Daybreak appoints Jens Andersen Executive Creative Director, hints at new title

Good news for fans of Jens Andersen’s leadership of DC Universe Online over the last several years: He’s gotten a nice promotion. Daybreak announced today that Andersen’s been appointed the Executive Creative Director of the studio. Even more intriguing is the news that Daybreak is working on a new game.

I’d also like to announce our newest Executive Creative Director at Daybreak Games: Jens Andersen. Jens has been the driving vision behind DC Universe Online as its Senior Creative Director, and this new role expands his creative direction to include not only DCUO, but also H1Z1, PlanetSide 2, EverQuest Next, and an as-yet unannounced title we’re currently working on. It’s an extremely exciting opportunity for Jens, and we could not be more thrilled to have him join the executive team here at Daybreak. [Emphasis ours.]

Andersen posted a letter to the DCUO community earlier today, hat-tipping Associate Creative Director SJ Mueller, who will helm DCUO going forward, and Jesse “Loche” Benjamin.

It’s moments like these that make me reflective. I’ve been heads down on DCUO for quite a while now. So long that, in thinking about it, my day-to-day on DCUO has actually evolved quite a bit over the years. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been on this game for nearly a decade. In that time, the game has gone from nothing, to an Alpha, to a Beta, to eventually launching on PC, PS3, and then PS4. It’s gone from being a retail disc purchase, to a free-to-play download, from DLC to episodes, etc. We’ve added so much content, and broken new ground. I have learned a ton – both good and bad – and throughout that time many of you have helped me on that journey. Thank you for that. Thank you for being a part of the community. Thank you for being a fan of DCUO.

The appointment coincides with Daybreak’s move to consolidate its San Diego offices into one location in a “brand-new, custom-made building that is larger and more equipped.”

Source: Daybreak press release, DCUO forums
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Lhumierre
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Lhumierre

libertylion7 Tank, Heals, DPS, Controller? It’s pretty original than just Tank, Heals, 3 DPS.

Lhumierre
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Lhumierre

GleefulGrognard Lhumierre I just wanted it to be the way the videos were and I was going to put my daughters name in the credits instead of my own and see the game come along but i don’t even log in.

syberghost
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syberghost

GleefulGrognard syberghost Ceder well that’s just straight up indefensible. They just had a livestream of the development on the new map for H1Z1. They introduced a new vehicle recently. You literally have to be actively avoiding H1Z1 news to think development has been halted.

Landmark’s last update was last week.

EQN is getting more development time right now than Landmark, which is issuing updates, so that’s the exact opposite of stalled.

GleefulGrognard
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GleefulGrognard

syberghost GleefulGrognard Ceder Actually I am talking about their three already in development MMOs
H1Z1, Landmark and Everquest Next. Now ofcourse it seems like development has been halted on H1Z1 and Landmark, but given that they are selling both of those unfinished products and don’t seem to be looking to complete either of them anywhere in the near or far future (or even update them)
Yes I do stand behind my “spread too thin” comment. Starting a new project while putting the breaks on two other projects that you sold to the public and hyped in advance is not good form for any company.

syberghost
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syberghost

GleefulGrognard Ceder all MMOs past their peak decline, and with them revenues decline. Thus, you must always be working on something to replace them, or your company slowly dies.

Most new projects will fail to reach positive income; either because they don’t work out and get scrapped before they’re released, or they release and fail, or they release and have marginal success that barely breaks even.

Thus, you must be working on multiple projects, or you’re planning to vanish as a company. The only exceptions are when folks are propped up by a parent company, which is itself working on multiple titles across multiple dev studios.

So their choices are literally multiple new projects, or shut the doors.

GleefulGrognard
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GleefulGrognard

Ceder Honestly, can we say that daybreak aren’t already spread too thin even without a new project in the pipeline.

GleefulGrognard
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GleefulGrognard

Lhumierre Yup $100 down the drain for me, sad thing was I actually saw everything I liked about the game stripped away from it as they developed for it… An alpha should not get worse going into beta and then get worse again as development slowly crawls forward.

Lhumierre
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Lhumierre

I got a founder’s package for Landmark because I wanted to hurry and help the development of EQNext, Now i’m regretting the purchase completely.

