Veteran MMORPG developer Brad McQuaid has passed away


I’m sorry to report another MMORPG genre obituary tonight: It’s just been announced that veteran MMORPG developer Brad McQuaid has died.

McQuaid was probably best known for his stewardship of the original EverQuest MMORPG at SOE, though of course after his tenure at SOE he went on to found Sigil Games and the much-loved but ill-fated Vanguard MMO. Most recently, he founded and helmed Visionary Realms, which in the last few years has been hard at work on a new and heavily anticipated MMORPG called Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.

“It is with deep regret we share that Brad McQuaid passed away last night. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered by gamers worldwide,” the game’s official Twitter announced just a few minutes ago. “Thank you for bringing us together through your worlds. Rest in peace @Aradune. VR offers our deepest condolences to Brad’s family.”

And so do we, to his family and colleagues and fans, past and present. Even if you never played his specific games, the whole genre and every MMO player owes a debt to him.

“It kills me to even write this – Brad McQuaid has passed away,” former SOE president John Smedley tweeted. “Brad was an amazingly talented creator and EverQuest wouldn’t exist without his genius. He will be missed.”

MMO dev Raph Koster, also a former SOE exec, also tweeted his sympathies. “Shocked & gutted to hear that that Brad McQuaid aka @Aradune has passed away. A big hearted guy who loved games and the worlds he built. So many memories of design discussions with him over the years. He was so proud of @PantheonMMO. Way too soon. ? RIP Brad, you will be missed.”

Other devs and studios, from Intrepid Studios and CCP Games to Wurm Online and Derek Smart, have voiced their shock and sorrow. Here’s former SOE producer Scott Hartsman: “Oh, no. Brad was a friend, and an icon in our world of making worlds. Just stunned. Deepest condolences to his family, and the @PantheonMMO and @EverQuest families.”

VR’s Benjamin Dean on the Pantheon forums further requested that fans “kindly […] respect the privacy of Brad’s family.” Players are gathering on the EverQuest forums, EQ sub, and MMORPG sub to pass along condolences. Smed’s also asked players to tweet their love to @araduneso Brad’s wife can see the support.”

Source: Twitter, Facebook, official forums. With thanks to everyone who sent this in.
Visionary Realms posted again today to thank well-wishers and committing to Brad’s legacy in MMOs.

MOP’s Justin has penned a detailed retrospective of McQuaid’s MMO career as part of our Game Archaeologist series. o7
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