The Daily Grind: Given H1Z1’s plight, are you worried about Daybreak?

    
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Last week, it became clear that H1Z1 has forfeited a ton of ground in the battle over battle royale games as it’s lost 90% of its Steam playerbase since July. Now, I’m gonna be honest: I don’t really care about H1Z1 for its own sake. Even if the game didn’t make me internally cringe at the “Star Wars Galaxies fans can come home” silliness, I really dislike zombie settings, I find battle royale modes dull, and the game has been a mess for years, with missed launches, missed ports, and more marketing do-overs and renames than I can shake a sawed-off shotgun at.

But I’ve nevertheless had the impression that H1Z1 was propping up Daybreak quite a lot, which made it hard to bear it any ill will. It really was a popular game on Steam for the last few years and had to have made quite a bit of dough. We’ve already noted this year that Daybreak’s down to a bare handful of titles, and I have to wonder whether DC Universe Online’s console crowd, the vets stretched thin over the EverQuest and PlanetSide franchises, and the Standing Stone publishing hustle are enough.

Are you worried about Daybreak?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Kheldar

I’m not worried at all about Daybreak, and actually, I’m doing my best to cheer them out of business completely, INCLUDING firing 100% of their staff right down to whoever vacuums the floors at night.

With any luck, somebody out there that actually knows games, and doesn’t hire easily butt-hurt, whiny, and narcissistic teenagers as their “Community Managers” and “Producers” will buy the assets and run them as they should be run.

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swagsurf

DBG, nor any of its’ devs have ZERO business being in the gaming industry, especially the DCUO devs. DCUO has the worst devs ever. WB does not want you to use most of its’ IP, that is telling, considering the freaking WB logo flashes when the mmo is launched.

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Vinicius Gonzalez

“…and the Standing Stone publishing hustle are enough.”

I missed something. Can someone explain me that?

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Robert Mann

DBG is providing publishing (aka, some funding and such) for SSG. Which is the only thing that I think I would care about, simply because things like WeatherStock are awesome examples of community in the genre.

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Vinicius Gonzalez

Thank you.

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Jack Pipsam

They’re supposed to be publishing DDO & LotRO, but aside from a tiny bit of legal text, otherwise you’d never know.
It’s unclear how much (if any) money Daybreak gets from them and in way real way SSG benefits of having Daybreak around.

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Vinicius Gonzalez

Thank you.

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Sally Bowls

1) I share the sadness but not the disappointment or anger a lot have towards DBG.
What did you expect????
At the end of SOE, Sony was going to shut it down if they could not get rid of it. This was not a valuable asset to be sold or it would have ended up at a gaming company. SOE ran the ship into the iceberg and turned it over to DBG to handle the sinking. Unless some of the tin foil hat Russian theories are true, DBG is just trying to make some money providing hospice care to the final days of some games. I said that three years ago and have not changed my mind.

Would SOE have been different if Bree or MJ bought them? Unless they many millions of dollars more than I guess they do [if they do, then I apologize and call me. :-) ] or if Sony gave SOE to me, this is about what I think we would have done. Hopefully, with less PR drama. But a glide path of shrinking staff, size of games and eventually games.

DBG is not a part of a public company; meager profits would not hurt anyone’s stock price. OTOH, unlike companies like NCSoft that keep failures like Wildstar going at least partly due to player goodwill towards their other games, the VC has no incentive to keep DBG going if it is losing money. So the expenses have to keep shrinking faster than the revenue.

2) I would be surprised but not completely shocked if EQx is sold by DBG like people say. Game companies did not want them enough three years ago. Today, EQx and the MMO market are both less attractive than they were three years ago. I could see a company essentially buying the famous EQ name and putting it on their completely unrelated game – perhaps PC but more likely mobile. Or if it were cheap enough, someone could buy the name for essentially Kickstarter fraud. All it takes is a high-level exec at Amazon, EA, Ten Cent et al to remember their good times in EQ and make something happen, but that just seems so unlikely. I just don’t see the scenario where someone wants to spend big bucks to grow any of these games and don’t see the point of selling them so someone else can manage their shrinking.

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Solaris

Seriously, screw Daybreak. They have been a disaster from Day 1. A venture capitalist company has no business in the games industry.

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Crowe

Am I worried about Daybreak? No, I think this steady decline has been happening for years. I’m surprised they’ve held on this long.

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rafael12104

Am I worried about Daybreak? Well, I feel for their employees. But Daybreak, the management and ownership therein?

Here, my Destroyer pretty much captures how I feel about Daybreak. (If I had any skill I would Schlag this up with the Eye of Sauron being thrown.)

FO Daybreak2.gif
K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

What game is this?

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rafael12104

Blade and Soul.

The color washed out a bit when I created the gif, but… meh, I didn’t have the time to brush it up

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Not as an ex-customer of there business. They have the same opportunity to go broke as any other gaming company or indeed any business.

If I was working for them then I would be a bit worried :)

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Deja Twixt

Fuck Daybreak in general.

Xijit
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Xijit

I would be if it was a normal ownership company, but they are owned by a Russian energy conglomerate now & even if THAT money somehow dried up; I am sure the raw value they get out of having access to millions of players meta data alone is worth keeping the company open … at very least to the Kremlin & it’s internet spam bot program.

IMO them taking on management of the old Turbine titles was explicitly related to them renewing the contract with WB for DCUO, so I have zero fear for that title.

Everquest 1 & 2 have seen a huge turn around with all the gimmick throw back server events keeping players retained … Landmark / EQN still stings, & I have a feeling that management is kicking themselves in the ass for betting on the wrong horse (H1Z1), but I don’t see them rocking the boat any more with their flagship franchise … So I am not worried about that ship sinking either.

Planetside 2 is a little worrisome though, since I recently got into it and have been having fun: clearly, Daybreak never needed H1Z1’s shooter mode because the only thing that PS2 doesn’t do better than H1Z1 give players a reason to buy lootboxes, but the fact that they would gut and shut down so many other titles in order to float H1Z1 is a good sign where Daybreak’s interest lay … So yeah, I have concerns that they will set their sights on PS2 next.

Time will only tell if they decide to go the dumb route and start modifying PS2 to be more lootbox dependent, or the dipshit route and kill PS2 to try to cannibalize the population into shifting to H1Z1.