Layla Littlenymph
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Layla Littlenymph

And so, we now come to that point where I am supposed to compliment Mr.
Andersen on his new position, and wish him the best as he goes forward
from here. This is the proper and expected thing to do, and yet, it is
difficult.
That is not meant as any slight towards Mr. Andersen,
for whom I bear no animosity. It stems primarily from those statements.      
“hints at new title.”
“Daybreak is working on a new game.”
“as-yet unannounced title we’re currently working on.”
So why is it that these few lines spoil this article by leaving a sour taste in my mouth?
Perhaps
it is due to the fact that this makes four games that will be in some
stage of development by Daybreak at the same time. Landmark, the long
awaited and equally long overdue EverQuest Next, H1Z1, and now the “as-yet unannounced title we’re currently working on.”
Considering
the cost of developing a single game, developing four at the same time
is quite an ambitious investment on the part of Daybreak.
Then again, perhaps this sour taste comes from something ingested previously…
“Sony
Online Entertainment has announced that it will shut down four MMOs
before the end of the year. Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars
Adventures will end by March 31, while Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and
Wizardry Online will end by July 31, 2014.
~ Andrew Goldfarb @ ign.com
“At
Sony Online Entertainment, we are always evaluating our portfolio to
ensure we’re providing players with the best gameplay experiences. At
times, as part of this commitment, we have to make the difficult
decision to sunset a game so we can refocus our resources on other areas
in the best interest of our company and player community.
With
that said, it is with a heavy heart that we announce our decision to
discontinue development on Free Realms, Star Wars: Clone Wars
Adventures, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Wizardry Online. Although these
closures will occur later this year, in the spirit of full
transparency, we are announcing this now so our players have time to
adjust to the news and make plans to enjoy the time remaining in these
games.”
~ Michele Cagle, Senior director of global communications, SOE
It is difficult for me to understand how “sunsetting” four games is going to “ensure we’re providing players with the best gameplay experiences” but at least now we finally understand what refocusing their resources on other areas “in the best interest of our company and player community.” means.
Pardon
this rank amateur for pointing out the obvious to the game industries
professionals, but as a player who invested time and money into two of
these games, I sense a disconnect with SOE (now Daybreak) and its
customer base. You have canceled four games I had an investment in. You
offered me zero incentive or compensation. But you are serving my best
interests by what? Inviting me to invest even more funds into buying
exclusive early access packages for games that will be years in
development? Seriously? I can see where this serves YOUR best interests
were I to do that, but I fail to see what this formerly loyal customer
is getting out of the exchange.

Read more: http://mm-mysticalts.proboards.com/thread/353/daybreak-appoints-andersen-executive-creative#ixzz3o2rDRtXa

mvpeets
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mvpeets

Scuzzman They ARE merged together already, engine-wise. The thing is, some of the functionality has been demoed (that is all LM is – a demo) via Landmark. Their only mistake, IMO, is treating Landmark as though it is a full game.

vinicitur
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vinicitur

Really, a new game? How about EverquestNext? Fourth direction change after they became DBG and nothing to show for it yet.

Landmark? Players drop and now seems to be on life support.

H1Z1? Battlegrounds, but you have to buy those. And it was  touted from the start as an open world survival game.

Sorry but these guys need to show me they can follow through with a title before I give them benefit of the doubt. To me it’s just: Hype game, get founder’s packs and store out as soon as possible to fleece the fanboys/girls and then bye bye.

KryptonianGL
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KryptonianGL

Alright, so as you can probably tell I’m a pretty big DC fan and nothing would make me happier than playing a great DC MMO. Unfortunately IMHO, DCUO is nowhere near being a great DC MMO!
While DC starts off as being fun, it quickly becomes a button-mashing, face-rolling on keyboard, repetitive mess with clumsy controls.
I’m not sure as to precisely how much involvement or decision-making Jens had in the initial stages of DCUO and therefore how much of my previously mentioned dislikes with the game are his responsibility – but if they are in fact his, then I can’t say I’m his biggest fan.
I’m sure he is a hard-worker and is passionate about his work; however, his vision of DCUO – if it is indeed mostly a result of his vision – is certainly not mine!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, an MMO with the DC IP should be killing it! Not settling on mediocrity, which this game clearly is.
Matter of fact, the responses in this thread might be the most I’ve seen in any Massively OP DCUO article, that I can recall. Normally all you hear are crickets.
While I’m happy for anyone that improves their career status in life, let’s not sugar-coat things – DCUO his nowhere near what it should be or could have been!

