View Full Version : McQuaid Calls it Quits
Sony Online Entertainment Announces Departure of Chief Creative Officer, Brad McQuaid
SAN DIEGO, CA - October 12, 2001 - Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), announced today that Brad McQuaid, one of the original creators of EverQuest, will be leaving the company after five years of service. Mr. McQuaid was instrumental in the launch and success of the world's largest subscription-based online game and was a key spokesman in the online community that nurtured EverQuest's growth.
"After five years of building the EverQuest franchise for Sony Online Entertainment, it's time for me to explore other opportunities in the creative development of massively multiplayer games," said Brad McQuaid. "I wish SOE the greatest success with all future releases and I have the greatest confidence in the ability of the development staff that we've assembled over the past few years to continue expanding the EverQuest experience."
"Brad's contribution to gaming philosophy that evolved into EverQuest has been recognized throughout the gaming world as one of the premier accomplishments of the past decade in the business," states John Smedley, Chief Operating Officer, Sony Online Entertainment. "It's been a pleasure working with Brad for the past few years as a colleague and a friend and I'm certain that he will continue to contribute innovative and exciting game technology in the future."
"Brad's passion for excellence in all things EverQuest has made a material impact in the success of this groundbreaking title," said Kelly Flock, President, Sony Online Entertainment. "I know he will continue to be a force in this emerging market and all of us at Sony Online Entertainment look forward to the possibility of working with him again in the future."
John Smedley, Chief Operating Officer and a partner in the conception and production of EverQuest, will assume Brad McQuaid's responsibilities.
Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), the online gaming division of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, is a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming. Headquartered in San Diego, California, SOE develops, publishes and distributes entertainment for the PC and online markets. With more than 10 million registered users, SOE's award-winning website, The Station® (www.station.com) hosts a variety of entertaining games and player communities spanning all genres. In addition to blockbuster hits EverQuest® and Jeopardy! Online, SOE has an array of cutting-edge online games in development such as PlanetSide™, Star Wars® Galaxies™ and Sovereign™.
10-12-01, 01:38 PM
Heh, bet he didnt like sony trying to get him to work on Starwars and that fps online shooter they have.
Oh well. Bye bye Everquest 2.0 Rodcet Nife Ring Warden
"Nicotine is not addictive" Tobacco Industry
"Rogues are a balanced class"-Gordon
10-12-01, 01:46 PM
Wow i guess the hack ban policy really DOES effect everyone ouch. Dazzler Twodirks
Rogue of the 51st 5 finger discount
Guildleader of The Blades of Honor
Resident of Erollisi Marr
Assistant of GM Valtron in the Verant Interactive Debugging Team (Players Division)
Card Carrying Member of The SafehouseMariah of Fironia VieThe Language Lady from KelethinWood Elf Rogue
10-12-01, 02:06 PM
Bet y'all 5 plat he goes and play DAoC
10-12-01, 02:07 PM
More like he's thinking, gee, i bet i can get payed a hell of a lot more at a new company ... especially after being one of the big guys in the most successful mmog yet. Brelkor the Blackhammer The Masta Back Stabba, retired rogue
Mordain The Rebel Fixer, procuring for the Clans since day 1
"I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer." -- Homer Simpson."
10-12-01, 04:47 PM
brad should give his head a shake. he had job security at sony. EQ is the best of the best so far in the mmog arena. what a tool..
10-12-01, 05:27 PM
Well said this in the other thread but as its lkely to get locked here goes.
Any money he suddenly appears in the development of one of the newer games.
AO, DAOC, shadow watever yer call it etc etc.
He's been head hunted I guarantee it. Happens in my industry all the time (mobile phones). An it ahppened in all the industries i was in before.
Top guys allways get head hunted as much for their name as their ability.
Lets wait to see where he turns up.
Course he might have been sacked for a @#%$ up we dont know about! Lets see if Luclin comes out on time and has everything they say it will have on release!
10-12-01, 06:19 PM
I nominate Kendrick for new Creative Content Officer!!!!!
Monday morning at Verant-ville.... all is quiet around the water cooler when Cartman-Kendrick sez, "Respect muh author'itay Smedley!"
/em spirals off into the land of Friday mental burnout at work.
10-12-01, 08:42 PM
Brad had a numbers of things going for him at Verant but I wouldn't rate job security as one of them. In the volatile business that is computer gaming, there is no such thing as long term security except perhaps through mobility. You don't really think EQ is going to be around in 10 years do you? Heck, gaming companies come and go, even ones that dominate their little niches. I do wish Mr. McQuiad all the best though, the guy did a pretty good job, all things considered.
Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.
Glip the Gnome
10-12-01, 10:08 PM
I guarantee you he didn't get fired.
