Daybreak Games  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Daybreak Games  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Landmark Servers Shutting Down https://www.gameskinny.com/5kdbl/landmark-servers-shutting-down https://www.gameskinny.com/5kdbl/landmark-servers-shutting-down Fri, 06 Jan 2017 00:34:12 -0500 Ainyan

Daybreak Games announced today that the servers for its creative building game Landmark will be shut down on February 21, 2017, along with the accompanying forums and social media channels. The shutdown will occur at 4:00pm PST (7:00pm EST). The announcement was made on Landmark's official site and included a personal thank you to the players.

Since Landmark first entered Alpha, we have been impressed by the creative talents in this community. You pushed the boundaries of what Landmark could do, and we are grateful for the time and energy you shared through your creations in this game.

In addition to the announcement of the imminent closure of Landmark, Daybreak also stated that the Player Studio -- a real-money marketplace where Landmark players could buy and sell player-made items in the game -- would also be closing. The ability to list items for purchase was removed at the time of the announcement, and all items still listed for sale would be reduced in cost to 1 Daybreak Credit (DBC). The game itself is also no longer available for purchase.

Since it was first announced, Landmark has had a rough time gaining momentum. Originally slated to be an add-on to the now defunct Everquest Next, it was intended to allow players to have a hand in building the EQ Next world. While Landmark itself was intended as a stand-alone, it was initially stated that the best player-made worlds would be integrated into EQ Next.

Although development on EQ Next stopped and the game itself was officially cancelled in March of 2016, development on Landmark continued and the game was officially launched on June 10, 2016. The launch itself was rocky and plagued with bugs, including server outages, difficulty connecting and staying connected, and graphical errors that caused the game to be unplayable for many lower-end systems.

Despite the problems, many players still purchased the games and enjoyed building up Lumeria. The game received several updates during its short lifespan. However, players often cited a lack of content or community as an incentive to keep playing, and the population swiftly dropped off. While the concept had potential, Daybreak failed to capitalize on it, and the rocky road to launch likely chased off many players who might have otherwise been interested in playing.

When the servers shut down for the final time, Daybreak Studios will retain full control of the code and data from the Landmark Servers, and have stated that they "will not license or authorize the operation of a Landmark emulator or a fan-operated Landmark server," a familiar sentiment to many City of Heroes fans. Whether or not anyone will try to buy the rights from Daybreak Studios remains to be seen.

Did you play Landmark? If so, how do you feel about them shutting the doors barely six months after launch? If not, what didn't appeal about the game?

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Jack Emmert Joins Daybreak Games https://www.gameskinny.com/i72he/jack-emmert-joins-daybreak-games https://www.gameskinny.com/i72he/jack-emmert-joins-daybreak-games Fri, 10 Jun 2016 05:01:03 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

Jack Emmert, a designer who worked on the groundbreaking (and sadly defunct) MMOs City of Heroes and City of Villains, is now part of Daybreak Games.  Given that Daybreak is known for quality MMOs, like the genre-defining Everquest, this seems to be a natural fit for him.  

Emmert will be overseeing the development of one of Daybreak's most successful new titles, the free-to-play MMO DC Universe Online.  As a lifetime fan of DC Comics, Emmert says that the chance to work on the MMO is "truly amazing," and that having the chance to work for Daybreak games is one of the best things he could hope for.

Elaborating on that sentiment, Emmert said:

"Daybreak, to me, is the godfather of the MMORPG industry. Without EverQuest, we never would have seen City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, or any of the other great MMOs that came out. Because of so many seminal games, Daybreak has an unparalleled community of fans who’ve loyally followed the company for years. There’s few places that an MMO developer can go that are so set up for success."

What are your thoughts on Emmert's move and the potential changes to DC Universe Online?  Let us know in the comments!

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H1Z1: King of the Kill Adds New 'Ignition' Mode https://www.gameskinny.com/far5x/h1z1-king-of-the-kill-adds-new-ignition-mode https://www.gameskinny.com/far5x/h1z1-king-of-the-kill-adds-new-ignition-mode Wed, 25 May 2016 05:00:05 -0400 Ray Hachey

Since its release on Steam in February, H1Z1: King of the Kill players have enjoyed large-scale PvP battles, where the last player standing is the victor. Daybreak Games announced recently that H1Z1: King of the Kill has added a new game mode: Ignition.