And for those of you pointing out the lack of SOE/Daybreak’s ability to finish things before moving on, don’t hold your breath. They still haven’t even updated the DCUO website: to this day only 7 powers are listed on the power page of their website when they’ve had far more than that for some time now. This is piss poor marketing IMHO, as those prospective players that are interested in the game will more than likely go the website, see the limited number of powers (rather than the true amount), which thus may result in the possibility of turning those would-be players away.
Granted if you look hard enough you can find those details elsewhere, but the point is, that this company is like monkeys humping a football when it comes to putting their ducks in a row.
I’m sure some will be offended by my opinion of the game, but it’s my opinion and they are like a-holes, everyone is entitled to have their own. However, trust me, there is nothing I’d love more than an amazing DC MMO, but like I said, DCUO is not it. It’s ‘meh’ at best.

Ceder
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Ceder

Jens as ECD is just further adjustments to the roster per recent happenings.  Its really no surprise.

However, I sure hope that DB is not spreading themselves thin with yet another project in development.  Trion learned the hard way that lesson.

Mikey Moo
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Mikey Moo

The new title is probably something for the sake of generating a lot of money to finance the company and their projects with. Initially when I read they have a new project, I was also like WTF? But really it just depends on what it is, it could be something that doesn’t really require a whole lot of resources to put together but could generate a steady profit…So before freaking out I’m just gonna wait to see what it is.

I really hope it’s not another MMO given how expensive they are to produce and develop. If it is, then I hope they’re just porting an already existing title for NA/EU consumption or something lol.

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

Congrats to Jen, but like many (most?) people here I can’t believe that they’re pulling this without finishing existing projects. It wasn’t so long ago that they ‘downsized’ their team and I haven’t read about them hiring a bunch of people.
We’re never going to see this studio actually release a finished project.

teehee2
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teehee2

congrats Jens. Ive been impressed and pleased with your leadership of DCUO. 

Jens Andersen is definitely one of the best game directors of any MMO ive played. He is blunt, funny, vocal, and honest. And talented. He is a risk taker and restlessly works to improve DCUO. I havent always agreed with every decision but I have always enjoyed my time in DCUO.

MJ Guthrie
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MJ Guthrie

Nate Woodard Agreed!

Nate Woodard
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Nate Woodard

libertylion7 Hopefully you mean the controls. The gameplay is pretty amazing.

Nate Woodard
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Nate Woodard

Good for Jens!  He and all the team over with DCUO have done some pretty good stuff!

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

kofteburger John Wise 
…the mechanics are already there if you include the exploits in Warsong Gulch.

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

A Dad Supreme paragonlostinspace Vunak McSleaz

Actually that’s a great point ADS. I didn’t look at it that way. If this proves to be true then it will be a great thing for Daybreak actually. I’m definitely not against Daybreak making some cash to put them into a stronger financial position. If they can do so without hurting their other in development games than more power to them.

A Dad Supreme
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A Dad Supreme

paragonlostinspace Vunak A Dad Supreme McSleaz You have a point, but if it’s something like what Trion did with Trove (very little money into a small, easily launched and player-backed product), then I really can’t see much harm in it.
I think Trion said Trove started with one guy in his spare time, and I’m pretty sure they are more than on the way to making what little money they’ve put into it back.
Sometimes the worst thing a company can do in a ‘down’ market is get conservative. You always have to be pushing for the next product before the old one gets stale, that’s why I think it’s an excellent idea.

Budukahn
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Budukahn

While I appreciate that a game development studio will probably always be building prototypes and demos of potential future projects, this really does seem like a dumb time to announce another change in direction for the company.  They seem to be struggling enough as it is with bringing Landmark and H1Z1 to full release to say nothing of “Internal Playtest- Honest” EQNext.   Now is really not the time to further sow doubt in the minds of their customers I feel.

kofteburger
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kofteburger

Sigbjorn Legends of Norrath the dumbed down edition

Sigbjorn
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Sigbjorn

It’s either mobile only or a TCG (or both). Although a Diablo-like setbin EQ would be fun (like Champions of Norrath for PS2, but better).