But his account was hacked so he MUST have been sharing it with people, violating the EULA !!!
"Don't let your head get cut off unless you really know what you're doing. -Glip
Glip the Gnome
10-12-01, 11:54 PM
I really don't think this is a good time to get into one of those arguments again.
10-13-01, 02:56 AM
What does this bde for EQ do you think? Does this herald the end of EQ peak, and its decline. No more expansions? We will have to wait and see. The Unfetered One
Unholmed of The Twelve of Never
57th Circle of the Unseen Hand
"I should imagine that the conditions in the cockpit are unimaginable!"
"You might not think that's cricket. And it's not, it's motor racing." - Murray Walker
Glip the Gnome
10-13-01, 03:42 AM
Nah we won't. Smedley is a smart guy. I'm positive he'll do just as good a job as Brad was doing.
10-13-01, 04:19 AM
does anyone really think that SoL isn't EQ's last breath anyway? By the time people eat up the new content there and more and more new games are here, I really doubt Sony sees EQs customer base continue to rise in the year following SoL. Just my 2cp.
10-13-01, 08:09 AM
EQ around in the next 5 years? i'd say absolutely. 10 years? iffy, but its more likely to happen than not to happen.
absolutely there is job security in the software industry. Id software.. blizzard.. verant.. all staples of the industry.
10-13-01, 05:09 PM
10 Years ago you'd have said Origin was a staple. Now they are gone.
There is very little job security in the gaming business. I've been in the industry for almost 9 years -- and most of that time I've been wondering if the company I worked for was going to make it to the end of the year.
Khadaji, Clan SoldierJuete, Clan AssassinGilshalos, Clan EnforcerTelurinon Aelvenborne, 50th Rogue of Black IsleMangore Orcsplitter, 39th Warrior of Black Isle
Skating away on the thin ice of a new day.
EZ_Warangel T Marr
10-14-01, 07:43 PM
20 hours per week is the average amount of time played per eq player.
i seriously doubt people who invest that much are likely to jump ship so readily
Glip the Gnome
10-14-01, 08:22 PM
And don't forget Verant has certain other huge for sure best seller games that are going to be coming out in the next few years.
10-14-01, 10:58 PM
verant isnt its own company anymore its a totally owned division of SOE so i doubt they will go away anytime soon though in a few years we may see them merge servers as some get closed, im betting the zeks go first.
10-15-01, 07:09 AM
Yeah, Sony has another huge massively multiplayer game coming out. And it's not Brad who is at the visionary controls of that one ; it's Raph Koster. Brad probably wants to sit at the visionary head of the most successful MMORPG in the business. His track record with EQ shows he can handle it. Yet Sony chose Koster to do that for Star Wars Galaxies.
From a business stand point, Sony will probably try to end of life EQ at the right time to get people to move to Star Wars Galaxies. Then EQ will be in pure maintenance mode while Star Wars get the attention. I dunno when Galaxies is set to release, but that could put Luclin as the last release of EQ and the visionary decision making opportunities could be at an end sooner rather than later.
I'd think Brad wants to be in control of the big decisions at a top game, not head the PR desk of some product in maintence while Raph Koster commands the flagship product. Hence he gets out to look for another opportunity that more aligns with what he wants out for a job and where he sees his skills are instead of raking in the money doing something he doesn't want to do.
- Pini (guessing)
10-15-01, 10:25 AM
Guessing is fun.
Here’s my guess. As Stytch said, Brad was recruited. The REAL money, is in bringing a company public or positioning it to be purchased (see…Verant). For example: Brad joins a hot startup company. If he can make it a success (and hence in demand), he could get millions out of the deal. Just by joining the company, his name makes it hot.
This has nothing to do with DOAC, or Sony. Brad is just taking his shot. Brad is attempting to repeat Verant’s success, but this time he’ll be position to earn even more cash. If he can’t repeat his success, he’ll jump ship to another company, and repeat.
10-15-01, 12:20 PM
Intresting stuff...sniped this from flamevault, though in the thread do have some ppl from the "industry" even commenting on it
Here is what seems too descriptive to be fake....
OK, here's the story I heard, from someone still working at SOE SD. I'll start from a couple of years ago.
Kelly Flock spins off redeye/verant basically to give Smedley an object lesson-- surrounding yourself with talentless friends leads to ruin. Brad McQuaid was, and is, one of Smedley's talentless friends. Smedley is a stand-up guy. He'll always protect his friends... especially when he thinks they're directly responsible for making him a millionaire! Verant, the company, was just enough rope for Smed to hang himself. Kelly Flock assumed Verant would fail and Smed would learn his lesson. It didn't.
