Smed vows he’ll someday make a game akin to EverQuest Next

Yes, this assuages my nervousness, you bet.

Earlier this week on the podcast, Justin and I were joking around about how one of our favorite fun things to write about is when a famous dev will make bold proclamations on Twitter. And it’s true! Bold proclamations are just as entertaining as drama, and they give us hope too.

We don’t know whether former SOE/Daybreak boss John Smedley listened in on that ‘cast, but he delivered some good stuff this week for MMO stalwarts. In a Twitter thread begun by MMO legend Raph Koster about the change in attitude and deployment of simulation in online games in which he tries to imagine how great Ultima Online’s originally planned ecology might have been if the devs 20 years ago had access to what we have now, Smed piped up with this tantalizing pronouncement.

“I did more than imagine.. That was a big part of Hero’s Song which was really baby EQ Next. Which will be another thing someday. I will make that game.”

A bit of backstory here for folks who might have forgotten: Smed ran SOE and Daybreak back when the studio was still building EverQuest Next, which at the time was more than just the next sequel in the veteran MMO franchise: It was a massive sandbox focused around a next-level AI system that some detractors said would never work.

Of course, the game wasn’t meant to be. Smedley left Daybreak in 2015, and Daybreak canceled EverQuest Next in 2016. Smed went on to helm an indie studio, Pixelmage Games, which had a go at a retro-style sandbox – Hero’s Song – until it folded just about two years ago and the majority of the team moved to Amazon Game Studios, where Smed and the crew have been working on an announced game since 2017. Most folks think that’s some sort of online action RPG or shooter, so don’t get your hopes up that it will be The One – it sounds much more like Smed’s adding a game with EQN’s scope and ambition to his personal bucket list. And we’d love to see it.

Interestingly, two former coders on Smed’s project also dropped by his menchies to offer support: Roy Eltham and Dave Mark, the latter of whom famously moved from SOE and Storybricks to ArenaNet, such that his AI work features in Guild Wars 2.

Source: Twitter
We’ll just leave this right here.


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Desiggn Freek

Well I thought EQNext was looking amazing and a worthy successor to EQ. And not surprisingly, Hero Song looked intriguing too and i was very ready to support that (even though i prefer true 3D world).

We have every reason to believe Smed is serious and to show continued support for his projects. I’m not so cynical or scarred to keep hoping; especially since he and McQuaid are the only ones even attempting these type of MMOs.

A Dad Supreme

I hope Smed makes that game one day, but my faith in MMOs after Everquest Next announced cancellation:

Kevin McCaughey

Back in the day I disliked the guy and he was always a contentious figure. But… EQ came about in large part due to him and I still think of EQ as the best MMO out there. I would love to see him try again, but the market STINKS at the moment and only shitty FPS shooter games or survival games seem to be being made. Shame.

Brown Jenkin

Honestly… I friggin hate that this makes me feel hopeful. My expectations are low, but it really would be amazing if this somehow came to pass.

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Jack Pipsam

If he does it, then he can eat up all my praise.
But until then I’m holding onto my grain of salt.


Just team him up with McQuade, Derek Smart with Schilling and the sky’s the limit!


“Back in 82′ I could throw a pigskin over them mountains…”


He will make that right after the H1Z1 that’s a home for SWG players to return to

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Double heartbreak in this thread — EQN and Hero’s Song. Both games I would have LOVED to see brought to fruition. Oh well. I have faith that John will pull another blinder out of the bag. :)