The new game mode has players parachuted into the "arena" -- most often a forest setting -- with a pack of explosives strapped to their bodies. While all players are encouraged to engage in looting, shootouts and even some melee fighting, the primary mission is to get to the safe zone before the timer runs down and your detonator ignites and you explode into a gory mess.

After every successful wave, the timer grants players less time to the next safe zone, and the safe zones not only relocate, but they are fewer in number. 

It looks peaceful but up to 150 players may be lurking in those bushes.

Close to six thousand positive reviews on Steam seem to indicate that H1Z1: King of the Kill is worth a try, so strap on your explosives and jump on your ATV!

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DC Universe Online gets an Xbox One version https://www.gameskinny.com/snigx/dc-universe-online-gets-an-xbox-one-version https://www.gameskinny.com/snigx/dc-universe-online-gets-an-xbox-one-version Wed, 13 Jan 2016 04:09:05 -0500 Nick Harshman

DC Universe Online creator Daybreak Games announced via Twitter today that they will be creating an Xbox One version of the popular MMO. Previously only available on PC and PlayStation 3 and 4, the former Sony-owned company announced the plans as part of their five year anniversary celebration. 

Formerly Sony Online Entertainment, the company was sold and became an independent studio back in February of last year. The team renamed themselves Daybreak Games, and have continued providing support for their popular MMO since.

Announced at the same time was PC and PS4 cross-play that allows users from both systems to play together - if they can get along, of course. That particular feature will make its debut on the 25th of January.

Players can also look forward to content that ties into DC's new Legends of Tomorrow TV show, as well as new storylines that have to do with the likes of Superman and Harley Quinn. Some of the remaining announcements include a new powerset and anniversary gifts.

Do you play DCUO? Will you give it a try? Let us know in the comments!

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The state of MMOs in 2015: The good, bad, and future https://www.gameskinny.com/oy1iz/the-state-of-mmos-in-2015-the-good-bad-and-future https://www.gameskinny.com/oy1iz/the-state-of-mmos-in-2015-the-good-bad-and-future Tue, 15 Dec 2015 12:19:14 -0500 Eliot Lefebvre

2014 was not a fun time to be a fan of MMOs. The year saw a few high-profile launches that utterly and completely failed to connect properly with their prospective audiences, along with several big studios cutting back, hitting financial walls, or otherwise flubbing the most important parts of business. Sure, it wasn't the worst year ever, but once you're into "bad" the distinction becomes pretty meaningless, doesn't it?

Fortunately for fans of the genre and its effects upon games as a whole, 2015 was a much happier time. True, there weren't as many big-name releases, and there was one big and unhappy loser, but that was mixed amidst several other high-profile projects that keep rolling along nicely without a problem. So, let's take a look at the state of the genre in 2015 while also eyeing how it's affecting games as a whole.

2015's biggest winners

Let's start out with the positives. Sure, there were losses, but why focus on that? No, far better to focus first and foremost on the three games that really managed to knock it out of the park through the year.

1. Final Fantasy XIV

The 2013 relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV impressed people, but the question on everyone's mouth was whether or not the game could make it another year. 2014 saw a steady and appreciated string of updates that had everyone wondering whether or not the game could successfully manage an expansion. This year is when it's just become impossible to ignore the fact that the game is a pretty noteworthy success. It's fun, it's popular, and it pumps out content at a pace that most games can only dream about.

Seriously, the game's last patch added an entire RTS game just as a bit of side content. Completely optional. How crazy is that?

One of the last MMOs that requires a subscription and certainly the only one in the past few years to launch as subscription-only and stick with that model, the game is proving to be a great success story all around. Sure, there are nitpicks to be had and issues to be addressed, but leaving it off of your list as a big name means you're missing out on a game that just seems to be getting more successful with each passing year.

2. Star Wars: The Old Republic

It wouldn't be fair to call Star Wars: The Old Republic's most recent expansion a relaunch. It would, however, be fair to call it a refocus. The expansion retuned the entire game to be more heavily focused on story progress, making decisions and experiencing an epic in the manner of, well, Star Wars. And it's even taken a bit of liberty with the fact that it's now part of the non-canonical extended universe and thus can fudge things a bit.

Of course, people have complained that the renewed focus loses a bit of the "massively multiplayer" part from the game's status as an MMORPG. That's not a great thing. Still, it does mean that the developers have stepped back and tried to deliver an experience based first and foremost around what the game is best at delivering. That's worth celebrating, and fans on a whole seem to agree.

