EverQuest Next has been canceled - Landmark release date announced

This month has undoubtedly spawned a few more cynics in to the world, and we aren't even half way through it yet. First Lionhead Studios and the upcoming Fable Legends got scrapped, and now EverQuest Next is, ironically, the next big and beloved franchise to slowly fade away.

This announcement comes to us from Russ Shanks, the president of Daybreak Games, who simply states that EverQuest Next was just not very fun. Here's the message, and a bit of information on Landmark:

"To Our Daybreak Community,

I’m writing today to let you know that, after much review and consideration, Daybreak is discontinuing development of EverQuest Next.

For the past 20 years EverQuest has been a labor of love. What started as a deep passion of ours, as game creators, grew into a much larger passion shared by you, millions of players and Daybreakers alike. Watching EverQuest’s ability to entertain and bring people together has inspired and humbled us. It’s shaped our culture and has emboldened us to take aggressive risks with our game ideas and products. When we decided to create the next chapter in the EverQuest journey, we didn’t aim low. We set out to make something revolutionary.

For those familiar with the internals of game development, you know that cancellations are a reality we must face from time to time. Inherent to the creative process are dreaming big, pushing hard and being brutally honest with where you land. 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. 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.

The future of the EverQuest franchise as a whole is important to us here at Daybreak. 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.

Yours truly,

Russell Shanks"

While its unfortunate, and somewhat depressing, to see EverQuest Next canceled I can't say it was an unexpected turn of events. Ever since Sony Online Entertainment got bought out and transformed in to Daybreak Games the team became completely silent about EverQuest Next, with the most credible rumor stating that the majority of the team either got fired or reshuffled away from the project.

On the positive side, Holly Longdale, the executive producer of both EverQuest & EverQuest II, announced that Landmark will be releasing in Spring at an affordable $10 price tag, with no current plans to go free-to-play. Naturally, those that bought any of the founder's packs will be able to access Landmark free of charge, and will maintain all of the benefits that came with their packages. 

If you're interested in more information you can check out Landmark FAQ, and here's what exactly Longdale had to say about the game's future:

"As the community has grown and designs have flourished, we no longer view Landmark as just a building tool. We’ve been toiling away making Landmark into a wonder unto itself. While the look of our world was inspired by what was intended to be the voxel world of EverQuest Next, Landmark has evolved into its own game with its own unique identity and purpose. If you missed the news on EverQuest Next there’s a letter from Russell Shanks, Daybreak Games president, here.

The creativity of the Landmark community and the potential for telling stories in this digital world is beyond what we imagined. Our vision for Landmark is to provide a place where you can create ANYTHING, tell your own stories, and share your creativity with other players. We are wrapping up a HUGE game update for Landmark with LOTS of new additions and improvements, some of which you’ve already seen in sneak preview posts from Emily “Domino” Taylor on the forums. We are excited about what’s to come for Landmark and we can’t wait to see what you think."