Devs and players say farewell to Landmark and the last remnants of EverQuest Next

Landmark’s servers blinked off for the very last time last night, with our own EverQuest franchise columnist MJ Guthrie there to stream the end. The sandbox hadn’t even reached its first birthday after its long-awaited but still hasty launch last year.

“Such a waste,” former SOE and Daybreak CEO John Smedley remarked on Twitter. “It’s tragic to see this game turned off. EQ Next would have been brilliant based on it. We could have done it.”

We’ve rounded up some memories from the current and former Daybreak and SOE reps, plus we’ve included MJ’s stream and some of our favorite Landmark content in the last couple of years.

First, MJ’s stream of the sunset. If you just want to see the end, skip to about 1:50:00, as the fireworks go off and the countdown timer trails off to blackness.

Former SOE and Daybreak CEO John Smedley:

Daybreak Lead Game Designer Emily “Domino” Taylor:

Former SOE Director of Development and Creative Director Dave Georgeson:

Daybreak Communications Manager Colette “Dexella” Murphy:

Former SOE Senior Brand Manager Omeed Dariani:

Former SOE Associate Producer Eric Smith:

And here’s a recap of some of our more interesting pieces about Landmark from the last two years.

EverQuesting: The loss of Landmark - Daybreak did it again. Boy, that phrase has come to mean a great many different things over the years. However, in this case it refers to the art of dropping…
Global Chat Extra: In remembrance of Landmark - Obviously, the reverberations of the news of Landmark's closure continue to be seen across the MMO community, including in our own comments sections. The MMO blogosphere was alight with discussion…
Landmark is shutting down on February 21 - Sad news for fans of Landmark who were happy to see it have its own life after the closure of EverQuest Next; Daybreak has announced that the Landmark servers will…
Global Chat: The verdict on Landmark - Landmark's launch hasn't gone unnoticed by the MMO blogging community. Several players have decided to use the game's official release as an opportunity to check it out again (or for…
Landmark announces a June 10th launch date - It's a little later in the "spring" than expected, depending on how strictly you adhere to the season or the solstice, but it's finally happening: Landmark is launching on June…

Our condolences to players who’ve lost a favorite world or pile of money this week.

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45 Comments on "Devs and players say farewell to Landmark and the last remnants of EverQuest Next"

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Totakeke

I’m kind of sad that Landmark is the reason why we never got flamethrowers in PS2.

Reader
rafael12104

Heh. Thought of this after a few drinks yesterday. Lol.

“Farewell and adieu to our EverQuest ladies. Farewell and adieu you ladies of fame!”

“For we’re on a ship steered away from your ocean. We’ll shanghai a new one and see you again!”

Reader
Rabidwargamer

I see more than a few commenters here and elsewhere hoping someone buys the Everquest IP. That’s actually a nightmare for me. I just don’t see any company out there taking it and doing it “right”.

I feel this way for many reasons, but the biggest is what is “right”? A homage to Original EQ, a game that I’ve heard described as “the game that hates you for playing it”? Following in the footsteps of EQNext? Trying to combine both old school and modern MMO philosophies?

Maybe this is very pessimistic of me, but I just don’t see EQ under new management working out and bringing more ruin to a once proud IP.

One caveat I’ll add is someone taking over the existing games to keep them going.

Reader
MrNastyButler

Sucks how it all turned out in the end.

Reader
Brown Jenkin

Pretty sad day for MMOs all around and a not so great sign perhaps for the future of the genre. Perhaps that’s an overstatement, but EQNext (and by weird extension Landmark) promised something new to the genre that it was sorely in need of, meaningful and dynamic PvE. At this point I’m not sure we’ll ever see it, though I’m not sure if we’re more likely to be doomed to a sea of rehashed WoW clones or PvP focused sandboxes.

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rafael12104

“Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu you ladies of Spain…”

Well, what else can be said? It’s all out there clear as day now. But I won’t talk about the travesty of it. The dismantling of an MMORPG dream shared by devs and gamers.

