Leaderboard: Which Daybreak MMO is most vulnerable in 2017?

In February 2015, following the SOE/Daybreak transition and ensuing mass layoffs, we polled our readers on the security of the rest of the studio's games. Almost half of you voted that Dragon's Prophet was the studio's most vulnerable remaining game, with almost 20% pointing to EverQuest Next. And you were right; SOE's North American-run Dragon's Prophet was gone within the year, with EverQuest Next to follow just a few months later.

And now Landmark's headed off into the sunset.

The thing is, Daybreak doesn't really have much left. The company that once won "best studio" four years in a row and had a much-deserved reputation for keeping beloved MMORPGs going is now down to four MMORPGs, plus H1Z1 A and B, and one unannounced game, plus the games it's publishing for Standing Stone. Yesterday we counted up the casualties and found Daybreak has now shut down approximately 16 games, most of them in the last few years -- more than most studios will ever launch.

Let's break out the poll for a revisit, two years on. Which Daybreak MMO do you think is most vulnerable now?

Which Daybreak MMO is most vulnerable in 2017?

  • DC Universe Online (11%, 149 Votes)
  • EverQuest (11%, 150 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (4%, 54 Votes)
  • H1Z1 - Just Survive (13%, 173 Votes)
  • H1Z1 - King of the Kill (3%, 44 Votes)
  • PlanetSide 2 (27%, 359 Votes)
  • The unannounced game (9%, 121 Votes)
  • The Standing Stone games Daybreak is publishing, because if I don't include this someone will complain (4%, 51 Votes)
  • All of the above (17%, 225 Votes)
  • None of the above (2%, 21 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,347

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122 comments
Denngar
Denngar

PlanetSide 2 is the only Daybreak game left I ever think about going back to, and it's probably on the top of their list.

But... I feel like after EQN and Landmark got cancelled, nothing's safe. Look at Turbine and the AC franchise. When it failed to update, it got dropped. How many other EQ games will Daybreak gamble on? How long can DCUO go on without bringing in new players? And who really trusts H1Z1 these days? (I say that as someone who once had faith that it might be the first survival game to work as an MMO).

It feels like these shutdowns are housecleaning, preparing for some project that probably won't work but might help investors milk the last out of what was SOE before finally burying it.

JameZaye
JameZaye

@Denngar It got dropped because Asheron's Call was a Turbine IP and the rights were own by the studio. When all of the developers and staff of it moved with the LOTRO/DDO teams as all of the 3 games had the same Exec producer and Community managers, the game was left at Turbine with no staff - so they're closing it.


Landmark doesn't seem that successful and while is an ambitious game, like Cities XL was (the original sandbox MMO, not the defiled corpse now on steam), they're plethora and wide array of systems and back-end servers required for it might not be feasible given a low enough player population.

EQN seemed cancelled because it wasn't going to be successful, not because they're greedy and killing their own stuff for the sake of it. Turbine made that mistake with Infinite Crisis and instead cut its budget and released an even more crappy game, which closed in less than 3 months of going live and dragged the entire studio in financial struggle.

DrowNoble
DrowNoble

EQ1 and 2 are pretty much settled now with a steady playerbase and income.  Those that are still playing will keep playing but it's not really attracting any new players.  I'd think they're safe since they are a reliable (at this time) source of income.


DCUO is also safe with superhero genre being quite popular now.


So it's either H1Z1 or Planetside 2 that are probably getting close to being zapped.

dbresson
dbresson

Planetside 2, or EQ 1.  EQ b/c ....EQ Next happened.  P2 b/c well, yeah.


I don't see any of the H1Z1's going anywhere because KotK is doing so well.  For that reason I think they'd even keep Just Survive around.

groo the wanderer
groo the wanderer

There is little chance that lotro or DDO will close this year so soon after the buyout by Standing Stone unless the Tolkien estate decides not to renew the license (which is very unlikely unless a high company has interest in producing a new Tolkein mmo ) . Daybreak will have a contract with the company to publish both games for a minimum period which will greatly exceed one year and even if Daybreak goes under Standing Stone would probably find another publisher without too much difficulty .


