Darkpaw Reveals at PAX East that a New EverQuest is Still in Internal Ideation Phase

A video of Darkpaw’s PAX East 2024 panel just dropped and the studio just revealed the sobering reality that a new version of EverQuest is still in an internal ideation phase. Ideation is a fancy new buzzword which means they are still trying to figure out what a new EQ will be. Therefore new version of EverQuest is at least 5 years away if not longer. Here’s the video cued to the exact spot where this is revealed:

Here’s the transcript of Jen Chan’s comments on a new EverQuest product:

Let’s talk a little bit about the new EverQuest game. I know some of you are super excited to hear some more about that. I don’t really have a big update for you, I have a small update. We’ve been pitching, ideating, on the next installment in the multiverse of EverQuest. And the project is in its infancy. So many things can change between now and when we’re ready to publicly talk about it. So, it’s in development. Well not really, we don’t call it development, it’s in ideation. We are continuing to work on it and to see what sticks to the wall. Throwing spaghetti ideas to the wall. But again, the project is still in its infancy. If you would like to help us out, we are hiring.

That’s all you got after 4 years of Darkpaw Games existence which was specifically created to steward the EverQuest franchise into the future?

What a bunch of worthless slackers they are. This low-calorie word salad from Chan is unbelievable, shocking, and shameful. I’d love to help them out. I would start by firing each and every one of those lazy bastards.

For a super EQ fan like myself, the fact that they still haven’t figured out how to make a new Norrath by now is disheartening and depressing.

The biggest problem is that Daybreak Games and Darkpaw Games do not have the gravitas, the track record, the work ethic, and the creative talent to conceive and create a new EverQuest. I can’t think of one developer that works at Darkpaw that has distinguished themselves in any meaningful way. The very studio that has run the EQ franchise into the ground is the last group of people that I would entrust to chart the future of EQ.

To my knowledge, there is no one currently at Darkpaw who has elucidated a positive vision for the future of EverQuest that is compelling and captivating. Not one person at Darkpaw has published a vision for a new EverQuest since Holly Longdale left Darkpaw and joined Blizzard. There is no palpable passion and excitement for this franchise forthcoming from this merry band of shady imbeciles.

Perhaps the worst thing about Darkpaw is that they do not have the trust and confidence of their players. This is understandable considering the reality that Jennifer Chan has made no substantive effort to talk to players and get to know them as she promised when she was promoted to studio head back in March 2020.

The rest of her team of neckbeards followed her poor example and also avoided conversing with EQ players. Instead, they hide in their beige cubicles and fiddle while Norrath burns. These developers have had 4 years to reach out to existing EQ players and show that they care about Norrath and the players and they failed. Ex-Blizzard employee Thor from PirateGames talks about this in a video:

Thor is right.

The most important thing that an MMORPG studio needs to do is to show that cares about its players. If you care about your players, then you’ll have the decency to talk to your players. If you don’t reach out to your players and have meaningful conversations with them then you are demonstrating that you do not care about them.

Darkpaw Games is a studio that does not care about its players. But it goes beyond that, it’s the fact that they have contempt for their players. Leaving only 10 minutes for player questions at PAX is highly disrespectful. They wasted most of their presentation by talking about the past of EverQuest which is information that is already readily available on the internet. Most of their hour at PAX was pure filler and most likely resurrected from a previous private GDC 20th Anniversary of EverQuest presentation in 2019. The lack of respect for the fans here is astounding. It didn’t help that some of the questioners asked stupid questions about Linux and where is Burned Woods (a tired old joke about EQ).


It is obvious there is no sense of urgency and accountability at Darkpaw Games. I sense no passion for EverQuest coming from these developers. They radiate a Department of Motor Vehicles vibe.

Darkpaw can’t attract serious talent because they have a terrible reputation in the industry for being hacks who don’t give a damn about games or their players. The sad result is that this studio is staffed by a skeleton crew of washed-up, slovenly, mediocre developers who despise their players and only care about developing new monetization schemes to please their corporate masters and investors. The management of their parent company Daybreak Games is equally incompetent, indifferent, and corrupt.

Enad Global 7 who owns Daybreak is wholly unqualified to be involved in the ideation phase of a new EverQuest because they have no track record of developing a successful game from scratch. All EG7 does is buy old video game franchises and milk them for every last drop before their players lose interest or die off.

Whatever vision of a new Norrath that they come up with you can be sure it will be cringeworthy and it will flop. I’m almost longing for the days when John Smedley was running EverQuest. At least he had the decency to come up with new ideas and some semblance of a work ethic, unlike the current team of uninspired, indolent losers. For all of Smed’s faults, at least he was there when EQ was created.

The only hope for a new EQ is if they go outside the studio and find a creative team that is not shackled to Daybreak and Darkpaw’s studio culture of mediocrity, corruption, and dysfunction. Since they lack the humility and self-awareness to suggest this, I would think that only Ji Ham of Enad Global 7 has the clout to make this happen.

They should also reach out to former EQ/WoW developers from the old days and form a special advisory council like the Council of Elrond in Lord of the Rings. There are a lot of excellent veteran developers out there who could give them some expert advice on how to proceed with a new EverQuest. If I were in charge here’s who I would consider: Geoffrey Zatkin, Jeff Butler, Scott Hartsman, Raph Koster, Jeff Kaplan, Rob Pardo, and Alex Afrasiabi in no particular order. Put all of these dudes together in a Zoom call or send them to a retreat in Aspen and see what happens.

As I stated in a previous article about the future of EverQuest, all of this is probably moot because, by the time a new EQ MMORPG is released, there will be very few gamers who even know what EQ is all about. EverQuest has about as much name recognition as RC Cola does in today’s beverage industry. Timing is everything and because of Enad Global 7’s perpetual dithering, I still believe the window of opportunity has passed them by.