Meridian 59 and Storybricks’ Brian Green has passed away at only 46

    
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Meridian 59 and Storybricks’ Brian Green has passed away at only 46

It’s with a very heavy heart today that we report that Brian “Psychochild” Green has passed away at a relatively young age. Green was an MMO developer who was deeply involved with Meridian 59, a frequent blogger, and a co-creator of Storybricks, the software that EverQuest Next purchased for its development.

Sad to share the news that Brian Green, game developer, passed away of natural causes in Rockville, Maryland,” one of his friends posted on Twitter and Facebook. “He was 46 years old, well known in the game developer community for running the early online multiplayer game Meridian 59 from 2001-2010.”

We are sorry to announce that our dear friend Brian Green passed away quietly of natural causes on Thursday, August 6th…

Posted by Elonka Dunin on Tuesday, 11 August 2020

The MMO industry reacted to this news with grief as several prominent developers paid their respect to Green’s life:

“I’ve known Brian for almost twenty years,” Koster said in another tweet. “He was always a kind person, dedicated to fostering communities. Fun to hang out with, great to debate. He was dedicated to keeping Meridian 59 alive for years.”

Green was a good online friend of mine, and we spent several years playing Dungeons and Dragons Online together. He always had a great sense of humor and a passion for delving into MMORPG worlds. I very much enjoyed his online essays, and I applaud the work he did in keeping Meridian 59 alive for so long.

Friends and fans will be welcomed to a pair of online memorials in his honor.

“Those who wish to donate to a charity in his name may donate to savethechildren.org. Because of the pandemic, there will not be an in-person memorial, but there will be an open Zoom conference at a date yet to be announced. For those who are members of the Final Fantasy community, there will be an in-game memorial on the Mateus server on Friday, August 14, at 9pm Eastern, in Ward 17, plot 49, in the Goblet housing area. For those not in that community, it will be recorded and the memorial comments can be viewed later.”

You can read more about Green’s legacy with Merdian 59 in our Game Archaeologist column.

Source: Twitter, Facebook. With thanks and hugs to Ocho.
Maulgrim, Green’s cohost on the GrimTalk ft. Psychochild podcast, reached out to us to let us and our readers know about how to join the memorial Friday, since you don’t need to be a FFXIV subber to attend; you can just grab the free trial version. The Condors of Uldah group welcomes anyone who needs help finding the Goblet housing district for the memorial ceremony to email thecondorsofuldah [at] gmail.com for assistance.

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John Kiser

Way too young a death. While I only poked around meridian 59 casually after 3DO took it over Green and others are the reason it had managed to stay about after 3DO kicked the bucket. I was one of the first 2 dozen or so people to play Meridian 59 originally, but Green only worked on it for 3DO and after they fell with near death studios. I’m glad he continued his work and his work eventually allowed for it to become open source and for a piece of gaming history to still be around. Great guy, who I’ve only spoken to briefly, but a great man none the less.

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Jack Pipsam

It’s heartwarming to see the official twitter account like retweeting old tweets in relation to him.

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PSDuckie

I’m part of an RP group on FFXIV that Brian was one of the leaders of, and I consider him to be a friend through said RP group. Rest in peace.

Oh, and if you’re downloading FFXIV specifically for the memorial, I’d suggest making a Gladiator, Pugilist, or Thaumaturge, as those three classes have the closest starting point to where the memorial will be.

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Paragon Lost

Way too young. 🙁 Always an interesting guy, I enjoyed reading his various thoughts on gaming over years. Also just a very nice guy, his blog is worth a read. Damn.

As an aside, Elonka (aka SIMU-Nova once upon a time from her years with Simutronics)is a real sweetie and a very interesting person herself. My wife keeps in touch with her and frequently shares interesting things that Elonka is up to.

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Bruno Brito

Rest in peace, Brian. You’re now part of the stories you loved so much.

Enter the legends.

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Armsman

Passed away of natural causes at 46…”closed his eyes, leaned back, and was gone…”

^^^
That’s honestly unbelievable (and frightening to someone like me who’s 57) and that’s way too young.

Sincere condolences to his family, workmates and friends.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

Wow, unexpected and terrible news. I had no idea Psychochild, which is what I always knew him as from his blog, was so young. With his involvement in Meridian59 I guess I always assumed he’d be a decade or so older… which would still have been tragically young, of course.

Rest in Peace, Brian, and condolences to those who knew him.

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Mark Jacobs

And 2020, which never seems like it can get much worse, does.

Brian and Meridian 59 were extremely important to the development of the MMO industry, on both a personal and professional level. I knew him as a friend, co-worker, “guy who loved arguing/debating as much as I do”, and someone who cared deeply about MMOs in general, as well as Meridian 59 of course. A very sad day for everybody that knew him.

Meridian 59 sometimes gets slighted because unlike Ultima Online, it didn’t hit 100K subs. However, it proved that an MMORPG could attract a sizeable audience in a time where no online game had done so before. It helped jumpstart the interest in MMORPGs which to date, had been negligible. For that, and his work there, Brian and the other creators of Meridian 59 deserve so much more credit than they usually get.

Rest in Peace Brian, you left us too soon.

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John Kiser

I mean realistically speaking Mark there hadn’t really been much outside of stuff like Neverwinter which was charging crazy fees before meridian. I remember the press flat out chastising Meridian 59 for the flat rate monthly business model early on and then Ultima Online came out and was praised for literally the same exact thing.

I mean if we really take its “initial” release date it is the first real mmorpg. While MUDs and GMUDs came close in a sense can we classify them the same way? Neverwinter Nights in 91 just never felt the same and while some stuff came out near the release of meridian 59 they just were 2d stuff.

Brian really showed gumption after 3DO basically shafted the game and then went under. He kept working on it and eventually with the other devs gave the game a graphics overhaul and the like. Without his work with near death studios we’d see a piece of gaming history die out instead of living on like it did.

While Meridian 59 may not and never was the most popular mmorpg (I mean we can say for a time it was realistically because for a time it was the only one that some of us considered an mmorpg) compared to its brethren that came soon after it will always have a place in my heart as one of my favorite early mmorpgs and still to this day think some of the ideas in it could still be something cool to see a modern mmorpg do.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Rest in peace, man.

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Tanek

Brian led the DDO group I played in weekly for many years. The guild had its roots in Massively way back and he and a few other players kept it going.

In game he was the fastest dwarf I’ll probably ever know, always out ahead of the group, but always there when we caught up.

I never had the chance to know him outside of DDO and his various writings/podcasts on game development, but I can’t imagine he was any less helpful and generous in his life than the person I knew online.