Both Everquest games are probably on pretty firm ground because they still have enough people playing them to turn a decent profit and DC Universe is doing well enough on the consoles .


My guess by process of elimination would be either of the H1ZI games or Planetside 2 .


But there is also the possibility no games will close at all .

Xyggy
Xyggy

H1Z1 Just Survive will probably be the next cancelled game. KotH is doing okay and is a much more complete game than Just Survive. Plus, the whole zombie genre is wearing thin these days, so success with this type of MMO is pretty unlikely.

melissaheather
melissaheather

All I know is this is a good time to enjoy LOTRO while it lasts.

theeknighthood
theeknighthood

@melissaheather I really need to try to get back into it, I failed to convince some friends to do so, which means if I do I will have to go at it solo :(

Vaeris
Vaeris

@melissaheather I know it's a long shot, but there is a part of me that hopes that when LOTRO shuts down that another company will pick up license and make a game leaning heavily on what once was Middle Earth Online. Kind of in the way of when SWG was ended and SWTOR took its SW license MMO spot.

MissingLynx
MissingLynx

I voted for the unannounced games, simply cause I can't see them putting resources into developing anything at this time with how much they have already cancelled/shut down. but PS2 seems like a good bet as well.


I do live the wording of the Standing Stone games entry here. The people insisting on that are silly. 

deeggale
deeggale

You don't shut things down for the fun of it.  Obviously, whatever revenue it was generating couldn't justify keeping it around (unfortunate for those who continue to enjoy Landmark).  Even if it was making money, then they must've determined they were better off investing into unannounced or older products.


As a business, you have products that hopefully create revenue and profit.  Some of that profit gets reinvested back into your products and maybe even some potential future products/ideas (that will in turn create future revenue and profit once current products age out).


Unfortunately, SOE/Daybreak seems to be simply riding on the continued (strong?) performance of its older products - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if the performance of those older products are reliable and consistent.  But it will need something new and solid in the future.


For the devs supporting their current portfolio, I do hope they're being supported properly and fairly.  Nothing sucks more than working on an older product only to have the revenue its generating siphoned off significantly in order to make the new shiny things appear financially suitable/favorable (I've been there before as a developer and it sucks big time).





Estranged
Estranged

Some of you all are posting out of fear.


The EQ games and DCUO arent going anywhere.  They actually make good money.  Hell, even John was bragging on DCUO before he left.  


I voted PS2, because I never read much news about it overall.  However, I think they are all safe.  



quark1020
quark1020

I'd say all of the above, though if I were to guess the order, it would be the H1Z1 games followed by PS2, DCUO, and finally the two new games and both Everquests all at the same time when the company finally shuts down,

Obviously, the two new games aren't going to be shut down until we see how successful we are, and shutting down either of the Everquests would equate to shooting themselves in the foot. They are classics that have a place in history and they still have their fans, so shutting them down would destroy whatever faith the fans still had. As for DCUO, there is an increase in super hero movies, so it would be a good idea to keep this around in order to cash in on the super hero fad.

Apollymi
Apollymi

They are ALL vulnerable.  These folks don't really care about the people playing the games at all, they're just after their own agenda.  

Pardon me while I don my tinfoil hat.  But DB's actions seem to me to be those of a spoiled child who never got picked to play with the cool kids and now has superpowers to destroy everybody's fun.  So, just like that sadistic brat who pulls the wings off a fly, DayBreak is killing off our games, one at a time.

Ok, back to reality now.  

JimGriffiths
JimGriffiths

I selected all of the above. Since John left the company and now a number cruncher is the head of Daybreak things are going to be highly unpredictable. The closure of EQN & now Landmark shows that the EQ franchise has a good chance of sunseting, but then again all games that DBG are involved with at this point are just cannon fodder for Columbus Nova.

Jack Pipsam
Jack Pipsam

I am going to say DCUO purely because they don't own the IP.

