EverQuest Developer Daybreak Suffers Major Layoffs

EverQuest Developer Daybreak Suffers Major Layoffs

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Layoffs hit San Diego and Austin offices.

Daybreak Game Company, which was known by Sony Online Entertainment up until it's acquisition last week, is seeing significant layoffs today at both its San Diego and Austin offices.

The scope of the layoffs is not clear, but Kotaku is reporting that long-time SOE development director David Georgeson is among those being let go. Georgeson has confirmed as much through his Twitter account.

"...Daybreak Game Company announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios," said a Daybreak representative to The Escapist. "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."

According to the statement, these layoffs will not impact any of Daybreak's current titles, among which are H1Z1, and Planetside 2.

When we asked specifically about future titles, including EverQuest Next, and EverQuest Landmark, a Daybreak representative informed us that the staff reduction "...[would] not affect the operation of current games, nor will it impact development of our upcoming games like EverQuest Next...all games will continue on their current path of operation and development."

If any additional news on the layoffs or Daybreak projects arises, we will update accordingly.

Sources: Kotaku

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RIP SOE. If this isn't heralding the end, I don't know what is.

This...this is sad news. I honestly do not believe the news that the development of EQN and Landmark will not be affected. Because to let go of Greg does not point the optimism meter in the right direction.

I can only imagine the talks behind closed doors right now in some of these meeting. Wondering how they can grab as much money and rip the very souls from consumers as they can. How many long time SOE employees they can usher out for more individuals that will "stick to the plan" instead of make something with any ounce of imagination

I am only speculating of course. Perhaps this will be a great thing.

RIP PlanetSide 2.

Never have I seen a game start out with such a strong opening pitch, only to half-deliver on its promises, and then persistently half-deliver on less than half of the roadmap features for the game... not to mention the massive amount of server issues, performance issues and bugs that were ever present in this once-great shooter.

People lost faith in SOE, and now they're getting ripped apart. Honestly I see no reconciliation with SOE/DBG and gamers any time soon.

Oh man, and here I was getting excited about Everquest Next and Landmark. When have massive layoffs at a studio ever helped a game?

Something tells me that Daybreak is being turned into a MOBA or China-only MMO factory. In that case the holdings company don't need the more creative types since the dirty work and research has already been done for them via League of Legends, DOTA 2, Smite, and mayhaps Heroes of the Storm if the MOBA route, or WoW, Everquest, Guild Wars, FF XIV and the many Korean MMOs if on the China MMO route. To them, they think they're better off getting rid of them from the payroll, and divert that saved money to the investors of the holding company.

Not good news, this investment company that has taken over really sounds like something which is only interested in the quick bucks, not the long-term plan.

I hope Planetside 2 keeps standing tall though. Aside from tons of stupid deaths, I'm having a blast with it.

In other news, the sky is in fact blue. Come on, the company was bought by an investment firm. That's like a bank buying your house. You might not know what will happen to it, but you can be sure it won't be anything good. So of course there were going to be layoffs. Investors don't care about employees, just the bottom line.

I am somewhat glad that I didn't get into EQN but I feel bad for the people that did.

Remus:
In other news, the sky is in fact blue. Come on, the company was bought by an investment firm. That's like a bank buying your house. You might not know what will happen to it, but you can be sure it won't be anything good. So of course there were going to be layoffs. Investors don't care about employees, just the bottom line.

Pretty much this right here. Anyone with a good idea of what was going on that worked at SOE probably did start looking for a new job before they were sold off, because Sony would definitely have made layoffs if a buyer wasn't found and a buyer would likely do it, too. The facts that it was an investment firm that bought SOE and they renamed their purchase "Daybreak Game Company" (That's sounds barely better than "Game Company #425.") were the final big indicators everyone should at least keep and eye out for openings, in case they too get the axe.