Brad McQuaid got lucky.
Prior to 1996, he had developed a shareware RPG in his spare time, and he played the hell out of a popular DIKUmud set in D&D's Forgotten Realms called Sojourn. In 1996, he was in the right place at the right time, and seized the oppurtunity to create a graphical version of his favorite MUD. After years of work with a huge team, with a huge budget, with a huge fanfare, Everquest was released in 1998. It made a gazillion dollars and is still raking in the cash hand over fist this very day.
Things weren't coming up roses at 989/redeye/verant. Brad himself had basically done no work whatsoever since Everquest's release, and many (including Kelly Flock) think he didn't do anything *before* its release. Brad thought of himself as infallible, and Everquest's incredible success, his millions, and his ferrari were all proof of his greatness. Being crowned a "Game @#%$" by PC Gamer didn't help either. His self-aggrandizement cannibalized Verant's customer relations for its entire existance. He insisted on being the sole point of contact with the public to promote his own name, and he did a miserable job.
Just this past week, he released Luclin screenshots without authorization and got incredibly defensive when SOE PR got upset. He sent out an email with a smarmy "I've been doing this for years, and the fact is that the screenshots were fine, people just hate change." His first hire for player relations, Gordon Wrinn, was, unbelievably enough, worse.
But people don't, as a rule, get fired from Verant. They quit. Like the lead graphics programmer, who quit a week after Everquest shipped. And his replacement, Brian Hook, who quit in disgust mere months after being hired. Then another EQ programmer left. And another. Then many others asked to be moved off the team.
(edit: as of today, SOE is beginning a round of layoffs. SOE is losing money. This is probably due more to the advertising crash than the pushed-back release dates, though.)
Smedley thinks everybody's happy because Verant had a low turnover. Even though everybody there is miserable, even the staff artists are making $125k/year and can't find a better job elsewhere.
Some were "promoted" off the team. Like Brad McQuaid. He was moved because they were "borderline ready to revolt". They "hated Brad so much they wanted to puke and constantly bitched about him." Now the EQ Live team is "busy hating Jeff Butler with a passion". Butler is a "major Brad lackey". The factions are split "more like 90:10 on the hate Brad/Jeff vs. like Brad/Jeff side. It was BAD." He is "so hated at Verant that out of a team of 60 people less than 10 would go with him. Probably closer to 5."
Note the quotemarks.
So anyway, Everquest made money like crazy, and Flock admitted his mistake. SOE bought out Verant for a tidy sum and Flock accepted Brad because he thought he was "part of the magic". Today he admitted his mistake. Sony Pictures (SOE's parent company) looked at the balance sheet, and Brad's salary, and the fact that titles kept getting pushed back. They essentially accused Smedley and Brad of lying to them about Verant's condition before the purchase, mainly the ship dates for Sovereign, EQ2, SWG, and Planetside. None of these games will ship before 2003, mostly through gross mismanagement.
Sovereign, for example, is Smed's baby. Smedley is Executive Producer on the project, and the producer is his lackey. The producer has absolutely no experience whatsoever in management. He's a former QA tester, 22 years old. The lead programmer is talented but anal and non-decisive. They already sacked the former lead programmer and two designers. The problem is really Smed, but he'll never admit it.
Anyway, Sony Pictures @#%$ itself, and Kelly Flock, who never liked Brad, feels the heat. In the meeting yesterday, Kelly says "Okay guys, this is @#%$, what the @#%$ are you doing?!" Brad and Smed get flustered, some words are thrown around, accusations are made of Brad being a no-talent weenie, and Brad decides on the spot to leave.
When SOE bought Verant, they gave both Smed and Brad three year contracts. Sony Pictures and Kelly Flock were *so* incensed at the cluster!$!% that is Verant that they basically said "@#%$ it guys, you wanna leave, fine, we need to clean up this mess and you're not going to be much help."
Verant as an entity, much like Origin, no longer exists. It's been disassembled and absorbed into Sony Online Entertainment.
The EQ live and EQ2 teams are in shock. Nobody knew that Brad was going to leave. They heard about it the same time you did.
And that's it.
Edit: Filter missed some -Glip
Edited by: Glip the Gnome at: 10/15/01 4:03:30 pm
Glip the Gnome
10-15-01, 02:05 PM
I find that very hard to swallow. Mainly because I know for a fact that Brad was the only reason a lot of stuff got done over there and was a major driving force.
That was almost certainly written by some pissed off guy who just doesn't like Brad. Insider or not.
