EverQuest
Daybreak Games: Roundtable With Smedley & Naviaux

Daybreak Game Company unveiled its new logo and website last week, giving a fresh face as it looks toward the future. We chatted with Daybreak President John Smedley and the Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing Laura Naviaux yesterday evening about the origins of the company's new name and logo, Columbus Nova, the future of its fan convention, and more.

EverQuest II
John Smedley Explains Recent Interview Comments

During a recent interview, Daybreak President John Smedley was quoted as stating the following:

"I firmly believe the days of the WoW-style MMO are over," Smedley said. "And that means we have to change with the times. Luckily, we were kind of early on that bus as opposed to late. But we're changing what we're making. Look at H1Z1. Is it an MMO? Sure, by definition, but I would consider it a session-based online game with a lot of people. And I say that because the average life expectancy in H1Z1 might be 45 minutes, and that's what today's gamers want. How many people do you still know that are still raiding in WoW every night, or EverQuest and EverQuest II? It's just the time commitment necessary has changed so much. That means we need to change with the times, and we are. So we're getting interested in a broader array of games and gaming styles."

Today he took to Reddit to explain the above. The full response is after the jump; here's the main point of it here:

"I was asked in the interview about what things we're doing differently for our new games going forward and that's when I said we're focused on shorter session times because not many people have the time anymore to spend on a 4 hour raid.

"Don't mistake that comment for me not believing in raiding or knowing that there are a ton of people that play MMOs that still absolutely love to do it! We also plan on continuing to support EQ, and EQ2 for the very long haul and providing exactly the kind of cool content our players have expected. None of that is changing."

General News
Daybreak Unveils New Site and Logo

Daybreak Game Company finally unveiled their revamped website and logo after months of waiting. The new logo features the eye of an owl who appears to be glaring at the rising sun. As for the website, www.daybreakgames.com is finally active and has received a makeover. The top part has jumbo-sized features while the bottom allows you to navigate between their different posts and social media feeds. Also of note: Station Cash is now called "Daybreak Cash" on the new site (it's just renamed; your balances remain the same).

What do you think of the new logo and website? Check after the jump for more info on celebration livestreams and in-game bonuses happening this week. UPDATE: A letter from Smed to the community is also below the jump.

General News
Layoffs Begin at Daybreak Games

UPDATE, Feb 12th: Thanks to everyone who has reached out to us regarding this news. I doubt we'll get an exhaustive list, but it's obvious that the community team, producers and developers were all hit pretty hard. You can contact us at news@zam.com or directly to @Cyliena on Twitter if you have more information.


One year ago I took the above picture of a smiling Linda "Brasse" Carlson, the Director of Community Relations, in her expertly handmade dwarven regalia, on the Sony Online Entertainment campus.

About an hour ago the first confirmed layoff from the transition to Daybreak Games hit, with Linda posting on Facebook that "I have been released from the best and most challenging job I have ever had. I thank you all for being part of that incredible experience. Too many people to thank personally, but know that I am extraordinarily grateful and very curious where life takes me now."

Linda isn't the only one affected. EverQuest franchise Director of Development Dave "Smokejumper" Georgeson has confirmed now on Twitter that he was laid off. EverQuest II artist Aaron "Gnobrin" Bisnett has also confirmed that he is gone, and we've been told that Systems Designer Akil "Lyndro" Hooper (confirmed now) from EQ/EQ2 has been let go as well.

Also confirmed are Adam "Ngreth" Bell (EQ dev) (x), Tiffany "Amnerys" Spence (Community) (x), Racheal "Afista" McKenny (EQ2 Community) (x), Endymion (EQ2 dev) (x), Eric "Felgon" Smith (Landmark/EQNext producer) (x), Noah Watkins (H1Z1 artist) (x), Steve "Moorgard" Danuser (EQNext Lead Content/Story Designer) (x), Kelduum Revaan (H1Z1 Technical Designer) (x), Aimee "Ashlanne" Rekoske (Community) (x), David Carey (PS2 producer) (x), Jeffrey Bard (EQ2 dev) (x) and Michael "Xelgad" Ganz (EQ2 dev) (x). There are likely many more, but these are the only ones we publicly know of at this time; a list on Reddit has a few more names not mentioned here.

On Thursday, February 12th, both H1Z1 developer Ryan Elam (x) and PlanetSide 2 Creative Director Matt Higby announced their voluntary resignations.

Colette "Dexella" Murphey posted the company's official statement; here are the key points:

Last week we announced that we were acquired and are now operating independently as Daybreak Game Company.

Unfortunately, this realignment means adjusting staffing as well. We announced today that we will eliminate positions in our San Diego and Austin studios.

These reductions will not affect the operation of our current games and as mentioned above, will help better position our company for future success.

Daybreak's full statement is found after the jump. Tiffany "Amnerys" Spence has discussed turning over a new leaf on her blog, while former PlanetSide 2 producer David Carey posted an insightful public note to the community regarding the layoffs over on Reddit.

We wish the best to everyone involved.

General News
Friday Update Arcade: Episode 18

Lindsay "geektr0n" Ferguson hosts ZAM's latest installment of Friday Update Arcade! Topics discussed include the DJ Sona skin in League of Legends, the company formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment, Darkest Dungeon, Ubisoft and the Persona 5 game trailer.

General News
Columbus Nova Acquires Sony Online Entertainment

UPDATE: Linda "Brasse" Carlson confirmed there will be no convention this year. "For those asking about SOE Live: we are taking a hiatus from our annual Live event to shift our focus to our exciting transition and the future of Daybreak Game Company."


This morning, Sony Online Entertainment announced that it was acquired by a company called Columbus Nova and will be rebranded as "Daybreak Game Company." SOE will operate as an independant studio and will even branch out into the Xbox platform.