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

A Dad Supreme

The Peter principle is a concept in management theory formulated by Laurence J. Peter in which the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and “managers rise to the level of their incompetence.”

blackcat7k
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blackcat7k

Please…  Don’t call upon any dead titles in an attempt to sell this new one.

Scuzzman
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Scuzzman

They will probably try and merge EQnext and landmark together or drop one of them i dont see both these projects going anywhere in this day and age .

FlyinDutchman
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FlyinDutchman

I’m pretty sure they need to finish the games they have. Since they now have 2 major releases that are in “alpha”

kofteburger
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kofteburger

John Wise Well, there are lots of flashes.

John Wise
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John Wise

kofteburger how would a flash mmo even look like? every player and their mom get to play flash?

Gavin_Lafferty
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Gavin_Lafferty

Another new title?

EQNext is still in development and they still have multiple mmos on the go as it is.

Are they spreading themselves too thin?

John Wise
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John Wise

Game companies keep poppin titles until they fiind that ”golden egg”. So what they their current titles are still half done, we got to fiind that Chicken with golden eggs!!!!!

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

Greaterdivinity paragonlostinspace LOL!  Ok, thanks for the chuckle. :)

Greaterdivinity
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Greaterdivinity

paragonlostinspace Putting money on it being a mobile title. So it basically doesn’t count : P

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

Vunak paragonlostinspace A Dad Supreme McSleaz Well, that still doesn’t change my opinion that the assets don’t need to be deluded further when EQNext still isn’t out. :( Assets being people and money.

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

Greaterdivinity Cambruin Until EQNext comes out I don’t want to hear about any other new title. ;p

Vunak
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Vunak

paragonlostinspace A Dad Supreme McSleaz

I didn’t see anywhere it being mentioned its a new MMO. More than likely its a mobile title or a MOBA  since that’s what everyone seems to be getting into these days.

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

breetoplay Cambruin EQNext though…many of of us were waiting on EQNext, not Landmark which should have stayed a part of EQNext but that’s my opinion. I’m tired of hearing about Landmark that still sounds so incomplete and that was never supposed to affect EQNext development. :( No faith at all in Daybreak and they’ve done nothing to change that instead I feel that they’ve double downed on making us not regain any faith.

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

A Dad Supreme   Good comparison. Yeah I hope that Jens doesn’t end up following some of the bad aspects of Hartsman’s career.

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

A Dad Supreme McSleaz  Problem is that there track record is looking a bit bumpy currently. I’m of the mind that they shouldn’t have mentioned a new mmo at all until they release EQNext.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

Congrats to Jen for the promotion. As to the hints of a new title. Lets finish EQNext and their other projects first before they look at doing anything else. Seriously people.

kofteburger
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kofteburger

In other news, season 2 of Flash starts today.

pepinocantador
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pepinocantador

I hope the unannounced project isn’t another MMO. Working on producing a single MMO is notoriously difficult and resource consuming, and EQN isn’t even in player hands yet (queue a comment about Landmark). Given that PS2 is having issues related to team size, I hope they aren’t stretching themselves too thin.

A Dad Supreme
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A Dad Supreme

McSleaz Yeah, it makes no sense for a company to work on multiple projects at the same time. 
What are they thinking?

McSleaz
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McSleaz

libertylion7 DCUO gameplay is damn good.

McSleaz
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McSleaz

They can’t even finish the titles they are working on and they hint at a new one…………………………………………………….

libertylion7
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libertylion7

Hate the game play of DCUO.  I hope that games playstyle does not find its way into any new or existing titles.

A Dad Supreme
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A Dad Supreme

As a Lifetime Sub of DCUO, I can attest Jens deserves that promotion.
This kind of reminds me of Scott Hartsman’s ascent from EQ2 Senior Producer of EQ2 into his next role as head of Trion while Rift was under construction.

syberghost
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syberghost

Greaterdivinity Cambruin DCUO just got its 52nd update, in fact, and was already talking about the next two expansions (bigger than updates).

wpDiscuz