The Daily Grind: What are the odds that Daybreak can turn itself around?

    
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I’ve had… severe concerns about Daybreak Games over the last several years, and I’m sure that I am not alone in this. The multiple rounds of layoffs, the cancellation of EverQuest Next, the unfortunate demise of Landmark, the whatever-is-going-on-this-week with H1Z1, the almost desperate hope in PlanetSide (!) as a battle royale savior, and the seemingly desperate pleas for fans to hold on because there will be some sort of future EverQuest has made me despair at the trajectory of this once incredible MMO studio.

With the start of a company reorganization into different “franchise teams” and the hope that we might hear details about EverQuest 3 within the next year, I’m wondering if this is really the last chance for Daybreak to turn itself around. I’m not just talking about becoming profitable but also accepted and popular among a community that has in part turned its back on the studio.

What do you think? If you had to put Vegas odds on it, what are the chances that Daybreak can pull off a bright future?

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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rafael12104

Odds? Heh. I say 250 to 1. Maybe more honestly, but I’ll stick with that.

Look, they aren’t even a dark horse in the race at this point.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Thanks for the laugh Justin :)

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

I just still can’t believe how Daybreak truly fucked up and squandered H1Z1.

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Kurt Shadle

I think there are better odds of someone making an MMO using Disney princesses without a license and not being sued than of Daybreak turning it around.

My opinion is they’re about ready to start selling off their stuff.

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squid

The whole split-up just sounds like they’re trying to make it easier to sell off IPs, though I don’t know anything about corporate structure or whatever.

This doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence, however (from the EQ1 lead[?] dev):

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Bruno Brito

That would require the upper echelons to actively want to turn it around.

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Greaterdivinity

Given all the studios they’ve been trademarking and the continued trajectory of the company…I’d say slim.

And I hate that I’m not more optimistic.

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Paragon Lost

Honestly, I don’t think that the owners of Daybreak have any designs to “turn it around”.

laelgon
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laelgon

Basically zero. If a studio was gearing up development for a major MMO project, which is what a Planetside or Everquest 3 would be, they’d be expanding teams and budgets. Instead they’re consistently laying people off.

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Utakata

My only hopes of a “turnaround” would be for them to sell off their assets to a reputable game company and just disappear. /bleh

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Bryan Correll

Yep, the totally-never-owned-by-Columbus-Nova Daybreak has never been a viable company outside of shady-activities-that-never-happened. The problem with your solution is finding a reputable game company that would buy in.

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Utakata

Maybe I should of said “more reputable”. >.<

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Peregrine Falcon

Which one would that be? Can you even name a game company that’s reputable?

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Bruno Brito

GGG.

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Utakata

I’ve sorta answered than one already above…

…however to answer your question more directly for now, all I can think of is Mark Jacobs’ City State Entertainment. But it’s unlikely his company has the funds to purchase all of DB’s assets without letting anyone go working on them. As he is crowd sourcing his current project, Camerlot Unchained for a reason…that is, he’s a bit short on the overhead. :(

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Raimo Kangasniemi

New MMO studios with experienced staff involved are currently popping up like mushrooms in an autumn boreal forest and particular franchise assets can’t be worth that much, so that might offer a path….

Just give Daybreak’s shadowy owners X number of money with a (smallish) slice of possible future profits when the Everquest 3 and Planetside 3 MMOs would launch around 2027 or so?

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Raimo Kangasniemi

The question is how much those assets would be worth and, for example, would being able to turn Generic Fantasy MMO Number in an early state of development into Everquest 3 be worth it?

With a good PR campaign – ‘Witness the Return of a Legendary Online Fantasy World in a Next Generation MMORPG’ etc & so on – perhaps.

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Morgan Feldon

Because of the smoke and mirrors show that was EQNext and Landmark, the pool of die-hard fans who would be willing to bankroll EverQuest 3 based on a few vague promises and a thin pitch video is an exclusive club indeed. Certainly not enough to finance 50-60 full time designers, artists, developers etc for 2 solid years. That’s $10 million bare minimum.