Veteran MMORPG developer Brad McQuaid has passed away

    
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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.”

It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we share that Brad McQuaid, Chief Creative Officer of Visionary Realms…

Posted by Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen on Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Source: Twitter, Facebook, official forums. With thanks to everyone who sent this in.
11/20/2019
Visionary Realms posted again today to thank well-wishers and committing to Brad’s legacy in MMOs.

11/20/2019
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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kjempff
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kjempff

Aradune may have been a ranger, but to me he was always a bard. Thank you for all the songs.
but the bards’ songs will remain

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Michael18

This is so sad. I saw him quite regularly over the past few years in streams for Pantheon.

He had to weather out some crazy ups and downs during his career and from the little I know and heard he sometimes did not act in the best imaginable way, but for some reason I cannot explain I always liked him and had the impression his heart was in the right place.

Godspeed Brad, and may you rest in peace!

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Alberto

Wow talk about a punch in the gut moment………..so sad he won’t be here for Pantheons launch he worked so hard on it to not get to see it to the end. Well Thanks for all the wonderful experiences as well as introducing me to the MMO genre back in the EQ 1 days….My life would not be what it is Today without Brad’s influence …

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Tandor

Rest in Peace, Brad, and my heartfelt thanks for all you did to help bring EQ and VG into my life, as well as all those other games that were in part at least inspired by your achievements.

My condolences to Brad’s family and friends.

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Winter

This is both sad and unexpected, I saw the tweets last night. I still love both EQ and Vanguard they were special worlds and still are. Fare thee well @Aradune may your adventures continue.

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jay

Does anyone know what he died of? Was he sick for a while now?

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kelem

no official statement yet.

xpsync
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xpsync

Deepest condolences. The years and years of friends, great times, amazing memories playing mmorpg’s and still going strong today, all i can say is…

Thank you Brad.

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bgrjr

My first online game was Everquest. I was going through some tough times with a divorce and EQ helped me get my mind off of things and refocus. Meet some great people in EQ. Brad will be missed, my condolences to his family and friends. Looking forward to playing the next vision he had Patheon.

BodeanG
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BodeanG

Fair winds and following seas on your next adventure, Aradune.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

I didn’t know Brad, I only know the work he did in bringing us Vanguard and EverQuest. Two games that have brought joy to me to play. Losing Brad still feels like losing a long time friend because of this. My deepest condolences.