3. Guild Wars 2

It took a long time to get here, but Guild Wars 2 turned heads at the start of the year when it announced its first expansion pack. Rather than bumping the level cap, the expansion added in new forms of alternative advancement alongside raiding, new exploration, and gliding. That came along with the announcement that the core game is now free for everyone forever - you can play the pre-expansion content as long as you want without ever needing to spend a dime.

It's not all rainbows and butterflies, of course, and the change in focus has left some players feeling as if the original nature of the game has changed fundamentally or certain playstyles have been left behind. That doesn't diminish what has been accomplished with the game, just the same.

2015's biggest losers

Of course, it wasn't all sunshine and roses. Yes, some games kept kind of coughing along in the wake of 2014, and some of them looked poised for revival... then promptly fell facefirst in the mud. A shame all around.

1. World of Warcraft

What a difference a year makes. People were excited about Warlords of Draenor when it came out at the tail end of last year, and if you had just started leveling through the content, it looked good. Unfortunately, Garrisons provided a terrible alternative to content in the form of Facebook-style management minigames and far too much work for far too little satisfying play.

Bad enough in and of itself, but the expansion's storyline and content updates abruptly ended in late June with several promised elements of the expansion being thrown to the wolves. While the game's next expansion was announced in August, players are already expecting another year without content... and considering that was what happened before the current expansion, player morale is in the dumpster. The game reported falling to its lowest subscriber numbers since midway through the vanilla years, then said it would no longer report on subscriber numbers.

Here's hoping for Legion, then. The game could use a success next year.

2. The Sony Online Entertainment/Daybreak Games catalog

This year's big surprise for online gaming fans was the veteran online branch of Sony breaking ties with its parent and going independent as Daybreak Games. How is that a loss? Well, it meant that people accustomed to Sony Online Entertainment suddenly found all of the rules rapidly changing, with several staff departures and a general air of abject confusion.

Anticipated title EverQuest Next went through the entire year without any substantial news other than its biggest developer getting laid off. EverQuest II went through rapid content model shifts. H1Z1 players experienced a roller coaster of resets, updates, and alterations. It was a hard year to be a fan, because it was hard to know what was staying online or shutting down from week to week.

3. ArcheAge

If you listened to ArcheAge's fans before its localization, you were told about a game that allowed you to do almost anything with insane amounts of freedom in character, crafting, and housing. The game launched last year, but this year was the year for it to deliver on its promises... and it most certainly didn't. For many people, the game was functionally not far from other titles like World of Warcraft except that it also included plots of land that you couldn't get without being part of a massive land rush fighting over inches of virtual dirt.

Server merges did nothing positive for that perception, as players went right back to scrambling for land. On top of that, the management of the game by Trion (its local publisher) and XLGAMES (its developer) has been roundly criticized, with players blaming either one as the real source of the game's problems. It's still running and likely will do so for some time, but its chance of being a big influence on the MMO sphere has evaporated.

The future?

That's where we are now. But there are trends, patterns, and things to watch in 2016, and they start with something big and obvious...

1. MMO in all of the things

Xenoblade Chronicles X is very clearly a single-player game. It just features  lots of online connectivity, guilds, player groups, MMO-like leveling and gameplay structures... you get the idea. The walls that we have built between single-player and multiplayer cooperative games are evaporating on a slow and steady basis, and as time goes by and consoles just get more frequently connected, this trend is not reversing itself. Keep your eyes peeled in 2016 for new ways in which all the pieces fit together.

2. Crowdfunded games get big

There's a lot of money still flowing into Star Citizen's coffers, and the game itself only exists in its most embryonic state. High-profile MMO developers have big projects that are advancing and/or releasing in 2016 like Crowfall, Shroud of the Avatar, and Camelot Unchained. We've seen a big crowdfunding explosion, but we have yet to see a successful MMO based on the platform; 2016 will be where it starts to become clear that Kickstarting these titles either works or was just a fad.

3. The future of WildStar

This is hardly the only titles that's changed business model this year, but boy, is it ever a big change. When this title launched, it was suddenly something everyone was super excited to play... followed by a dizzying fall when people started to reach its brutally tough, demoralizing endgame that made vanilla World of Warcraft look like frolicking in a petting zoo. It remains to be seen if the switch in business models and the changes to endgame and content distribution can bring hopeful players back to the metaphorical yard.