Instead, I look forward to what is to come. The dream that was Everquest Next and Landmark is still there. That hasn’t changed. And if there is one thing that is certain, it is that others will try again. Because as much as gaming is a business it is also the pursuit of art, music, story, and community which was and is unique as a form of high art. And the promise of creating a world that players can be a part of and create on their own continues even as we speak.

So, I raise my glass, to those out there who have the will and skill to make something new. They know trials all to well. And they understand what EQN and Landmark were and what remains.

Now, for a bit of that Irish whiskey! Ah! Let us be on our way! :)

Reader
Kayweg

Perhaps one day Amazon could be tempted by the IP.
I hear they recently hired somebody who’s vaguely familiar with the franchise…..

kjempff
Reader
kjempff

Too much baggage in that package for someone big like Amazon. Besides they got their own huge projects to invest in. Perhaps some smaller company.

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Jeremy Barnes

out of the options to buy the EQ Ip when it inevitably goes up for sale, Amazon may be one of the better ones.

Reader
Esoteric Coyote

It makes me sad this is gone. Smedley is right, what a waste.

kjempff
Reader
kjempff

Yeah you can discuss if Smedley and the team did well, but it is certainly a waste of such a good idea with actual future potential – Just see the next 10 year when all good mmo-like games incorporate the features and ideas from EqNext/Landmark; then those beancounters will regret not getting in on the trend.

Reader
Slaasher

I believe that you are correct in this

Reader
Jeff

I’m trying to think when SOE (Now Webreak Games) first started going sideways, and I think it was around the development of SWG when SOE had developers who knew nothing about the franchise reportedly say things like “Who cares if it’s Canon..It’s Star Wars” As if that’s all it took for success. I lay a lot of the blame about the current state of this company squarely at Smeds, (and to a lesser extent McQuaid, and Kosters when they were there) feet.

And who they have Steering their games now isn’t much better, Jack (I destroy IP’s ) Emmert who spends more time bitching about his Obama care and political views on his Facebook page, than he does working on DCUO (Not my words, that’s from a friend who is a dev there) The lackadaisical approach to EQ and EQII that has adopted the we crap in a box and the loyal will buy it ethos is just sickening.

It all just makes me profoundly sad, as I was a beta tester for EQ and I remember what that game was and how the entire portfolio has been more or less taken to a back ally and executed gangland style.

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MesaSage

Alas poor pixels, I knew ye not!

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Mr Poolaty

Knock knock..
Who’s there?
EverQuestNext!
Go away it’s just not fun anymore

April-Rain
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
April-Rain

feel really sad i did not log in now, bitter, frustrated and sad all at the same time

April-Rain
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
April-Rain

dam i love that music, wasted many hours listening to that and build my dojo :(

xpsync
Reader
xpsync

Ya it had a real EQ vibe.

PurpleCopper
Reader
PurpleCopper

Welp, time to reuse all those assets for a different MMO then…

Reader
Mr Poolaty

If it’s gamebreak doing so I’ll never touch it

antheriel
Reader
antheriel

I would love to see an article on what the future of the EQ franchise might be, based on the little dev access MJ is still permitted at Daybreak.

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Drainage

That is my deal. This IP is a gaming legacy, it is part of the gaming HOF. Deserves better than the current treatment.

I haven’t played either EQ game more than 5 hours total, by the way.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Rottenrotny

Worst $100 I ever spent. :(

Honestly, I like sandbox, building games. I’m playing the shit out of Conan Exiles right now. But Landmark ran like crap on my system with cartoony graphics whereas Conan runs great with nice realistic graphics.
Landmark had some great tools for building and I loved being able to tunnel into the ground ala Minecraft, but in the end the only reason I purchased it was for and to support EQnext.

Reader
Brown Jenkin

Yep, honestly the only MMO I’ve ever genuinely felt ripped off by. I’m sure it was my own fault for being a gullible idiot, but I too picked up Landmark based on the promised eventualities of EQNext. Alas, in the words of the legendary GWB “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me…?”