Perhaps most alarming is the speed with which this is all happening. Which quickly leads one to suspect that SOE was bought largely for the IP's, and not the actual games production. I wonder if the SOE people saw the writing on the wall with this one?

PS does anyone else suspect that Sony's motion picture arm might be the next to go, and that part of the Spider-Man deal is positioning to sell the whole unit to Disney?

I wonder if I can get a refund on the Landmark Founder's Pack... I mean, they just got rid of the guy we were all investing in.

This is my surprised face. :|

Okay, I expected them to wait more than a single week before gutting the company, but we all knew it was coming.

faefrost:
Perhaps most alarming is the speed with which this is all happening. Which quickly leads one to suspect that SOE was bought largely for the IP's, and not the actual games production. I wonder if the SOE people saw the writing on the wall with this one?

PS does anyone else suspect that Sony's motion picture arm might be the next to go, and that part of the Spider-Man deal is positioning to sell the whole unit to Disney?

Yeah sell one of only 2 parts (out of 8) that has been profitable every year for the last decade that makes sense. Sony's spinning off the TV business just like it sold the PC business and with that should hopefully become sustainable which they won't if they sell off consistently profitable parts.

Pretty much agree with the rest of the folks not surprised by this.

Even if it wasn't acquired by an investment firm, "Recently re-branded company goes through restructuring" is barely news. Heck, any company going through restructuring this time of year is pretty common.

Wow, how ... surprising. A venture capital firm buys a company and starts cutting costs before asset-stripping them to wring out every last cent. And bears still defecate in arboreal areas.

When has any venture capitalist every touched something and not turned it to shit?
If you're invested in any game of franchise from SOE your only hope at this point is that Daybreak quickly sells it on to some actual developer before they destroy it completely.

as a current planetside player who has been following the game since release, they literally fired EVERYONE. the creative director is left, that's it and i honestly believe its because we said in the forums on a very popular topic that if he goes planetside is truly dead in the water. It honestly is sad, the game is going to be what it is now for years before it gets shut down. The definition of life support in the mmo market. Hopefully im wrong, but after what i have experienced in the F2P market and when it comes to buyouts, shits fucked.

The only reason why people even play planetside is because its the only one of its kind. The game wasnt the best of quality but the fact that it was ambitious and nothing like it kept allot of people, me included hooked. sadly monotony is boring and i already see the game staying like this for ages, being milked in its own tiny cubicle looking at a picture of what daddy planetside 1 got to be and thinking to himself as to why he doesn't get to live that life.

http://kotaku.com/big-layoffs-at-everquest-studio-today-1685243961

Well, how good is your russian (or chinese). I think they will take the I.P.s to russia or china. There is practically no one left in usa.

WendelI:
The creative director is left, that's it and i honestly believe its because we said in the forums on a very popular topic that if he goes planetside is truly dead

Don your best uniform, the funeral is booked.

http://www.reddit.com/r/Planetside/comments/2vqcge/thank_you_to_the_planetside_2_community/

I'm going to avoid the blatantly political and focus specifically on Daybreak itself. To my understanding it was because SOE wasn't the most profitable division of Sony. They then proceeded to sell off SOE to ColumbusNova, who has proceeded to lay people off, and likely will shutter the studio. I wouldn't be surprised if in the near future the IPs are sold BACK to Sony so they can continue to use those IPs. In essence, ColumbusNova is acting as a hatchetman third party that is there to destroy SOE studio and sell the assets back to Sony for profit, and Sony doesn't look like that much of a bad guy as a result. In fact, this could lead to a situation where Sony "saves" the IPs from certain doom, and come out as heroes to the people that play their games. All they had to do was hire a third party to play the role of the "bad guy", Sony ends up reacquiring the IP and a presumed PR boost, SOE is annihilated, and they can start a new studio to get those IPs up and running again, but with a much more tight-fisted approach to it's development.

Regardless of whatever is going on, SOE's former IPs probably aren't going to be the same again, assuming we ever see them again.

 

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