4. A post-WoW world

I'm not saying that WoW is in danger of shutting down. But it is steadily losing its domination over the MMO field, and that alone is going to change the landscape pretty significantly. Will another game become the big champion of the genre? Will we go through years with no clear biggest MMO? Will WoW rally and pull itself back to its former glory? Because any of the above - or a possibility not yet considered - is going to have a big impact on a genre that has been thoroughly affected by one title for a decade.

So, here's to 2015 in review, to 2016 in the future, and to this genre as a whole. I don't know what 2016 will bring, exactly, but I do know it's going to be an interesting ride.

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Daybreak Games announces tons of Halloween updates https://www.gameskinny.com/kkjd7/daybreak-games-announces-tons-of-halloween-updates https://www.gameskinny.com/kkjd7/daybreak-games-announces-tons-of-halloween-updates Thu, 22 Oct 2015 18:30:44 -0400 Jordan_Biazzo

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Landmark: Oct. 8 – Oct. 29
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Get ready for a Halloween Livestream Party! On October 29, the Landmark developers will host a special livestream to visit “Halloween Island”, the place that was created specifically for Halloween builds to celebrate all things spooky. Players can visit the island, see the builds, and hang out with other players as the event unfolds live. There will be giveaways for players during the event if they find the livestream hosts on Halloween Island.

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What do you think of these updates? Will you be taking advantage of any of them? Let me know in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/1/7/817924bb87bfb0052e88468aa89d2d54.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/1/7/tiny_817924bb87bfb0052e88468aa89d2d54.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88644","description":"
H1Z1: Oct. 27 – Nov. 12
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As if things weren’t scary enough, the zombies seem to be catching the Halloween spirit. Survivors can expect to come across zombies with pumpkin heads, which they can kill and loot for special treats. Battle Royale also offers players a chance to find a rare scarecrow mask from airdrops.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/8/1/d81d34f569a195a9a48699bb40b8e7c6.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/8/1/tiny_d81d34f569a195a9a48699bb40b8e7c6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88643","description":"
PlanetSide 2: Sept. 23 – Nov. 12
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Do not beware the pumpkins; shoot them all! In this year’s Nanite of the Living Dead, players can collect pumpkin seeds from shooting pumpkins to purchase Halloween Helmets. All-new, menacing seasonal weapons can be added to players’ arsenals! So whether they are into slashing or shooting, there is an abundance of tricks and treats for everyone!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/e/e/7eeb8ad7910a6ebce6a5b92feba37d5f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/e/e/tiny_7eeb8ad7910a6ebce6a5b92feba37d5f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88642","description":"
EverQuest II: Oct. 8 – Nov. 2
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Marketplace Items: Oct. 1 – Nov. 2

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Nights of the Dead rises again! Frights and freaks are on the prowl in Norrath, but the festivities are bountiful! All the previous year’s items and events are back with a vengeance, including new Halloween-themed Player Studio Items, costumes, and weapons to make every Norrathian a little more frightening.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/1/f/01f29befbe379e46594961954c36d4bb.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/1/f/tiny_01f29befbe379e46594961954c36d4bb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88641","description":"
EverQuest:  Oct. 28 – Nov. 11 
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Marketplace Items: Oct. 1 – Nov. 11

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Players can enjoy this year’s Nights of the Dead celebration with the return of their favorite holiday events! Both tricks and treats are plentiful as festive merchants return to starting cities just in time for the holiday festivities. Tricks and Treats abound for Norrathians, with the reappearance of 35 previous Halloween marketplace items, along with some new ones as well!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/b/c/0bc8fee496c0bf89230a300bcafe6c12.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/b/c/tiny_0bc8fee496c0bf89230a300bcafe6c12.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88640","description":"
DC Universe Online: Oct.1 – Nov. 2
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Gotham is a lot darker than it usually is, as the Witching Hour theme event returns with some new twists. Players have a chance to earn Spooky Bites every day during the event. Earn enough and you can pay a visit to Skeet’s Boo-tique to purchase creepy tricks, treats, and items for their base or guild hall.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/0/e/f0ea75fe34c5677273e0b645597ec860.jpeg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/0/e/tiny_f0ea75fe34c5677273e0b645597ec860.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"88639","description":"

The Halloween season is upon us, everyone! Fright Fest is on AMC, the weather is cooling down, and the games are nearly here! And on that note, Daybreak Games is kicking off its annual Halloween seasonal events and promotions for players across their multiple games.