10-16-01, 04:23 AM
remember how i said EQ could be around 10 years from now? after seeing DAoC, theres no way EQ can survive. I think that stopping players from knowing the server population isnt about marketing; its about not letting people know how low their player population is right now. I play on Zebuxoruk, a lot of the high end game is disappearing because guilds are in exodus. and DAoC sounds so good i might jump ship.
anyone checked out playerauctions.com?? everyday more accounts with 58+ epic characters go up. theres a wizard with the alkabor staff for sale.. DAoC is sucking the blood out of EQ.
I'm not sure what DAOC has to do with Brad McQuaid...
Anyway. In this market, jumping ship for a startup is not a good idea. I suspect he will end up at a very big company, like the Microsoft X-Box team. That would be smart. Edited by: Lisboa at: 10/16/01 11:48:23 pm
Glip the Gnome
10-16-01, 09:58 PM
How is it not a good idea? Tons of people do it, and a lot of them do quite well.
As long as you can put out quality product.
10-17-01, 05:03 AM
Jumping ship for a startup CAN be a very good idea. It is not very financially secure, but Brad might well have teh capatial to take the risk at the moment.
And ending up in an administrative position will never satisfy you if you are a creater at heart. It is not only about money. Ishwar - level 47 Barbarian Rogue - Bertoxx
10-22-01, 12:50 AM
Well, the high handed way Brad has treated the public in the past lends credence to that post. And, Gordon was even worse, that guy was terrible. Who knows what really happened, I sure don't. Glip may have it on the money, the guy sure sounds like a Brad hater. BUT, I do think that the other thing that lends credibility to this is the whole Luclin thing. I'm sorry, but some of those modesl are @#%$ awful ugly. And Brad basically did say "who cares how many of you don't like them...you just aren't used to them" in not so many words.
I do know one thing for sure. Name recognition could get Brad just about any job he wants in the industry. IF Brad really did get things done, IF he was worth half a damn, and IF he has a modicum of intelligence, he CAN put a world of hurt on EQ. He could do serious damage by heading to..say....Shadowbane. Or Horizons. With Horizons playable races being so unique, it will definitely give it a niche. Just some observations. -Elaith
Glip the Gnome
10-22-01, 04:53 PM
I think he left because he wanted to be someplace where he was on a more personal and creative level with one project at a time. Rather than overseeing lots of them, like he was doing with Verant.
But thats just what I think.
Who knows? Maybe he just wants to spend time with his family.
And don't twist his words around. For starters, the models aren't even finished yet, and he never even came close to saying he didn't care what anyone thinks.
10-22-01, 06:09 PM
Verant made a post saying females would be more clothed and no more thongs.
Around the same time Brad quits!
COINCIDENCE! I THINK NOT!
10-24-01, 03:09 AM
hah finally some damn confirmation on what I've been saying about brad & sojourn forever :P I grouped with the original aradune mwahaha
and yeah, eq really is sojourn graphical, so I don't doubt at all that he had a huge part in the making of it..
11-27-01, 02:59 AM
I don't buy the 'insider information' as 100% true, to be honest. I'm sure there's been infighting in Verant..there is in every company, but EQ *does* owe most of its success to Brad. And most of that because of his personal interaction with the playerbase. EQ is about to start losing its playerbase, and dwindling in size. Combine that with the massive corporation's desire of only the bottom line, and I'd wager you have most of Brad's reasons' for leaving. And Brad's name alone is worth whatever his salary is...business people know that much.
and a few things about the article...
"Kelly Flock spins off redeye/verant basically to give Smedley an object lesson-- surrounding yourself with talentless friends leads to ruin. Brad McQuaid was, and is, one of Smedley's talentless friends. Smedley is a stand-up guy. He'll always protect his friends... especially when he thinks they're directly responsible for making him a millionaire"
I should say so he's responsible....Smed was hired by Brad *after* EQ had been out...what 6 months or so? As I recall, Brad stepped down as president of Verant, and gave the job over to Smed. The foundation of this article as having Smed being one of the 'ground floor' guys is false.
"After years of work with a huge team, with a huge budget, with a huge fanfare, Everquest was released in 1998"
Nitpicky, but EQ was released in '99, not '98.
please correct me if I'm wrong.
11-28-01, 02:56 PM
An interesting fact for you guys, It may or may not be relevent.
As I mentioned Im in the Mobile phone industry. Sony mobile phones has just folded and sold out to Ericsson Mobile phones!
Are Sony closing ranks and cutting down in the coming recession?
I still think Brad has gone for a better offer somewhere else as whilst many may think DAOC is better than EQ the fact is the player base is increasing and there is room for more big players and still leave EQ with a big enough base to make LOADSA MONEY!
Course its all just speculation and we will see in the next few months if Brads name appears elsewhere.
It may take a while though cos if he resigned rather than got the push his contract probably states he cant advertise a competitor for X amount of time.