I wanted to believe SOE being bought out might be–well, if not good news, then at least not bad news. But now I guess it’s okay to officially start with the doom and gloom over Daybreak. I hope everyone affected by these layoffs finds another place soon. (I’m going through my own job placement stress right now so I feel for anyone with any uncertainty about their job.)
While this news doesn’t affect me personally the way it does others–I don’t have the nostalgia for EverQuest that most people do (I was an Asheron’s Call guy and hardly ever played EQ)–based on the dour mood around the blogosphere it’s easy to see that this is a tremendous blow to the spirit of the genre. Besides that it just generally sucks to see people losing their jobs for no apparent reason.
In a desperate effort to find some hope in this, I offer this: I realize it’s brutal to say this, but changing the path that EQNext was on might be a good thing. Based on what I’ve seen in Landmark, I’m already pretty scared that EQNext is/was well on its way toward being an unimpressive game with considerably more hype than it deserves, and if the next game that has the “EverQuest” name on it turns out to be a dismal flop, that’s going to be pretty bad for the genre. Especially when EQ2 is… well, it’s not great. Not bad, either. Just average. Maybe Columbus Nova saw that too and decided to step in. That’s probably wishful thinking on my part, though, and they just swooped down with a callous mandate to “do more with less,” like money-grubbing corporations often do.
On the other hand, even an EQNext that’s not the greatest thing since sliced bread is better than no EQNext. No disrespect to its fans, but I’d prefer they cancel Dragon’s Prophet if they’re going to close one to save money. It’s not bad, it’s just… average.