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The Halloween event is starting now and will last until early November. During this time period, players will have a chance to participate in various in-game Halloween events, contests, and activities as well as gettig showered with promotional items. Here are all the details.

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John Smedley Starts New Company https://www.gameskinny.com/wsg28/john-smedley-starts-new-company https://www.gameskinny.com/wsg28/john-smedley-starts-new-company Sun, 23 Aug 2015 08:29:26 -0400 TheDeadlyMouse

It was reported the other day that John Smedley has officially left Daybreak Games and has started his own company.

In case you are thinking "Smedley who?" He was the president of SoE, which then became Daybreak Games after Sony sold it. In other words, they're the company behind EverQuest, EverQuest 2, PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online, just to name a few.

As of now all we know is what's posted on his official Facebook page. The post states that he started working as CEO at a new company and that more info is coming soon.

So that means there is no word as to what this new company's name is or what type it shall be. We're not sure if it will be an MMORPG only or if it will be a non-online gaming company - or both. They could focus on different options such as PC, console, or mobile gaming. Of course, it could turn out to be a mix of the three.

We all should know something in the coming weeks. Keep an eye open on here and on his Facebook and Twitter pages for more news on the matter.

Let us know what you think on all this in the comments.

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Transparency: A look at John Smedley's influence on games https://www.gameskinny.com/jyt9a/transparency-a-look-at-john-smedleys-influence-on-games https://www.gameskinny.com/jyt9a/transparency-a-look-at-john-smedleys-influence-on-games Fri, 24 Jul 2015 08:32:14 -0400 Larry Everett

I have actually only talked to John Smedley once during an interview in 2012. He talked about Planetside 2 and a little bit about EverQuest Next, but mostly he talked about the direction of SOE and the influence of free-to-play games on the MMO industry. During that discussion, he said and reiterated that he didn't think that SOE would ever create a game that wasn't free-to-play ever again. 

As the driving force behind many of the games that I played, he has had an influence on my gaming career for about 12 years. I believe that everyone that pays attention to SOE or Daybreak Games was floored when the word came out that Smedley was taking a break from gaming for awhile and stepping down as CEO.

Of course, everyone that I know wishes him well and hopes that he returns soon. Anyone who has talked to him for any period of time knows that he has a passion for online gaming like no one else, and many hope that he returns to Daybreak very soon.

I know that many people have had issues with some of what Smed has said in the past. He said things that didn’t quite sit well with the gaming community at large, and he’s also made some decisions that didn’t make people happy.

But what I’d like to do today is talk about some of the amazing things that have happened and many groundbreaking steps in gaming that Daybreak and SOE made under John Smedley's leadership.

The popularization of the MMORPG

We cannot talk about John Smedley without talking about one of the greatest accomplishments in not just online gaming but gaming as a whole: EverQuest. Of course, EQ wasn’t the first fully online game to release. We had seen Ultima Online, Meridian 59, and a handful of others before the release of EverQuest. However, if anyone were to look at gaming historically, it would be EverQuest that brought MMORPGs to the forefront of gaming.

For many people EverQuest became much more than a game, it became a lifestyle. Although I cannot condone people becoming addicted to games, it was with EverQuest that we really began hearing stories of over a hundred hours a week being spent on games.

Mainstream media even picked up on it. Of course, mainstream media didn’t understand it, but the community managers, developers, and yes, John Smedley understood the importance of the game in people’s lives.

I believe it’s safe to say that EverQuest was a first. Although EQ wasn’t the first MMORPG, it paved its own path, and without EQ -- without John Smedley’s work -- there would be no World of Warcraft or many of the other MMORPGs that we enjoy today.

Taking huge risks with major IPs

My first major influence in the realms of MMORPGs was Star Wars Galaxies. I had played Ultima Online and Asheron's Call, but they didn’t hold me for a number of reasons that weren’t at all related to the games themselves. However, serendipity would allow me to play Star Wars Galaxies for a lengthy period of time. I had told my wife that I would likely not play the game for more than a couple of months before quitting. But this game grabbed me.

Of course, I don’t think that Smedley was the primary reason that I stuck with the game. In fact, given Smed’s statements about how H1Z1 would be the new home for Star Wars Galaxies player, I don’t really know that he understood why people played that game in the first place. But it was his influence as CEO of SOE that allowed the game to be made.

I think one of Smed’s primary skills isn’t necessarily being able to do everything himself, but he knows how to find and motivate good talent. And that’s what happened with SWG. Smed put together an amazing team of designers including the much beloved Raph Koster.

