The EverQuest license can count on longevity and a very loyal community of players. An observation which pushes the Enad Global 7 group to “think” about the development of a new EverQuest which is not intended to be accessible.
If the first EverQuest was launched almost a quarter of a century ago (early 1999), the license remains popular with MMORPG players – at least enough for the Daybreak studio to continue to regularly produce extensions to enrich the worlds of EverQuest and EverQuest 2. In this context, for several years now, rumors have regularly mentioned the development of an EverQuest 3, and the rumor was revived again recently with the recruitment of a creative director at Darkpaw Gamesthe Daybreak subsidiary in charge of operating the franchise.
The case of a new EverQuest came back to the forefront last week, this time mentioned by Ji Ham, the boss ofEnad Global 7 (the parent company of Daybreak Game) who spoke at length during his group’s Capital Markets Day in Stockholm, both to praise the economic performance ofEG7, retain its shareholders and attract potential new investors. The presentation was recorded, EverQuest is mentioned from 2:18 in the video below.
EverQuest, a community of loyal players
The presentation is notably an opportunity to better understand the behavior of players in titles operated by Enad Global 7 subsidiaries. According to Ji Ham, DC Universe Online is for example the game which generates the highest turnover in the group’s catalog (between two and four million dollars per month, for around 300,000 monthly active players), but which also has the most volatile community of players, with ups and downs – a phenomenon that Ji Ham explains by the fact that the superhero MMO is a cross-platform game (hence a higher turnover than its competitors) but also a very accessible game which leads to poor retention (players invest little and connect only once in a while).
Conversely, EverQuest generates a relatively modest turnover (around $500,000 per month), but extremely stable over time, because players are “incredibly loyal” to the license and connect very quickly. regularly on the game servers. The first EverQuest thus has around 100,000 active players each month, just like The Lord of the Ring Online, regardless of the events or the context (for example, the figures remained the same during the pandemic and then when things returned to normal).
A “hardcore” MMORPG can be mainstream
And with this observation, among the projects carried out by Enad Global 7, Ji Ham openly mentioned a possible next EverQuest which would currently be “in the reflection phase” within the Daybreak Game and Darkpaw teams, which could benefit from a budget of “more than 30 million dollars” from 2025, with a view to a planned launch in 2028. If all this is still very hypothetical, we mainly remember that this next EverQuest could be a “hardcore MMORPG”.
Ji Ham starts from an observation and draws on the example ofElden Ring signed by FromSoftware. In recent years, the gaming industry has focused on accessibility and games aimed at the widest audience. With Elden Ring, FromSoftware made the opposite bet by offering a hardcore game displaying a high level of difficulty and Elden Ring was nevertheless a commercial success – 30 million dollars budget, more than 20 million copies sold and almost a billion in turnover. According to Ji Ham, the gaming industry can thank FromSfotware for demonstrating that hardcore games can be mass market titles.
However, he clearly believes that there are similarities between EverQuest and Elden Ring: both licenses benefit from a certain notoriety among players (in its time, EverQuest competed with World of Warcraft) and according to Ji Ham, FromSoftware “has been making the same game for years but improves its formula with each iteration.” Daybreak could therefore “remake” an EverQuest, but brought up to date and assuming its hardcore side to address historical fans of the license – he specifies that it would indeed be a new MMORPG (and not ‘a remake of the previous opuses), but based on the historical codes of the franchise.
Can the formula be a winner? Time will tell. Above all, we remember that the MMORPG is still currently being considered: the orientation of its gameplay can therefore still change and the project itself can also be canceled and never see the light of day – for the record, Enad Global 7 is very quick to use large licenses to attract investors, before abandoning its projects (Lord of the Ring Online was, for example, to benefit from a boost during the broadcast of the series The Rings of Power from Prime Video, and it is still waiting; and later, EG7 also announced the development of an MMORPG Marvel before canceling it six months later).