EverQuest Next Canceled -- "It Wasn't Fun"

"After much review and consideration, Daybreak is discontinuing development of EverQuest Next."

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EverQuest Next, the new installment in the longrunning EverQuest series, has been canceled. Developer Daybreak Games (formerly Sony Online Entertainment), made the announcement today on its website.

"After much review and consideration, Daybreak is discontinuing development of EverQuest Next," Daybreak president Russell Shanks said.

"For the past 20 years, EverQuest has been a labor of love. What started as a deep passion of ours, as game creators, grew into a much larger passion shared by you, millions of players and Daybreakers alike," he added. "Watching EverQuest's ability to entertain and bring people together has inspired and humbled us. It's shaped our culture and has emboldened us to take aggressive risks with our game ideas and products. When we decided to create the next chapter in the EverQuest journey, we didn't aim low. We set out to make something revolutionary."

Shanks went on to say that game cancellations are a reality in the gaming business. For EverQuest Next, he explained that the PC MMO simple was not fun.

"Inherent to the creative process are dreaming big, pushing hard and being brutally honest with where you land," he said. "In the case of EverQuest Next, we accomplished incredible feats that astonished industry insiders. Unfortunately, as we put together the pieces, we found that it wasn't fun. We know you have high standards when it comes to Norrath and we do too. In final review, we had to face the fact that EverQuest Next would not meet the expectations we--and all of you--have for the worlds of Norrath."

Though EverQuest Next is no more, Daybreak will continue to support EverQuest and EverQuest II, both of which are "going strong," Shanks said.

Overall, the EverQuest franchise remains important to Daybreak, Shanks srressed, adding that fans of the franchise can "rest assured that our passion to grow the world of EverQuest remains undiminished."

In an interview with MMORPG, Shanks teased that the EverQuest franchise still has "plenty of room" for new stories to be told, potentially across games similar in size and scope to EverQuest or EverQuest II.

"The future of the EverQuest franchise is important to our company and you have not seen the last of Norrath by any means," he said. "It's just as engrained in our hearts as it is for our players. We helped usher in the era of MMOs because we loved the idea of bringing gamers together within the game worlds in massive numbers, and we've continued to build on that over our 20-year history. The adventures within the worlds of EQ and EQII continue unabated today, and there is plenty of room for more."

Shanks also said he's enthusiastic about the MMO genre overall, citing Bungie's Destiny as a game that does some interesting things in the space.

"I believe the magic of MMORPGs and MMOs in general has not been diminished," he said. "In fact, games like Destiny incorporate many of the compelling elements of classic MMOs, which expose them to a new generation of gamers. Good MMOs bring players together. The activities within the games provide social opportunities, as well as challenges and achievements that build lasting friendships, camaraderie, and long-term enjoyment. These elements, combined with scale, differentiate MMOs from most other forms of entertainment. I don't see them going out of style, ever."

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