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EQ2 Producer’s Letter: Enter the Den of Darkpaw Games

Discussion in 'EverQuest II General Discussion' started by Feldon, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Feldon

    Feldon Administrator Staff Member

    From EverQuest2.com:


    Welcome to our first bark as Darkpaw Games!

    Unsurprisingly, our motto is “Never Give Up” given that our studio name is borne from our beloved in-game character, Fippy Darkpaw – the gnoll that won’t quit. For over 20 years he’s been fighting the good fight for his tribe. Same goes for our studio, our games, and our tenacious players.

    We are the OG. The passionate. The dedicated. And the proud! Grrr….Bark Bark…Grrr.

    I’m sure you want to know what this change means…

    Darkpaw Games will operate autonomously and focus on the EQ franchise, its community, and its future. I will be at the head of Darkpaw and Daybreak will be our publisher with its incredible support and operations teams we’ve come to know and love over the years.

    We will work toward expanding the franchise and invest in our future as a studio.

    Currently, nothing will change for your accounts and membership. No worries there.

    Our staff has grown a bit and we’ll continue to adjust as Darkpaw evolves and grows into its development strategy and vision. What’s that, you ask? To create immersive entertainment that is socially driven and diverse, enriches lives and fuels imagination.

    That vision comes from decades of working with and listening to our communities about how EverQuest games have impacted, changed, and enhanced their lives. We want to continue it. It’s what we do best.

    Immediately, and in practical terms, our focus is on the fans and investing in our current games and the business of starting new ones. We’re already executing on the plans we had for 2020, like expansions and events for EQ and EQ2.

    We’ll start evaluating the interest in, and logistics of, a fan faire and move forward with that as soon as possible.

    More than anything, we want to deliver on what players love and go even further. We are going to think outside the box a bit, so hold onto your tails!

    This month, we plan to sell a limited run of our EverQuest 20th and EverQuest II 15th anniversary shirts on Amazon. If it goes well, we’ll keep exploring official product ideas. We’ll send out links and details as soon as we have them!

    EverQuest’s first anniversary in its THIRD decade will come in March and we’ve got plans for that, so stay tuned! EverQuest II has its own plans that will roll out soon – Yeehaw!

    Now, with all my heart, thank YOU! We hope you continue to embrace us as we grow into our indie paws. We want to communicate in new ways with our own Darkpaw voice, too. Many of you are familiar with our personalities and we want to live our best life as gamers and developers with you.

    Join the pack! More news as it comes!

    Sincerely, as ever,

    Holly “Windstalker” Longdale

    Executive Producer, Darkpaw Games

    “Never Give Up”
    • Informative Informative x 4
  2. Feldon

    Feldon Administrator Staff Member

    • Informative Informative x 5
  3. Feldon

    Feldon Administrator Staff Member

    Daybreak Introduces Three New Franchise Studios

    Daybreak Introduces Three New Franchise Studios –
    Dimensional Ink Games, Darkpaw Games, and Rogue Planet Games

    Newly Branded Development Teams Reflect “Franchise First” Model to Strengthen Autonomy of Studios with Signature Games and Genres from MMORPG to FPS and Superhero Titles

    dimensional_ink.png rogue_planet_games.png darkpaw_games.png

    SAN DIEGO, CA – Jan. 21, 2020 – Daybreak Games today announced its “Franchise First” initiative in the form of a business structure that establishes three new individual creative franchise studios -- Dimensional Ink Games, Darkpaw Games and Rogue Planet Games. Building on the success of the teams that introduced genre-defining games and franchises including DC Universe™ Online, EverQuest® and PlanetSide®, this business model is the result of a long-term strategy designed to amplify the existing franchises while enabling each studio to further foster its unique identity, community and culture.

    By allowing the identities of each of these studios to thrive under their individual studios, each team will have the flexibility to continue their work developing current and upcoming games, recruiting new talent and building upon the legacy of their respective franchises.

    Dimensional Ink Games in Austin develops and operates DC Universe Online, the one-of-a kind DC Super Hero-based MMORPG enjoyed by millions across PC and consoles. Dimensional Ink will be led by Jack Emmert, the mastermind behind City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, and Neverwinter. The studio will continue to support DCUO while developing its next high-profile action MMO project starting in 2020.

    “Crafting iconic MMORPG experiences has always been Daybreak’s lifeblood,” said Emmert. “We intend to continue that legacy and grow Dimensional Ink, Darkpaw Games and Rogue Planet Games into the future. Whether it’s DC Universe Online, EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide 2 or our future projects, we’ll be giving players their ideal fantasy game experiences for years to come.”

