Massively OP Podcast Episode 167: Daybreaking news

On this special edition of the podcast, Justin and Bree lay out the Daybreak fiasco, taking you through the events of the last three days, and contemplating the future for this once-great studio.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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45 Comments on "Massively OP Podcast Episode 167: Daybreaking news"

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pebbles

Maybe it is just me but this situation doesn’t sound so different from businesses that are used to launder money. It would sure explain some of the unbelievable business decisions that have been made over the last several years. Either way my heart goes out to all those who lost their jobs.

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johnwillo

I do believe that the layoffs were planned. I wish I could believe that the ownership issues were just incompetence, but at the very least there was deliberate deception at the outset, obscuring sale of the company to a different party than claimed in the press releases and news coverage. The timing of the revelation of the “truth” is obviously tied to the Russian sanctions; I doubt that we’d ever have learned about it otherwise.

Duey Bear
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Duey Bear

Maybe Daybreak will have to sell the EQ franchise for peanuts and some excellent devs will make EQIII!!!
…a guy can dream, can’t he?

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Kinya

It was one of the best episodes of Massively OP Podcast :D
We need more special episodes! You should call them: “Kerfluffle in the news” and record it whenever something big is happening with focus on that subject :)

MJ Guthrie
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MJ Guthrie

I am seriously using kerfluffle in my life. I already used kerfuffle, and this one is so much FLUFFIER!

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Denice J. Cook

I really laughed when they used the words “Kerfuffle” and “Kerfluffle” (they are two alternate spellings for the same word).

I have a Beastmaster in EQ2 called “Clusterfluff,” and her pet is called “Kerfluffle!” It just struck me as a little bit of deja’ vu. Eq2 is the only game I use that name in.

April-Rain
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April-Rain

Very interesting episode and I hope we see more specials in future, It all pretty much stinks and I do not believe columbus nova never owed the company and it was all big misunderstanding.

This is panic stations and headless chickens, new owner or same owner with the loss of backing/gangster money hence the layoffs.

I am hoping they do get bought out by a other company who will show everquest 2 the love it desperately needs as its an amazing IP that was once up there with wow and is currently fading away and sinking like a stone with a total lack of quality investment over the years and poor free to play implementation.

Dam even EQ Next could be back on the cards.

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Kevin McCaughey

I think we are more likely to discover Atlantis than EQ Next coming back.

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Harry Koala

Yeah. EQNext’s problems were a) the storybricks technology wasn’t close to doing what they wanted it to and b) the destructible voxel concept wasn’t ever going to work very well in an MMO.

If there is another EQNext it will be essentially a competely new project starting all over again.

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Kevin McCaughey

A lot of wishful thinking going on at the end of this podcast. Swallowing the line that these were preplanned layoffs makes you look very naive.

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Denice J. Cook

I dunno– the layoffs might have been spurred forward by Epstein’s crazy wrangling to get out of the US government’s Russian Oligarch net (and I suspect a lot of the internet wiping from Renova, CN etc. and even maybe the official Daybreak ones were actually by him), but in retrospect, H1Z1 has been in hot water for a really long time.

Think about how long PubG and Fortnite have been kicking H1Z1’s butt– and how much more incredibly popular they are. Fortnite alone is the most popular console game *of all time* both in downloads and income. Compare this to H1Z1’s numbers.

Daybreak tends to drag its feet with layoffs and game shutdowns, actually, supporting games way longer than it should (Vanguard and Free Realms immediately come to mind here) but that’s something I sort of always admired about them: they will try to keep them going as long as humanly possible before they shutter them. (And they are cool enough to have actually set up a deal for EQ1 emu Project 99 so it could *keep running* right alongside Daybreak’s own official Everquest 1, which still gets regular updates, never mind that they have always turned a blind eye to emus like SWG, the Matrix Online, etc.! Contrast this to the kamikaze Cease & Desist b.s. other companies like NCSoft pull on the emus of their *killed off, shuttered, buried MMOs* that no one can ever play again otherwise!)

Moreover, as much of a mess as the NGE was, SWG didn’t even get shut down by SOE: It really got shut down by LucasArts. When SW: The Old Republic was getting close to launch, it was either made too cost prohibitive to renew SWG’s Star Wars license, or SWG was just not allowed to renew at all, to make way for SW: The Old Republic.

So H1Z1’s days have really been numbered for ages now. It just seems like it took this whole Russian Oligarch/Columbus Nova thing to bring it to a head. That’s what it looks like to me, anyway. I’m not saying Epstein isn’t doing the Irish Jig trying to avoid getting dragged through whatever fate awaits Columbus Nova, but H1Z1 unfortunately seems like it has needed pruning back for a long while.

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Kevin McCaughey

Sorry #i didn’t plan that to sound quite so rude but I can’t edit it. Great podcast :)

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Kevin McCaughey

I think there are still some significant proceedings to take place. I think the fire is far from out.

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Kevin McCaughey

From the horses mouth (we all believe this don’t we):

Dear Daybreak Community,

There has been some confusion concerning Daybreak’s ownership and rumors about the state of the company that have circulated from a few online game websites, and we want to set the record straight. We assure you that these rumors are entirely false and that there’s no impact on our business or games in any way whatsoever.

From the get-go, Daybreak has been primarily owned by Jason Epstein, a longtime investor who also has investments in a variety of media properties. Jason acquired Daybreak (formerly SOE) in February 2015 and has been the executive chairman and majority owner of the company since that time.

We’re well aware of prior statements from Daybreak indicating our company was acquired by Columbus Nova. We have since clarified that the company was acquired by Jason Epstein when he was a partner at Columbus Nova, which he left in 2017. We’ve also taken steps to clarify those facts on our website and on third-party internet sites to ensure that all of the information currently made available is consistent and accurate.

We apologize for the previous miscommunication and hope that this clears up any confusion. As always, we greatly appreciate your continued support for our games, and we’ll continue to work hard to bring the best experiences to you.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Yep, this is the “miscommunication” post we were talking about, the one where they’re saying everything is fine and the press is rumormongering, an hour before layoffs.

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🔪Atmosph3rik🥄

One of the many signs that Daybreak has become a shitty company is the way they make their community people bold face lye like that, right up until the hour before they finally actually admit to something.

I still remember Dexella’s cheery message to the Landmark community when SOE was sold. Saying it would be “business as usual, and in fact things would be better”. And then half the company gets fired.

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Denice J. Cook

In her defense, I bet that’s exactly what Columbus Nova told them as the sale happened. ;)

Your Honor
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Your Honor

Can somebody give me the skinny?

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Kickstarter Donor
Kayweg

Good recap, thx for that.
Stay sharp, cut through the smoke screen and don’t get tempted to believe what you prefer to believe.
One thing is DBG saying it was all a case of “miscommunication”.
But there is another party here that never debunked the acquisition story…Columbus Nova.
No disrespect to MOP’s sources, afterall much of this story relies on them, but nobody can make me believe that DBG and CN both forgot to correct what was reported.
Plus the then DBG CEO coming out and announcing it.
Think clear, don’t get lulled in.