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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