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MMORPG sequel EverQuest Next canceled prior to release

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Daybreak Games has suspended development of its massively multiplayer online RPG EverQuest Next after spending nearly seven years on the project, determining that the end result “wasn’t fun.”

“Inherent to the creative process are dreaming big, pushing hard and being brutally honest with where you land,” Daybreak Games president Russell Shanks explains in a recent blog post. “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,” Shanks admits. “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.”

EverQuest Next was a planned reboot for Sony Online Entertainment’s EverQuest series, replicating classic series settings and events within an updated MMORPG framework. Boasting refined combat and a wider variety of playable classes, EverQuest Next positioned itself as a bridge between classic MMORPGs and the modern era.

Development of EverQuest Next stretches back to 2009, though the game’s initial iteration was scrapped and entirely rebuilt prior to its official unveiling in 2012. EverQuest Next was due to launch for the PlayStation 4 in addition to a planned PC release, and the finished version would have featured Oculus Rift support.

EverQuest Next was to be the latest entry in a genre-defining series. The original EverQuest launched in 1999 as the world’s second major MMORPG release, following up on Ultima Online. A sequel followed in 2004, and multiple expansions launched for both games in the years since.

Despite their age, both EverQuest and its sequel remain fully operational and maintain a dedicated playerbase. Daybreak notes that it will continue to develop new content for its legacy releases.

“The future of the EverQuest franchise as a whole is important to us here at Daybreak,” Shanks assures. “EverQuest in all its forms is near and dear to our hearts. EverQuest and EverQuest II are going strong. Rest assured that our passion to grow the world of EverQuest remains undiminished.”

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