Although there were many major failures with Star Wars Galaxies, it still stands as an example of a company taking huge risk, not something you see very often anymore. And although Smedley gets more hate from the NGE than credit for taking a risk with SWG in the first place, I will give him credit and thanks for bringing that game into my life.

Leading the way for free-to-play in the western market

If creating Star Wars Galaxies was taking a big risk, then Free Realms was even bigger. I don’t think people give Free Realms enough credit for being a huge, groundbreaking MMORPG. Many of the things that we now take for granted were first found in Free Realms. I beta-tested this game, and I can tell you that Smedley was leading the charge in some of this games’ most innovative features.

The MMO press and players like to credit Dungeons and Dragons Online as proving that free-to-play MMOs can turn a profit and make a viable game. Then Lord of the Rings Online did it, too, giving developer Turbine the press-power to show the world that F2P works. But six months before the F2P conversion of DDO, another game launched and made amazing bank for its developer. Free Realms released in April 2009. I remember talking about it with other SOE fans and influencers, saying that there is no way for SOE to make money off this game unless they have a subscription. But Smed and his crew insisted that F2P was the wave of the future for MMOs in the west, and it would start with Free Realms.

The first persistent online first-person shooter

Alongside Star Wars Galaxies, another MMO launched in 2003 from SOE, it was an MMOFPS called Planetside. Some people called it way ahead of its time, and wish I could comment on it, but really wasn’t my kind of game at the time.

However, I can talk about Planetside 2.

In many ways this game was Smed’s baby. You could tell by the way that he would post random pieces of concept art on Twitter that he was really looking forward to this game’s release. In fact, it’s possible that Smed’s desire to get this game into players’ hands pushed its soft release too early. Regardless, the game was groundbreaking. The ability to have foot soldiers, vehicles, and aircraft all in one persistent had never been accomplished to the level of Planetside 2 before. Some can even say that it hasn’t been done since.

Needless to say, Smed’s made a huge impact on the gaming world. There are many I haven't even mentioned. I have not always agreed with every decision that he’s made nor every game that’s he’s spearheaded, but I cannot deny the influence he’s had on the gaming world. Speaking for myself, I’m glad that he’s taking a break from games and the like.

But, I do hope that he returns soon. The gaming industry needs more risk-takers and positive influences.

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Transparency: 4 Reasons Gaming PR Isn't the Ultimate Evil https://www.gameskinny.com/s2s7i/transparency-4-reasons-gaming-pr-isnt-the-ultimate-evil https://www.gameskinny.com/s2s7i/transparency-4-reasons-gaming-pr-isnt-the-ultimate-evil Fri, 17 Jul 2015 10:49:13 -0400 Larry Everett

Most of the time we look at the Public Relations team as glorified salesmen for the gaming industry. It’s comical sometimes how little some PR teams know about the game or games they represent. And if you’ve worked with as many PR teams as I have, you’ll know that it’s beyond funny and into the realm of sad how many of these teams come across like they are trying to sell you snake oil, even when they are actually selling a really good game.

These PR teams also seem to personify the barrier between gaming journalism and the “real story.” Needless to say, PR doesn’t have the best rep and is often seen as the enemy when it comes to games journalism.

However, we saw this week four very specific and important reasons why game companies need PR teams. Maybe they aren't as evil as we like to think.

1. Stopping Daybreak DDoS

CEO of Daybreak, John Smedley, was rightfully upset at the wrist-slapping that the Finnish justice system gave the member of the hacking group Lizard Squad. Although the kid wasn’t tried for the bomb threat that forced Smedley’s plane to turn around earlier this year, he was partially responsible for the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) many gaming companies experienced this year, costing those companies large sums of money.

Lizard Squad not-so-subtly claimed that it was Smed’s rants that lead them to retaliating with a DDoS attacks on Daybreak itself. Of course, this particular attack was fixed rather quickly, but it did cause downtime for Daybreak’s games and websites.

Smedley eventually deleted his Twitter and Reddit account. He said on Reddit that it was of his own accord, but many people suspect that it was highly influenced by his friends and PR team. Many times the PR team acts as a much-needed filter for developers when dealing with high-profile issues that can and will affect a huge business. I’m not blaming Smed -- he was was only exercising his right to free speech -- but if what he said had been filtered by his PR team, it might have mitigated or prevented the resulting DDoS attack.