Reader
theblackmage75

I can only hope that sometime in the future gamers will find the power and backing to change the lifecycle of MMOs. Whether it’s working out agreements with devs and publishers to run emulators or creating a service/platform solely for hosting sunset games, or simply exerting enough pressure to keep a few of them in maintenance mode so long as the bills are getting paid, something really needs to be done.

MMOs are not merely games, they’re communities. There ought to be a way to keep them from being demolished year after year.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

THIS BLOODY SUCKS.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
BalsBigBrother

Yes the game had issues, some may argue that is was a wreck and others are just bitter because it didn’t lead to that other game. However some player got what Landmark was and accepted its short comings to create some truly great examples of creativity and expression.

For me that is the saddest part all that creativity is now lost and there isn’t really anywhere else that offers quite exactly what Landmark did. I feel that our part of the gaming sphere is just that bit poorer as a result of this closing down. /sigh

Reader
wratts

It’s really hard for me to believe that DBG couldn’t provide private server functionality, or a standalone build, for exactly that purpose. This was basically a Norrathian Minecraft, there would have been a community for it even it was sort of pushed out there and ignored

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Reht

Unfortunately, it’s not couldn’t, it’s wouldn’t.

antheriel
Reader
antheriel

I really doubt this. The game contained licensed code they probably couldn’t freely distribute.

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Reht

They were using their own engine and the Story Bricks stuff didn’t make into Landark. Furthermore SOE/DBG hasn’t ever released code for one their games once it has sunsetted. Even if they could have, their track record shows they wouldn’t have.

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wratts

Like what? EQN had the StoryBricks stuff, but dynamic AI had no role in Landmark. Maybe I’m blanking, but they had already distributed the client (not freely) and the server stuff I saw was all very boilerplate. Given the SOE history in MMOs I’d be a little surprised if it wasn’t owned

Reader
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
agemyth 😩

Just one that I can think of, but kinda a big part of the game:
http://www.voxelfarm.com

antheriel
Reader
antheriel

This is what I was thinking of. The base voxel engine the game ran on was another company’s code. I doubt they would have the right to just release even compiled versions for free.

Reader
Reht

It’s still not a matter of couldn’t. Yes, there are roadblocks, but ones that possibly could have been overcome. They might have been able to work out a deal with voxelfarm to where the end user could use Landmark’s codebase after getting a license from voxelfarm. However, that’s something that SOE/DBG have never done, they take the write off and are done with it. Could or could not is a distinction that’s largely irrelevant when you know they (SOE/DBG) wouldn’t even try.

Reader
wratts

Which raises the question to me “why are you in the games making business if you don’t want to make games”

Reader
wratts

And with that, I think we can officially say DBG has contributed nothing worthwhile since taking over SOE

saerain
Reader
saerain

Eh? Daybreak didn’t exist until SOE renamed into it. You probably mean Columbus Nova?

Reader
wratts

Yep. Didn’t really feel the need to split hairs about the corporate entity

Reader
Wolfyseyes

While the game very obviously cut its own wrists in some ways, it’s still a shame to see it go. There were a huge amount of amazing ideas in there, and the sensation of being able to physically affect the game’s world was still a powerfully tangible one to me.

Maybe we’ll see some other enterprising MMO studio take up the reigns, or at the least refine what were some rough but ultimately unique ideas.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Nordavind

Okay. Bye. Now let the dead stay buried* :)

*unless a necromancer studio revives it.

MJ Guthrie
Staff
MJ Guthrie

NEVAH! The dead shall never rest on my watch!

Reader
wratts

‘Dey Raise Games?

Reader
Melissa McDonald

I see what you did there. Hopefully someone who knows the industry smells opportunity. a longshot, though.

Reader
Rick Mills

Thx for putting this together -always sad when when a game sunsets.

wpDiscuz