EpicViking
EpicViking

@Jack Pipsam I boted DCUO, but then i thought about it, and it feels like it's the games they dont own that might be the safest. Meanwhile they seem to like to shutter all the games SOE started. 

Jack Pipsam
Jack Pipsam

@EpicViking @Jack Pipsam Well I am thinking that if Daybreak's image starts to look real bad, Warner Brothers could get cold feet.
Or if the DC licence suddenly becomes more expensive if the Justice League thing takes off, then WB might demand more money ect.

Armsbend
Armsbend

All  -  I think by the end of this year Daybreak will be gone or something else.

Ceder
Ceder

@Armsbend  Im thinking they're making themselves more attractive for an overseas buyout.

TheGremmel
TheGremmel

My vote is on Planetside 2. The bandwidth requirements for a MMOFPS must be enormous. 

Siphaed
Siphaed

So can we please stop saying that NCSoft is "so evil!" for closing just a few bad performers? Please...I mean, because Daybreak killed off many, even ones that haven't launched to perform yet.

Jack Pipsam
Jack Pipsam

@Siphaed NCSoft closed people's entire accounts unless they knew to merge them within a short time period.
So if you stopped playing their games for like a year, then come back, everythings is gone.
That's pretty evil.
At least my Daybreak account is the same as my 2008 SOE one.

BryanCo
BryanCo

@Siphaed  They can both be evil.  Let's ask Richard Garriott if NCSoft is evil........

JamesBalmer
JamesBalmer

@Jack Pipsam @Siphaed Turbine did the exact same thing with LOTRO, I came back after not playing for a year and a half and was told I couldn't play my original account that I had spent a lot of money on via the cash shops because I didn't transfer over to their new thing in time.


Turbine are the worst I've ever dealt with.

Veldan
Veldan

@Jack Pipsam @Siphaed They also sent you like a billion emails about said account closures, so if you chose to ignore them all, the fault is completely yours.

JameZaye
JameZaye

@JamesBalmer @Jack Pipsam @Siphaed You still can. You just open the transfer button when logging in. It's not Turbine's fault you failed to read the information they had posted all over the forums, site and emails about those server closures.


Your characters are still there, they just have to be send to another server that is still open.

BryanCo
BryanCo

@Siphaed @BryanCo  They were certainly within rights to fire him, but they forged his signature on a resignation (while he was in post-flight quarantine) because they had to pay a lot more to fire him than if he quit.  Courts found in his favor to the tune of $28 million.

RodneySpearsII
RodneySpearsII

I'm playing a lot of EQ and EQ2 atm. I tried PS2 and just wasn't impressed at all when comparing it to other games of the like. So I voted for that one. Not saying it's a bad game per say, but it just didn't grab me. I'm honestly hoping there is another "EQ" in development and also hoping they dont' shut down either of the other EQ's if there is no "EQ3" on the horizon. 

GrimLegionary
GrimLegionary

I voted for Planetside 2 as it's the only Daybreak game that I actually play but I do fear for all of them.  While Planetside 2 does seem to have a decent amount of players it's hard to tell how many of them are actually paying.  I've actually spent quite a bit on cosmetics myself just to support the game.  Even though the construction update did breath some life back into the game the update schedule has always been rough and things like a new continent that may draw back in new players don't seem to happening anytime soon.  I fear that either Daybreak will need to make a tough call or the whole company may go under.

melbrankin
melbrankin

@GrimLegionary Im subbed as all access to mostly play PS2 so fingers x it has a future! Its fairly quiet at my play time but generally there is some fun to be had (until a sniper headshots me)

McGuffn
McGuffn

The studio promises to be as erratic and directionless this year as it was in the last one or two. We're not going to support landmark anymore, we're switching gears to Everquest Next! Oh look, here's a landmark update. Great News, Next is cancelled, and full steam ahead for Landmark with a new team. Oh look, we're splitting H1Z1 into two games each with its own dev team, only one game will get next to no development time. We're reverting the PS2 pay to win changes we talked about endlessly. Great news, Landmark closing down, more free time to farm your voxels in other games!

