Are you over the Daybreak Game Company layoffs shock yet? Nope, neither am I. But my shock is compounded by dread over the fate of the studio’s games. While Daybreak has reassured players that it’s still got teams working on most of its MMOs (and I myself argued yesterday that most of the games are probably safe), some of the studio’s titles seem more vulnerable than others, especially given last year’s infamous purge. Of course, getting H1Z1, PlanetSide 2, and Landmark players to agree on who’s in the most trouble is a daunting task. Let’s put it to a vote in our shiny new poll: Which Daybreak title’s future seems the most in jeopardy to you?
It’s been quite a week! And not just for Massively Overpowered. Right as our original site was sunsetting, SOE announced that it was bought out and would be doing business under the new moniker Daybreak Games Company. Talk about shaking things up! Breaking free of Sony and going under the umbrella of an investment firm is just a wee bit of a change, and it is one that understandably had players nervous about future of the studio’s games. What will happen to the older titles like EverQuest and PlanetSide? What about those in development like EverQuest Next and H1Z1? CEO John Smedley assured players via Twitter that all the games will continue on. Time will tell. However, there was one immediate casualty in this whole changeover: SOE Live. And then in a huge punch to the fan gut came many more casualties in the form of multiple dev layoffs.
What will this all mean for players? As far as the convention side of things, a group of fans refuse to let 2015 go by without an annual gathering of
SOE Daybreak Games players and is organizing a summer get-together. But will we even have games to celebrate come summer?
More assurances are coming your way from Daybreak Games, this time from reps of each of the studio’s games.
“Absolutely nothing” has changed, according to a Greg “SOELegion” Henninger post on the H1Z1 forums. “We’re properly staffed to move forward with our current development strategy. We’ll continue to be a transparent development team and we’ll continue on our promise and commitment to making this a player-driven game,” he writes before going on to mention a revised male player model and a female avatar “in the works.”
Well, here’s a news post I didn’t want to write.
SOE Daybreak Games has laid off popular Global Community Relations lead Linda Carlson as well as EverQuest franchise lead Dave Georgeson as part of a staff “realignment” that comes in the wake of the studio’s sale to a holding company last week.
“I have been released from the best and most challenging job I have ever had, ” Carlson posted on Facebook. “I thank you all for being part of that incredible experience. Too many people to thank personally, but know that I am extraordinarily grateful and very curious where life takes me now.”
Carlson started at SOE six years ago after making waves with her fansite TheBrasse.com. Georgeson also confirmed his release via Twitter: “Yeah, I’m sorry folks but it’s true. LM, eqn, eq and eqii are no longer guided by moi. Other dreamers will steer now.” Daybreak released an official statement on the SOE forums; we’ve included it below.