Daybreak Shifts Focus From Landmark To EverQuest Next, No Guarantee Of Release This Year
Daybreak Games (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) has announced a significant shift in the EverQuest team's focus. Landmark, Daybreak's EverQuest sandbox, has been the priority for months. Moving forward, the team is turning its attention to EverQuest Next.
Landmark will continue to feed into EverQuest Next's development, as the team explores ways to bring user creations into the game. What this also means is that features that are exclusive to Landmark are going to take a back seat now that the team has completed a major character and land claim wipe.
"As the team has wrapped up the various pieces related to the wipe and the bugs associated with it, we have been shifting our focus and resources over to work on the highest priority tasks and systems that will be used in EverQuest Next," writes senior producer Terry Michaels. "While we do this, we’re working in areas with high amounts of creative risk. This means that while we know what we want to do, we know it will take an unknown amount of iteration, tweaking and sometimes drastic direction changes to get these in game and working the way they need to. Because of this, we simply cannot commit to any dates, because until we get much closer, even our best estimates are educated (but still fairly wild) guesses."
Updates and hotfixes to Landmark will still take place, but not as frequently as they have been. While Daybreak's EverQuest team is repositioning its resources, Michaels is clear that it should not be interpretted as a commitment for release of EverQuest Next in this calendar year.
[Source: Daybreak Games]
It feels like EverQuest Next has taken a backseat to the sandbox tools players have been using in Landmark. While there are sure to be major connections between the two as was the original vision, it has been some time since EverQuest Next was in the news.
Especially now that it seems a 2015 release is in question (and, in fact, unlikely given Michaels' statements), this refocusing seems important. Daybreak doesn't have Sony backing anymore, which frees the studio to explore multi-platform deals, but also likely applies more financial pressure to produce.