Java Jawa
Java Jawa

I think the only properties that are left of value are everquest and DCUO amd the later is mostly due to console.

It's my opinion that if they don't crank out a new next gen EQ game that's cross console then it's bye bye and off to someone who will buy em up.

I'm still waiting on EQ3 :(

Greyraven
Greyraven

I look for Columbus nova to sell DB on the street, PWI will be the most likely buyer and will promptly shut down all the dead weight games they can't cash box to hell and back

Qarran
Qarran

Sadly, just the title of this article and the associated poll speaks volumes about how Daybreak is viewed by well informed customers.



boredinBC
boredinBC

Daybreak Games will shut down every game that costs more to produce/maintain than it recovers, with the exception of whatever IPs they might want to keep running in order to maintain some level of social and human capital.


Estranged
Estranged

@boredinBC I would hope so, that is their business.

Feydakin
Feydakin

I dunno about Planetside 2 being on top... They have a pretty consistent population, even at silly times of the day Emerald has got *something* going on and peak times will see continents open with alerts going on with hundreds of people fighting on one continent. Plus if you play you definitely see people with store bought aesthetic items all the time, so it's still selling stuff. For instance that new TR armor set that goes for $40, I see tons of people rocking that. 

I really feel like something like H1Z1 is at higher risk of closure, or the studio overall shutting down. I really hope that doesn't happen though, and I do think that the studio can be profitable, and probably is still. At least parts of it are.

wjowski
wjowski

I'd say Daybreak itself is at risk.  I'm betting it won't survive the year before being dissolved and it's constituent parts sold off.

Dnote
Dnote

@wjowski I'd buy up the Landmark/EQN tech if they did that :)

daicon
daicon

@wjowski I wish, but I can't think of a home for the EQ franchise. Atleast where it is now, EQ1 and 2 have been treated very well (by my standards)

kjempff
kjempff

One would assume that the remaining games are the profitable ones, and as such are those that will be the basis for the oncomming sale (of either individual ip's but more like the company as a whole). The Venture Capitalists that acquired them usually trim a company's unprofitable parts away and sell it off (in parts or as a whole) once it shows promise/profitability... this is what they do, so why should this one be any different ?

That is why all are mostly vulnerable on a longer timescale depending on how they are sold and to whom.

Sargonnax
Sargonnax

I picked H1Z1 King of the Hill, but I wanted to pick both versions of the game. Yes, other games are older, but H1Z1 follows the Daybreak pattern of doing stupid things with their games and they pretty much pissed off almost everyone by splitting the original H1Z1 into two games. For some reason they thought that would satisfy players when in reality that decision most likely will cause the games to shut down. It might not happen this month or even in six months, and it seems to be a little popular now, but I see nothing good coming for H1Z1 longer term.

Reht
Reht

@Sargonnax King of the Kill seems to still be going pretty strong, it still has really good twitch numbers, was in the top 5 leading gaming content  by number of hours viewed in December, etc., which i am sure help keep it a little more relevant than it would be otherwise.

nosz
nosz

"Yesterday we counted up the casualties and found Daybreak has now shut down approximately 16 games..."

BalsBigBrother
BalsBigBrother

@wjowski @Barantor1 @nosz Yup most people seem to overlook that Vanguard got many extra years of life thanks to SOE / Daybreak.

Also if we are hair splitting Dragon's Prophet is not dead and is still chugging away in Europe though obviously not under Daybreak stewardship. 

thickenergy
thickenergy

@BalsBigBrother @wjowski @Barantor1 @nosz Oh, it was totally kept going for quite some time when another company would have shut it down. Especially considering the jumble of monkey f***s that constituted the code.

Still miss it though. Not like City of Heroes miss it, but I do miss it.

wjowski
wjowski

@Barantor1 @nosz 

If anything Vanguard probably enjoyed a longer life than it would have under Sigil.