Daybreak has canceled EverQuest Next, Landmark is launching ‘this spring’

Yes, yes it is.

Daybreak has officially canceled EverQuest Next. President Russell Shanks just broke the news on the official site this afternoon:

To Our Daybreak Community,

I’m writing today to let you know that, after much review and consideration, Daybreak is discontinuing development of EverQuest Next.

For the past 20 years EverQuest has been a labor of love. What started as a deep passion of ours, as game creators, grew into a much larger passion shared by you, millions of players and Daybreakers alike. Watching EverQuest’s ability to entertain and bring people together has inspired and humbled us. It’s shaped our culture and has emboldened us to take aggressive risks with our game ideas and products. When we decided to create the next chapter in the EverQuest journey, we didn’t aim low. We set out to make something revolutionary.

For those familiar with the internals of game development, you know that cancellations are a reality we must face from time to time. Inherent to the creative process are dreaming big, pushing hard and being brutally honest with where you land. In the case of EverQuest Next, we accomplished incredible feats that astonished industry insiders. Unfortunately, as we put together the pieces, we found that it wasn’t fun. We know you have high standards when it comes to Norrath and we do too. In final review, we had to face the fact that EverQuest Next would not meet the expectations we – and all of you – have for the worlds of Norrath.

The future of the EverQuest franchise as a whole is important to us here at Daybreak. EverQuest in all its forms is near and dear to our hearts. EverQuest and EverQuest II are going strong. Rest assured that our passion to grow the world of EverQuest remains undiminished.

Yours truly,

Russell Shanks
President, Daybreak Games

Curiously, Shanks doesn’t mention Landmark by name, but Daybreak’s Holly Longdale quietly told forumgoers this morning that Landmark is scheduled to launch later this spring. “Landmark will be available for $9.99 USD. At this time, we do not have any plans to make Landmark free-to-play,” reads the FAQ. “There are no plans at this time to require a membership to access Landmark or include Landmark in All Access.” Daybreak has separately confirmed to Massively OP that Landmark will continue as planned.

Longdale, executive producer for EverQuest and EverQuest II, has apparently been named executive producer of Landmark as well. Landmark and (former) EverQuest Next Senior Producer Terry Michaels confimed that he’s still with the company:

Massively OP reader A Dad Supreme has pointed out that Daybreak’s game servers are suffering outages following the news, though it’s not clear why or whether the problem is related to the announcement.
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