Developer Daybreak revealed today that it has canceled EverQuest Next, the next installment in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game series. EverQuest Next was one of the largest MMOs coming, and its cancellation is further evidence that the once powerful genre is waning in popularity as more competitive PC games like League of Legends — which makes about $1 billion a year from in-game purchases — thrive. For example, the MMO king, World of Warcraft, once had over 12 million subscribers in 2012, but that number shrunk to 5.5 million before Blizzard stopped reporting subscription numbers last year.
So, why did Daybreak cancel EverQuest Next? Apparently, it wasn’t entertaining.
“In the case of EverQuest Next, we accomplished incredible feats that astonished industry insiders,” president Russ Shanks noted on a blog post announcing the cancellation. “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.”
EverQuest Next was working with player-creation tools in a counterpart game, EverQuest Landmark. Daybreak didn’t say that Landmark is also canceled, but it seems likely since it was a companion game to Next. Shanks noted that Daybreak will continue to support the aging original EverQuest (1999) and EverQuest II (2004)