Given the news that former EverQuest executive producer has just revealed she is now working for Blizzard, I’m now going to indulge in some speculation as to why she left Daybreak Games.
In recent articles on this site, I have established that Holly, Luke Sigmund and others contracted by Daybreak Games were in the pre-production process of creating a successor to EverQuest and EverQuest 2.
One of the people contracted by Daybreak to organize and retcon EverQuest’s voluminous lore is named Brian R. James. Brian is one of the most respected RPG lore writers in the world. On Twitter, Brian has rightly dubbed himself the official loremaster of EverQuest.
On September 7, 2018, Brian had a secret meeting with Holly Longdale, Luke Sigmund at Daybreak Games. Brian tweeted about it here:
Brian was clearly very excited and told his followers that something was important was going to be announced in 2019.
I believe that announcement was EverQuest 3.
But 2019, came and went, and the announcement never materialized.
Something changed. I now believe that a proposed EverQuest 3 MMORPG was canceled. In 2018 and 2019, Holly was promoting the idea of a new EverQuest in various interviews. She seemed very excited.
I now believe that in 2020, the new EverQuest 3 MMORPG project was either canceled or changed into something she disagreed with (MOBA or Battle Royale game) or put on the backburner. Disappointed and upset that this happened to a project she had invested much of her time into, Holly Longdale decided that she needed to find other career opportunities and find a stable company that would appreciate her unique talents.
Blizzard Entertainment is what she set her sights on. So she used her remaining time at Daybreak to pad her resume with initiatives that would make her seem desirable to Blizzard.
In 2019, when Holly introduced the PRIDE bunny free vanity pets for EverQuest and EverQuest 2 players, I could never understand why she went to so much trouble to pander to the LGBTQ agenda. It was perplexing.
Now it all makes sense.
The crafty Longdale used precious Daybreak development hours and resources to virtue signal her PRIDE month bunnies program to her future employer Blizzard who at the time was obsessed with diversity, inclusion, and representation — code for the promotion and normalization of the LGBTQ agenda.
The dubious EverQuest Pride Bunny initiative was announced in June 2019. It was in the works for at least a month which meant that it was conceived in May of 2019. My best guess is that Daybreak canceled EverQuest 3 sometime in the spring of 2019 which caused Holly to create her exit strategy from Daybreak and focus on gaining employment at Blizzard.
I may be wrong, but to me, this is the most plausible explanation for Longdale’s decision to leave Daybreak Games.
Virtue signaling in the progressive echo-chamber of the video game industry pays great dividends. I just found out that Tami “Cuppycake” Sigmund who was well-known to the MMO blogosphere as an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ causes over the years (I just found out she’s the ex-wife of Daybreak’s Luke Sigmund), also just got a job at Blizzard in Austin. Once she gets enough time in, she’ll be able to transfer back to California to work at Blizz’s HQ in Irvine.
As predicted in previous articles, Blizzard 2.0 is on a crusade to import as many females, minorities and LGBTQ humanoids into their company. Of course, actual talent is optional as long as you check off the right diversity boxes. I was on LinkedIn a few days ago and noticed that a current female minority WoW producer’s only experience previous to Blizzard/Activision was as a barista at Starbucks. In another year, Blizzard will be unrecognizable and the content will ultimately suffer.
In closing, I read with amusement some of the news articles about Holly’s new employment today. Predictably, not one of them mentioned the identity politics angle which I believe was instrumental in Holly getting her new gig at Blizzard. This omission is because of journalistic incompetence, cowardice and/or complicity. Take your pick.
As real game developers fed up with Blizzard’s political correctness leave, management will be looking for warm bodies to replace them. As ex-SOE/Daybreak community grows at Blizzard, expect more Daybreak employees to jump ship and head to Blizzard in the months ahead. If this keeps up, legendary glorious master MMO designer extraordinaire Alan “Absor” Vancouver could be running DarkPaw games sometimes later in the year. If he’s not available, they may be able to find a company janitor to helm the company.
Personally, I am at the point where I may stop caring about the EverQuest comedy of errors entirely. If there’s no future for EQ outside of rehashed TLP server greed schemes, then count me out. For all of Blizzard’s reprehensible wokeness, at least they got WoW classic right and did not mess with the formula and inject it with cash shops and identity politics. Daybreak Games never did EQ classic justice and it’s a testament to the insatiable greed and avarice of its owners past and present.
Over the years, EQ fans and many EQ devs have been abused and disrespected by the respective owners of the franchise who have mismanaged this franchise. We are well beyond the “fool me twice” maxim.
I spoke with a long-time friend and guildmate who still plays EQ on the TLP servers and I asked her why she still plays, she replied: “This game gets to you. It’s in your blood…”
I think she’s right.