Not counting Standing Stone’s titles, Daybreak currently develops and publishes six of its once massive stable of MMOs: Both EverQuests, DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, H1Z1, and Just Survive. As last week’s bizarre corporate shenanigans and mass-layoffs unfolded, some of the reps for these games addressed their playerbases (with more than a rote denial that anything was wrong).
DC Universe Online’s Executive Producer Katnikov says that “nothing has changed in DCUO’s development schedule” and “these events have not limited [the team’s] plans for the game and future development” as the Deluge update overperformed and there are two episodes and more style unlocks in development. A huge three-parter Superman birthday tie-in apparently begins on May 16th.
PlanetSide 2 Producer Nick Silva reiterates the statement made earlier on Reddit that nobody from his team had been laid off. “PlanetSide 2 has not been negatively impacted by any of the recent reorganization at the company,” he writes. “Our plans for the rest of this year have not changed and we are excited to continue to bring amazing new systems, features, and content to the game we all love. In the coming month we will be celebrating the 15th anniversary of PlanetSide as a franchise. There will be new content, some promotional events, and a new alert type added to the game. We’ll also continue to put out game updates at a regular cadence, as we have been previously.”
EverQuest and EverQuest II Producer Lauren “Mooncast” McLemore has posted nearly identical messages to both communities, attempting to “reassure you all that this restructuring will not change our plans for EverQuest and EverQuest 2” and that more content for both games is on the way, though apparently the studios aren’t announcing much yet. “Both game teams are still gearing up for this year’s expansions, and EverQuest 2’s Game Update #106 is just around the corner with loads of new in-game content got players (stay tuned for news on that very soon!). Plus, on top of all that, we’re already entering the planning stages to make sure that EverQuest’s 20th Anniversary will be an event to remember!”
H1Z1 and Just Survive don’t have forums, only Reddits and Discords. The Just Survive community, facing down rumors that the entire Just Survive team had been let go, is currently expressing dismay on Reddit as they haven’t been given any sort of update from Daybreak on the future of their game. Survivors have taken it upon themselves to start up a thread thanking the lead dev on the game. H1Z1, whose poor performance has been blamed by our sources as the reason for the studio re-alignment, has also not issued a developer statement to players, although someone is clearly manning Twitter (and not addressing the issue). The Twitter account has reiterated that plans to port H1Z1 to PS4 continue.
Worth pointing out is that a Daybreak representative told me all of Daybreak’s studios had been affected by the layoffs but that none of the games would be. It’s not currently clear how that could be the case if Just Survive has been all but marooned, and of course, with 70 people gone overnight, it’s hard to imagine how the games couldn’t possibly be affected.
It is likewise not currently known how the teams working on Daybreak’s in production games – we assume that would include the rumored EverQuest 3 as well as the rumored sci-fi-ish shooter – were affected.
Tangentially, we’ve also had a refreshed update from a source within the Player Studio program. In our earlier report, we noted that participants in the Player Studio program (players paid to design gear for PlanetSide 2 and the EverQuests) hadn’t been told what would happen to the program as the one person assigned to oversee them was among those laid off. Now, it appears that employee, Rick “Syrah” Reynolds, has been allowed to communicate privately with his player team and has said that while technically the EverQuest II producer, Mooncast, is still in charge, he is not sure who the future direct overseer will be. Apparently, the players do expect to be paid for their current work, though it’s not known whether the turnaround time for submissions (up to a year) will improve.
With thanks to Suikoden, Kinya and Anon.