2. Clearing the Cloud of Misinformation

Also this week, we saw Line of Defense developer Derek Smart stir up trouble for Cloud Imperium, the company creating Star Citizen. Smart demanded, among many other things, that President and CEO Chris Roberts resign so that the game can actually release and not become the vaporware Smart is claiming it to be.

While I’m not even going to try to take sides in this argument, it is clear that the game needs a PR team to better propagate information to the public so that everyone knows better the state of affairs with the game. Of course, Roberts and his team have been very open and vocal about clearing up this mess, but much of what PR teams do is spread that word to the ether, giving more people the correct information -- hopefully.

3. Shutting a Smart Mouth

In the same instance as above and a previous blog post, Smart could have used a PR team, too, but for a different reason. Sometimes, even when you have a good point, if you continue to harp on the issue, it doesn’t make the right impression.

Also, if you mock or belittle the opposition, it paints even a justified accuser in a bad light and spoils what could have been a very legitimate reason for calling out someone for wrong-doing.

In Smart’s specific case, not only did he belittle Chris Roberts, but he also belittled the people who defended Roberts. Those are the people you’re trying to convince, man! Had Smart (a developer with his own company to concern himself with) had a PR team backing him up, it could have convinced him to stop talking when the battle was at a standstill. Pouring more words on a heat battle only serves to fan the flame against you.

4. RaiderZ and the missing developer

I know everyone is sad about Perfect World Entertainment's shutdown of RaiderZ. (I’m kidding, most people have probably never heard of the game.) This game, originally created by MAIET, was intended to be stiff competition for TERA with its action combat. However, as it turns out, MAIET shut down months ago, yet PWE continued to run the game without telling its western audience.

Now, I don’t know who could have used a better PR team, PWE or MAIET, but someone needed better communication because the press release reads like PWE called up MAIET for its monthly meeting only to find out that the phone was disconnected:

“In the past, we have been working with MAIET, the developer of RaiderZ, in order to troubleshoot and solve issue to keep the game available for the players. Unfortunately, MAIET is no longer operating anymore.

“Since there’s no more active developer, it’s very difficult to troubleshoot any issue that happen to RaiderZ. We’re unable to deliver a quality experience to you, our players, so we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down RaiderZ.”

Well, duh, you’re shutting it down. I’m not sure where the communication breakdown happened, but it’s clear that PWE’s PR team is attempting to cover up some odd SNAFU. That said, had its PR team got ahold of this information faster or if MAIET had an actual PR team, this public weirdness could have been smoothed over.

 

As much as I dislike dealing with some of the loopholes PR teams create, we need to understand why they're here in the first place. Despite some of the clearly jargon-filled press releases, these teams of wordsmiths can do an amazing job of preventing internet explosions and painting a realistic picture of the company they represent.

I do not envy the jobs of these marketing managers and PR workers; it’s clearly important that public companies need them, if only as a buffer.

But the conversation doesn’t end here. Let me know your thoughts on these situations in the comments below. How could they have been handled better, and are there any big PR blunders that happened this week that I missed?

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EverQuest 2 getting progression servers July 7th https://www.gameskinny.com/reke7/everquest-2-getting-progression-servers-july-7th https://www.gameskinny.com/reke7/everquest-2-getting-progression-servers-july-7th Sun, 21 Jun 2015 14:42:04 -0400 Ashley Shankle

EverQuest 2? Who cares about that game? Well, a fair number of people. Myself included, and I'm pretty hype for the upcoming time-locked progression servers.

Daybreak Games has decided to bring progression servers to EverQuest 2, much in the same vein as they did for the original EverQuest last month to bring back old players and give the current playerbase the option to experience the game in as close to its original state as the community wants.

EverQuest 2's forums have been bustling with activity over the past few weeks as the team at Daybreak Games picks the community's collective brain for what they want to see in the new time-locked progression servers. It's been a real surprise to see the development team interacting so closely with the community to see what they really want.

The progression servers are public beta launching on July 7th with two servers, one PvE and one PvP. The only hurdle for anyone interested in the classic EverQuest 2 experience is that only All Access members can create characters on these new servers, meaning you need to pony up $15 a month to play on them.

You can read an FAQ on the time-locked servers over at the official forums, but the real bulk of Daybreak's interactions with the players are sprinkled about the General Discussion forum. If you loved EverQuest 2 back in the day and want to have your say, you owe it to yourself to head on over and give your opinion for the good of Norrath.

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