    Darkpaw Games will be focusing on EverQuest, one of the most legendary MMORPG IPs recognized worldwide. Holly Longdale will continue to lead the studio as its Executive Producer. Darkpaw’s mission is to continue to expand upon the unique and amazing fantasy adventure that is EverQuest and EverQuest II and develop the next innovation for the franchise.

    Rogue Planet Games, the studio branch in San Diego that broke new ground in the massively multiplayer first-person shooter genre with PlanetSide and Planetside 2, will be working to craft even more new and unique experiences in the space under Executive Producer Andy Sites at the helm. The team is looking to develop its next genre-defining experience for fans of shooters under its new banner.

    Additional details and information regarding career opportunities can be found at the websites for Dimensional Ink Games, Darkpaw Games and Rogue Planet Games.

    About Daybreak Games

    Daybreak Games is a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games and emergent gameplay best known for its blockbuster hits and franchises, DC Universe™ Online, EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, PlanetSide® 2, and H1Z1®. Daybreak also publishes the Lord of the Rings Online™ and Dungeons & Dragons Online® for Standing Stone Games. The award-winning publisher, developer and creator of compelling online entertainment for a variety of platforms is headquartered in San Diego, and has development studios in Austin, TX and Boston, MA.

    Dimensional Ink Games

    Everyone wants to be a hero, and Dimensional Ink is the team to deliver them exactly that. Led by legendary MMORPG designer Jack Emmert, the Austin, Texas-based development team is drawing not only from their past with the fan-favorite free-to-play DC Universe™ Online, but also Emmert's expertise from City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, and Neverwinter to craft the finest -- and most fun! -- experiences MMORPG fans have ever seen. With more than 20 years developing iconic game worlds under its belt, Dimensional Ink is an incredible place for developers and fans alike.

    Darkpaw Games

    Based in San Diego, CA, Darkpaw Games is the studio that ushered the iconic EverQuest series into legendary status. Filled with passionate players and creators who love MMORPGs, the teams continue to expand EverQuest and EverQuest II. From the game that changed the world of online gaming to even more immersive experiences, Darkpaw Games will continue to inspire and surprise players for decades to come.

    Rogue Planet Games

    With its award-winning PlanetSide franchise, Rogue Planet Games changed the face of the first-person shooter forever. With PlanetSide 2, it continued that legacy and crafted one of the best massively multiplayer games of all time. Now, it looks to build off the revolutionary titles it created to give MMOFPS players exactly what they want. The San Diego-based developer is filled with FPS fanatics who are passionate about continuing to build innovative experiences for players who log on to take aim at their opponents.

    • Informative Informative x 5
  4. Feldon

    Feldon Administrator Staff Member

    I tweeted:

    I really want to see EQ3. I wonder who would design it? EQ2 team are making beautiful zones, art, and animation, but the design/itemization/mechanics have been unfun for me and many other players for a while now. I haven't looked at how EQ players view their game lately.

    Remember too that EQ3 would be written in something modern like Unreal Engine or Lumberyard. These tools are 15-20 years newer than anything the EQ/EQ2 devs use. It would be more of a learning curve for them to switch to new tools than hiring people off the street.

    I wonder if Darkpaw Games has the cash-on-hand to hire and sustain the 50-75 devs for 2 years needed to spin up full development on a new title? Developing an MMO is hard and expensive. It is a marathon not a sprint. A company 3x as big failed to launch EQN.

    Even Rift had to get stretch financing to make it across the finish line and they had a very polished public beta and launch. Feeding EQ/EQ2 revenue into a new game and not into the SOE/Daybreak money pit is a smart move, but I wonder if it's all too late.​
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Fuli

    Fuli Well-Known Member

    Market harvesting.

    Can't wait to be entertained with all the "OMG - they're saved, and, currently developing EQ3!!!!!" comments on the OF.

    Gonna be a lot of awesome funsies to be had.
    • Agree Agree x 6
    • Funny Funny x 2
  6. Zhaanish

    Zhaanish Active Member

    I think it's way too late. And I also think that sadly the MMORPG industry is slowly dying. I think F2P (aka P2W) is killing it for a variety of reasons. The golden (subscription only) age has come and gone. Sure there will be some legacy MMORPGs that hang on and maybe once in a while a new one that is somewhat successful, but I never hear the masses all rave about the same one anymore.

    I laughed at the mention of a fan faire. I certainly won't be attending but if they have one I hope it's really good for the fans that do go. I really enjoyed the last SOE Live (that was my first and last EQ con).

