Layoffs At Everquest Next Studio, Including Director Of Development Dave Georgeson
Last week, Sony and investment firm Columbus Nova announced that Sony Online Entertainment had been sold. The studio responsible for DC Universe Online, Everquest, Planetside, and the upcoming H1Z1, has been renamed. Now it seems, staffing changes are underway that reported see significant departure of talent.
Michele Cagle, senior director of global communications at Daybreak, confirmed the staffing changes in an email to us. “As part of a strategic decision to rationalize the business, Daybreak Game Company announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios,” she says. “This alignment of resources better positions the newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and developments, including delivering on its legacy of making top online games and establishing a solid foundation for future multi-platform success. These reductions will not affect the operation of current games and the company will continue on its mission to partner with its player community to drive the future and push the boundaries of online gaming.”
Dave Georgeson, who has led the Everquest franchise for over five years, has confirmed he is no longer with the company. In a response to an inquiry, he also confirms that his departure was unplanned.
Yeah, I'm sorry folks but it's true. LM, eqn, eq and eqii are no longer guided by moi. Other dreamers will steer now.
— David Georgeson (@DaveGeorgeson) February 11, 2015
Cagle’s statement mentions ‘current games,’ but we are unclear if that also includes titles far enough in development to be playable by some members of the public. We’ve reached out to Daybreak for more information on the status of EverQuest Next, Landmark, and H1Z1.
Update: Daybreak says that none of its current games, including those not yet released (Everquest Next, Landmark, and H1Z1 are impacted). While the studio declined to offer specific numbers of those affected, Cagle did tell us that both full-time and temporary employees were impacted in a number of departments.
Our thoughts are with all those impacted by these layoffs. On a personal note, I’ve only had the chance to meet Dave Georgeson once, and he was one of most enthusiastic and charismatic people I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing.