Holly Longdale exits Darkpaw Games, bidding farewell to EverQuest and EverQuest II

    
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Holly Longdale exits Darkpaw Games, bidding farewell to EverQuest and EverQuest II

Daybreak Games may have spun into separate studios, but it’s still Daybreak, and that means it’s still burying its surprise news on a Friday evening. Holly Longdale, head of the recently formed Daybreak sub-unit Darkpaw Games and long-time producer of both EverQuest and EverQuest II, announced this evening that she is departing the company for what she calls a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that [she] owe[s] to all the players and developers of EverQuest and EverQuest II.” She doesn’t detail how these elements are connected, however, but she does say she will remain in the world as a player from this point onward.

Technical director Jennifer Chan has been named as Longdale’s replacement, having worked alongside her for the past five years. Longdale also repeatedly states that the franchise and these titles are in good hands, although veteran players will no doubt be both surprised and somewhat worried over the sudden departure. How this ties into her promises of a future for EverQuest remains to be seen.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Zahri and Robert for the tip!

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Fang GWJ

She is going to go run Pantheon… ;P

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Leibnitz

All development at Daybreak/Darkpaw is entirely cost based. Any complexity or creativity or quality of any kind is sacrificed if it makes a buck.

Things were sickly for some time, but the death knell was the lifetime sub cash grab. Sacrificing the future profitability and hoping that a new buyer wouldn’t notice.

Every game in the Daybreak stable has forums full of players bemoaning the lack of quality.

This is Ms Longdale’s Legacy.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

TL;DR – Daybreak is a business.

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Josh Wolford

Yes a business is a business. Your Mr. Obvious or trying to tear down someones comment unless you put an adjective in there. The post described a company that sacrifice product over profitability which doesn’t end well for the customer.

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Desius

How is this comment in any way constructive?

They were also a business when they were creating imaginative, groundbreaking new content. The formula for the last 15 years for both EQ and EQ2 has been a cookie cutter mass production line approach which merely follows a formula without any lasting innovation. The last content for EQ which felt like it was created by people who were genuinely passionate about their creation was during the time the original Verant folks were still running development.

Swifty
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Swifty

To be honest, I don’t care anymore. We played EQ2 since launch for years. We stopped when the cap was around 100. The game is completely broken with massive stat increases. It’s really sad, but it’s time is over.

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Halcyon Falx

I have been an avid fan of EQ/EQ2 since their inceptions. Was invested in Landmark and Next when I first heard of them as well. Hell, I even went to the alpha launch party at SOE headquarters for Next/Landmark. I want nothing more than to see the EQ franchise shine again in a Golden Age, because it has always been my favorite MMO that I have played. But the steady and rapid decline of the staff and material is something that even a blind person could see at this point. Smed’s escape with his tail between his legs, Dave’s escape when no one would listen anymore, and now Holly’s escape when they no longer wish to see any of the old hats around is just par for the course. While I am hopeful, it is just that, something which I cannot see.

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Denice J. Cook

It’s rats off a sinking ship. The highest paid ones always seem to jump off first.

Well, at least this move sorta confirms the three diced up studios have been lined up to be sold off, although what could possibly be left of the Planetside franchise by now I don’t know.

Alyn
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Alyn

I will admit that the future is quite uncertain for Darkpaw. If the EQ franchise is sold off, I am hoping the group that buys it appreciates the importance of re imagining EverQuest.

The times are “a’ changin'”-

kjempff
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kjempff

Speculation & Prediction:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle + Theybreak + Eq shutting down.
New job with amazon.

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Gonsec

I’m speculating here but I believe she was fired due to the mess that EQ2 just had. In all honesty I believe the EverQuest franchise has been in incapable hands for 15 years. I wish a serious investor would buy it.

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Sarah Cushaway

I’ve a feeling we’re about to see EQ/EQ2 close shop soon and the franchise will be sold off. What a shame. I played EQ2 right at launch and for a few years after, and those early years were pretty amazing in that game…I’d say (for me) it really started to go downhill right about 2010 or so.

Now it’s just an absolute shell of its former self. If SOE and Daybreak had revamped the engine, the graphics, gotten rid of the ability bloat, trimmed down some of the other bloat (so many skill “Trees” now it’s -very- confusing to a newcomer or someone coming back after a few years), this could have still be chugging along with at least as much a population as, say, LOTRO. Instead, it’s about as dead as Rift :/

I hope whomever ends up with the franchise gives it some love.

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B63Wayne

You will never know what is really going on as transparency is not something this bunch are very forthcoming with, nor are they even very honest.
My guess is she was canned after years of failed attempts at keeping the game running and profitable..news flash for those left at Darkpaw, the playerbase [or whats left of it] is onto you.
As far as the exit at this time, if I had to guess by the way the exit is worded they just do what they always do and try to put a positive spin on it to cover up the embarrassment they must now be feeling.
I don’t really know what she did at Darkpaw, or Daybreak, as far as I can see the dev team seems to run their own show which is and of itself a sad joke as they don’t seem to know what each other is doing with the exception of hanging out on the discord channel banning folks left and right, and she just held a title.

Name of the game is greed, if you are not a raider this game is no longer for you, if you are a new player plan to open your wallet to even get close to trying to catch up, if you are a crafter, well they don’t have time for you anymore.

Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the rest of em up and walked, probably wouldn’t hurt the state of the game much at this point in my opinion.

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Sarah Cushaway

Yeah it’s really sad how this all turned out.