There is no doubt that Everquest was a groundbreaking game when it first came out in 1999. It was one of the first MMORPGs to ever hit the market, and it quickly gained a large following.
Everquest 2 was released in 2004, and many players were disappointed with the direction that the game was taken in.
Not to mention the huge disappointment of Everquest Next and Landmark. So the question on everyone’s mind is…will there ever be an Everquest 3?
Everquest Next was essentially going to be Everquest 3. The title managed to build up plenty of hype after it was announced with its open world that could be terraformed and shaped by the players.
EQNext was sadly terminated back in 2016 with the developers not providing much information as to why. Only stating that “the game wasn’t fun”.
Three years went by without much news on a third Everquest title, but in 2019 rumors started to spread that Daybreak Games might be working on a third installment in the series.
The reason behind these rumors was the fact that Daybreak Games was splitting into three development studios, Dimensional Ink, Rogue Planet Games, and Darkpaw Games.
Darkpaw Games, named after the Darkpaw gnoll clan in Everquest, would handle the Everquest franchise and nothing else. Fans started to speculate that there wasn’t a need to have an entire company dedicated to just managing Everquest 1 and 2 and that this could mean that an Everquest 3 was in the works again.
Later in 2019 Executive Producer for the EverQuest Franchise Holly Longdale along with other Darkpaw developers hosted an AMA where Longdale was asked about a potential Everquest remake and answered:
“We will definitely do something with the IP. A strict remake? Probably not. Will it embody the EQ spirit, most likely yes.”
And when asked about Everquest 3 she said:
“We have spent a lot of time looking into the future and how we build this franchise up even better than we have in the past.” continuing “Someday soon we hope to take advantage of that global recognition and release something new. Can’t say when. Have no details.”
A few months later Longdale gave an interview to The Everquest Show on Youtube. When asked if there was a new Everquest game in development, Longdale answered that she couldn’t comment on what is currently in development but that she promised that there is a future for Everquest and that they (Daybreak) would take advantage of the IP when they craft a new game.
Longdale left Daybreak in 2020 to work for Blizzard on WoW Classic and is now an Executive Producer on retail WoW. So it’s uncertain whether the same plans for a new EQ game are still in the works without Longdale at the helm.
A year later, at the end of 2021, news broke that Amazon Games had posted several job listings looking for developers to work on an “unannounced game built by a team of veterans from many popular titles like Everquest, Planetside, H1Z1, and Free Realms” (All Daybreak titles), implying that Amazon Games is working on a title with Daybreak Games.
This was right after the release of New World, and before it had started losing mass amounts of players, so who knows what plans might have changed since then.
And finally, last month it was announced that Enad Global 7, the owners of Daybreak had decided to cancel Daybreak’s upcoming Marvel MMO and that
“The company will now diversify this investment across multiple, smaller size projects within the group, including the previously announced major upgrades to The Lord of the Rings Online and DC Universe Online, and new game opportunities with our first party, original IPs.”
The first party, original IPs could certainly mean Everquest. Whether this could mean Everquest 3 or the existing Everquest games remains speculation, but it could mean that a potential Everquest 3 would have its budget increased.
So does Everquest still have a large enough fanbase for a third game?
One of the things that have become apparent in recent years is that there won’t ever be a World of Warcraft killer like it was prophecized back in the early 2010s.
WoW has suffered and continues to suffer a death by a thousand cuts, and lately, WoW’s biggest enemy has been Blizzard itself.
Back when Daybreak was developing Everquest Next, MMO studios were still aiming for their games to be the “WoW killer”, whereas today they might be looking to just get a piece of the ever-expanding pie that is the MMO market.
Upcoming MMOs such as Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, Ashes of Creation, and Camelot Unchained have also shown that more players than ever are looking for a modern MMO built on old-school MMORPG principles.
And niche titles such as Albion Online have shown that smaller MMOs can survive and even thrive without being anything near a WoW-killer.
Over the next few years, we will most likely be looking at a situation where a large portion of the Everquest 1 and 2 player base will make the switch to Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and Ashes of Creation.
Everquest 1 and 2 have actually seen their player bases increase over the last few years despite being released two decades ago. Much of this can be attributed to the release of TLE (time-locked expansion) servers that caters to the nostalgia of MMO veterans.
Everquest’s unofficial classic server, Project 1999, has also been doing well, but they will undoubtedly all see a loss of players as Pantheon and Ashes of Creation gets closer to an official release, meaning that Daybreak and Darkpaw Games must do something in order to keep their players.
The good news for Daybreak is that this means that there is a player base there, the bad news is that it might be tough keeping them.
So, what would Everquest 3 look and play like?
We think it’s safe to say it won’t look anything like Everquest Next at least. Not only did EQNext fail but the art style also divided the Everquest fans with its cartoony graphics that had no basis in the look of either Everquest 1 or 2.
EQ2 had more stylized graphics than EQ, but to this day most Everquest fans prefer the more semi-realistic look of the original EQ, however outdated they might be.
If we take a look at Ashes of Creation we can clearly see that they have been pushing the envelope of what graphics are possible in an MMO with the help of Unreal Engine 5, and the idea of an Everquest with updated graphics but keeping the old-school design ideas has been a dream for Everquest fans for years.
It’s probably also safe to assume that EQ3 would go the sandbox route and be similar to the original Everquest, as they tried to go the theme park route with EQ2 and it didn’t really work. Also, the core fanbase of Everquest and old-school MMORPGs generally tend to be sandbox fans over theme parks.
It also seems like theme park MMOs have been falling out of fashion over the last few years, with sandbox games gaining popularity.
Based on this we speculate that a potential new addition to the Everquest franchise will be a semi-realistic-looking, community-focused, old-school-inspired sandbox MMO, similar to what we see Pantheon and Ashes of Creations currently developing into.
Whether or not this will ever come to fruition, only time will tell.
Do you have hopes that there ever will be an Everquest 3? And what would you like it to look like? Let us know in the comments below!