    I'd really be shocked if they could get the funding for an EQ3. I know many of you know that Standing Stone Games (formerly Turbine) that develops LOTRO has a similar relationship with Daybreak as their publisher. I will say they have better communication with players, but that's just because that dev team and their community manager have always done a better job at that than EQ2 devs/PR. The game still suffers from a lot of P2W issues at the end game plus loot boxes that require keys. Also I never hear anything about them developing a new generation of a game that's 13 years old now (LOTRO).

    I think this spin off is just to milk what they can out of these games while separating them from the whole so they can bankrupt one franchise if needed without hurting the whole company.
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  7. Fuli

    Fuli Well-Known Member

    Well, I know many of you folks think I'm just too damn cynical and always assuming the negative, but, well history is useful.

    Longdale said a lot of things she always says. Aside from framing DBG's control as a problem solved with this move, she's hinted that there is another possible EQ project on the table, talked about their commitment to hearing customers - blah blah blah.

    If anyone believes that DBG gave up their ownership of this new LLC, well, I can't help them. They're beyond it.

    This is simply about isolating individual franchises for business purposes and distancing them from DBG's widely despised brand.

    In terms of any new project, where are they going to get the funding? She talks as if they are going to be retaining funds internally, but.....isn't the way producer/development relationships typically work something like this: Darkpaw submits the budget, DBG funds it (if they want to), DBG collects the payments, and DBG keeps the difference between what's collected and what was funded?

    IDK, maybe the new LLC will get some kind of performance bonus sent back their way which they can choose to spend on employee bonuses, new development, etc. That's possible.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
    • Agree Agree x 8
  8. Mermut

    Mermut Active Member

    Typical Holly letter. One tiny grain of fact buried in a huge mountain of fluff and hype.
    • Agree Agree x 10
    • Winner Winner x 1
  9. Cindrax

    Cindrax Active Member

    Money will still flow upwards in the organisation.. hardly anything will be re-invested.. milk until bankrupt is the studios motto!

    Yes, I am also very cynical.
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. Mizgamer62

    Mizgamer62 Active Member

    I read that letter and laughed so hard my face hurt....seriously. What a load.
    • Agree Agree x 6
  11. Cindrax

    Cindrax Active Member

    If it were millions I guess these numbers would be higher:

    • Funny Funny x 5
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. Ruckus

    Ruckus Member

    They should consider their own version of a D&D-like campaign.
  13. Charlice

    Charlice Active Member

    Dear god I can't stand that woman.
    • Funny Funny x 5
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 2
  14. Fuli

    Fuli Well-Known Member

    Lols. I can't stand her either.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. RhodrisNZ

    RhodrisNZ Geographically Challenged

    "Currently, nothing will change for your accounts and membership. No worries there."

    Lots of worries, you mean.....
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. Alarra

    Alarra Active Member

    It was in the pipes for a long while.
    They are spinning a few things in their announcement, but they also did the same before a huge amount of layoffs when they changed to DBG.

    ・Combined Staff Resources.
    ・Combined Infrastructure Resources.
    ・Budgets for each game allocated by upper management.
    ・All Profits go to DBG that is then forwarded to shareholders.

    Divided Staff Resources.
    Divided Infrastructure Resources.
    (the DBG entity may charge rent to the IP Studio for usage of a combined resource)
    ・Budgets for each IP Studio allocated by DBG upper management.
    ・All Profits from each IP is Funneled into DBG that is then forwarded to shareholders.
    ・A loss making IP Studio can be easily sold off or sunset/bankrupted without disrupting the rest of DBG.
    ・The loss is not transferred to DBG itself as it is it's own entity, although DBG may give it additional funding and write it off as a cost.
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. Castegyre

    Castegyre Active Member

    Our motto is "Never Give UP" and our theme song is "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". Super awesome, guys (really, don't look behind the curtain, things are great...)! :rolleyes:

    Also, I've wondered if they are aware or even care about how many superhero MMO players don't like Jack Emmert. I found him to be a nice guy, but not a liked one as far as running a game goes.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Funny Funny x 2
  18. Fuli

    Fuli Well-Known Member

    Just curious.

    As anyone else getting tired of the "Don't blame us. We're heroically keeping your game alive...." messaging?
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
    • Winner Winner x 5
    • Agree Agree x 3
  19. Uxtalzon

    Uxtalzon Member

    Different name, same crap. Prove me wrong.

    Also the irony the name "Daybreak" is supposed to be the antonym of "Sunset" (like, shutting a game down) when that's pretty much all the company did until the name Daybreak is sunset as well.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  20. Alarra

    Alarra Active Member

    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Like Like x 2
    • Shocked Shocked x 1

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