDS YOU CAN DO IT !
AN ALMOST FINISHED TRIPLE A MMO AWAITS YOU! – 
*****PROJECT COPERNICUS*****

I love this idea that much I’m screaming it at the screen!

Zer0K
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Zer0K

Craywulf The thing about MMO games is, that players invest A LOT of their time (and money) into these type of games, much more than the arcade shooters or typical Console games.
There are players who play years these MMO type games.  They are not going to take kindly being screwed over after putting years of their time in a title.  So I think Developers of MMO games have to tread even more lightly when it comes to the design and changes to their titles.
Just like one may easily forget a relationship that lasted for a few months, it’s much harder when we’re talking ‘years’ of invested play-time into a title.

Ekphrasis
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Ekphrasis

I’ve not always agreed with his somewhat combative / aggressive stances or opinions but I respect that he and his family have been through a difficult time of late (as well as DBG) – and I hope he comes through it all well and shows us something amazing in due course.
After DBG’s separation from SOE / acquisition by Columbus Nova I’d assumed Smed’s tenure would be limited. As seems to frequently be the case – the CEO holds their position to ensure a smooth transition while the ‘owner’ looks to appoint someone of their choosing. I just hope this doesn’t mean they put someone in who will strip out cost to the detriment of quality or good player experience.

Zer0K
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Zer0K

Smedley and Brad McQuaid will be teaming up.  :P

Radfist
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Radfist

PaganRites PhunThymes  Pretty much all the key staff are still there. The only notable loss was Smokejumper (Pony tail dude) and to be honest, from first hand experience of his meddling in EQ2, its for the best that he was removed.

Radfist
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Radfist

Incoming Kickstarter for a ‘spiritual successor’ to SWG that turns out to be a MMOFPS.

Wild_Phil
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Wild_Phil

When was the last time SOE was profitable under Smedley? His strength was never business; it’s ideas for video games.

Craywulf
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Craywulf

Personally I think he needs to stay out of the limelight. Announcing his status of the CEO of another company is not going do him any favors. I don’t have anything against him, but I know that there’s backlash itching to get a piece of him and smear him, regardless of what he does. The level of cynicism is so foul in this industry, no amount of apologies from a developer is going soften some hardliners.I feel bad for both sides which can not see past this. We need games, whether they are good or bad, we need to let developers do their thing without vitriol and animosity.

MorpayneRADIO
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MorpayneRADIO

Prison rape is a predominantly American phenomenon. A quik Google search will supply numbers.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1
daicon
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daicon

Oyjord I feel Smed’s had a true passion for the games that have been released under him and he truly believed in the future of online gaming. He’s never said anything that’s pissed me off, honestly, and I’ve always seen him as a positive person. Not sure what there is to hate about the man, unless you feel he was personally instrumental in driving SOE into the ground, which I just don’t know if that is the case. All I know is from what he (and many of the former SOE employees) have shared about their vision for MMO games in the future, I’ve largely agreed with

Zariarn
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Zariarn

Avarius Zariarn My thoughts exactly.

HumanoidTyphoon
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HumanoidTyphoon

Well, at least this time, it will be his own company he will run into the ground. There is not doubt he did many things for the genre, but Smedley is not the pioneer he once was. I hope he proves me wrong and becomes successful, but I don’t see it. Also, I am predicting a Kickstarter for a game that “SWG fans can come home to…no I mean it for real this time, guys!”

vinicitur
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vinicitur

eLdritchMD Wratts Arrobee There is a difference between speaking your mind and purposefully antagonizing people.

TehAcidBaron
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TehAcidBaron

Smedelys new career adviser latest words of wisdom:

groo the wanderer
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groo the wanderer

Is this new corporation going to brew beer ?

SirMysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably
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SirMysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably

*scrolls down*scrolls down*scrolls down*scrolls down*scrolls down*scrolls down*
Your lack of Sith lightening photo shops is disturbing.

Avarius
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Avarius

Zariarn Would love to see him find some actual funding for Pantheon. Let Brad come up with the ideas and let Smed deal with the business end of things.

Lord Zorvan
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Lord Zorvan

I only want to know the name of his new company so I can blacklist it.

Wakkander
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Wakkander

So… he announced he had something to announce but he isn’t ready to announce it yet?

c71clark
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c71clark

I just hope he stays away from any games I’m interested in…..

NobleNerd
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NobleNerd

I wish him luck.

For me this will bet yet one more company I can stay away from. Smedley has lost my respect and any support I once gave to anything he was part of.

sfrees80
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sfrees80

Aaaahhh. Thats my dream. To run a little bait shop somewher near a lake or a river.

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

ManastuUtakata Now THAT would be something to see. Smed vs Smart.  lol

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

Oyjord He wasn’t a lowly designer being hounded by the suits upstairs.  He WAS one of the suits. Bean counting is part of the territory. To be good at your job of being a manager, you have to be a complete asshole.

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