SOE’s Jeff Butler gives an epic three-hour interview on EverQuest, Vanguard, and EverQuest Next


If you’re going to interview one of the most notable names behind EverQuest and Vanguard, it helps if you also worked at SOE back in the day. Therefore, it’s great to see former EverQuest Game Designer Shawn Lord interview former EverQuest Producer Jeff Butler on his time with the MMO.

In this dense and fascinating three-hour interview, Butler speaks to his time on EverQuest as well as leaving SOE to work on Vanguard with Brad McQuaid. Following that experience, Butler came back to SOE to spearhead the eventually cancelled EverQuest Next.

Jeff Butler said that EverQuest Next’s potential haunts him still, saying, “Not a day goes by that I don’t regret seeing how successful that game could have been.”

Shawn also recently posted an interview with EverQuest and EverQuest II’s Tony Garcia:

As well as EverQuest’s Geoffery Zatkin:

Source: YouTube

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Sarah Cushaway

EQN was the last time I felt hyped for an MMO. Was so invested in that brief little community.

When it was cancelled I just felt like flipping my desk. Now all we can do is hope one day, some company gets the rights to EQ and tries again. Daybreak isn’t doing great and I doubt they’ll be around by the end of the decade, if they even make it to 2025.


Any chance of a timestamp for good discussion of EQN? No offense, but three hours . . .


Thank you for these interviews they were very illuminating and sad too. To think we lost such a wonderful game.
I currently play EQ2 and the company does not have the manpower to ever make a game again. It barely even makes an expansion and they are very poorly done with a lot of unimaginative stuff. They make pretty familiars and mercenaries, that is where the money is. I still play it because there is no other game like it.

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The death of VG, EQN, and LM are the three greatest tragedies in MMOG history.


That was a good three hours. Thank you.

It’s amazing to see a glimpse of what was going on behind the scenes during those times. I found of particular interest the remarks about Tigole getting a free pass on his name because he was favored by McQuaid. This was before the reporting conventions broke down. You didn’t get by for long with an offensive name in EQ, and it was noted at the time.

Also I was a bit confused by their talk about ‘Waking the Sleeper’. I recall the flap over Conquest disbanded, but the first killing of all four warders (Thus waking the sleeper) by BOTS on the Rathe server was a different event. I was in the second guild to key up just behind them when they did it just to be dicks. I don’t remember if that was before or after that Conquest used LOS to exploit the warders.


That was an interesting listen. Right?


EverQuest Next cancelation tore my heart out. I miss Landmark as well.
Will never play a Daybreak game or anything from that company because of it. I have had 50 bucks on my account for years now and will never spend it due to this injustice.
I await the death of this company with glee.

Ardra Diva

Don’t worry Jeff Butler – I got you bro – when I wins the powerball, i’m buying the rights to the EQ name and we’s gonna make the MMO to recapture the magic. =)


This was fascinating — thanks! I’m also just learning about Shawn’s new MMO :-)


I can’t wait for EQ Next to come out