John Smedley Steps Down as Daybreak CEO

Earlier tonight, GamesBeat broke the news that John Smedley has stepped down from his position as President and CEO of Daybreak Game Company. This move comes in the wake of recent DDoS attacks and the subsequent deletion of Smedley's social media accounts (most notably on Twitter and Reddit). According to Daybreak's spokesperson, Smedley will be "taking some time off from the company" before "transitioning to a different role to be determined."

To take up the reigns of President is COO Russell Shanks, who has been with the company since its inception. Continue reading after the jump for some personal commentary on this development from former PlanetSide 2 Creative Director Matt Higby.

Recruit Reward Program Closed Down

Daybreak has announced that the Recruit Reward program has been discontinued. As posted on the official forums:

Hail Norrathians!

In July of 2013, the Beta for the Recruit Rewards program launched. This program allowed anyone with a then-Station Account to earn special items by inviting friends to join them in their favorite games.

Over the past two years, we have gathered a lot of excellent information and feedback about this recruitment program, on everything from system set-up and maintenance to the types of rewards that were found most desirable.

At this time, we have decided that we are going to end the Recruit Rewards Beta and will not be continuing with the program in its current form. Though we will not be launching Recruit Rewards, your feedback remains valuable to us as we explore the development of other new and different programs here at Daybreak.

What if I sent out invitations that weren’t accepted yet? Since the Recruit Rewards Beta program is now closed, the invites will no longer work. Please encourage your friends to create an account at www.daybreakgames.com and join you in game!

What’s going to happen to the rewards I already earned? Nothing! Those are yours to keep and enjoy; previously granted rewards will not be wiped or removed from your account.

But I was so close to the next level of Achievement rewards! Is there anything I can do? Since the program is now closed, you will not be able to earn any additional recruits towards your achievement. However, to say thank you for your participation in the Beta of this program, if you achieved Delegate Level (Tier One) or higher, we will grant you the in-game items available at the next highest tier in your primary game.

How are you determining my primary game? Your primary game is determined as the game where you chose to receive your first achievement reward (Delegate/Tier One Level) after successfully recruiting two friends who made at least $10.00 worth of qualifying purchases.

I have another question or issue with my Recruit Rewards account that isn’t answered here. What do I do? Please contact our Customer Service team at help.daybreakgames.com.

Thank you again for participating in and providing feedback about the Beta of Recruit Rewards.

Daybreak Games: Roundtable With Smedley & Naviaux

Daybreak Game Company unveiled its new logo and website last week, giving a fresh face as it looks toward the future. We chatted with Daybreak President John Smedley and the Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing Laura Naviaux yesterday evening about the origins of the company's new name and logo, Columbus Nova, the future of its fan convention, and more.

John Smedley Explains Recent Interview Comments

During a recent interview, Daybreak President John Smedley was quoted as stating the following:

"I firmly believe the days of the WoW-style MMO are over," Smedley said. "And that means we have to change with the times. Luckily, we were kind of early on that bus as opposed to late. But we're changing what we're making. Look at H1Z1. Is it an MMO? Sure, by definition, but I would consider it a session-based online game with a lot of people. And I say that because the average life expectancy in H1Z1 might be 45 minutes, and that's what today's gamers want. How many people do you still know that are still raiding in WoW every night, or EverQuest and EverQuest II? It's just the time commitment necessary has changed so much. That means we need to change with the times, and we are. So we're getting interested in a broader array of games and gaming styles."

Today he took to Reddit to explain the above. The full response is after the jump; here's the main point of it here:

"I was asked in the interview about what things we're doing differently for our new games going forward and that's when I said we're focused on shorter session times because not many people have the time anymore to spend on a 4 hour raid.

"Don't mistake that comment for me not believing in raiding or knowing that there are a ton of people that play MMOs that still absolutely love to do it! We also plan on continuing to support EQ, and EQ2 for the very long haul and providing exactly the kind of cool content our players have expected. None of that is changing."

Daybreak Unveils New Site and Logo

Daybreak Game Company finally unveiled their revamped website and logo after months of waiting. The new logo features the eye of an owl who appears to be glaring at the rising sun. As for the website, www.daybreakgames.com is finally active and has received a makeover. The top part has jumbo-sized features while the bottom allows you to navigate between their different posts and social media feeds. Also of note: Station Cash is now called "Daybreak Cash" on the new site (it's just renamed; your balances remain the same).

What do you think of the new logo and website? Check after the jump for more info on celebration livestreams and in-game bonuses happening this week. UPDATE: A letter from Smed to the community is also below the jump.

Daybreak Maintenance: Monday, April 27, 2015

Daybreak Games will perform a general maintenance beginning at 7:00AM PDT on Monday, April 27th. The current estimated downtime for this maintenance is three to five hours, depending on the service.

This maintenance may impact the following Daybreak services across all games:

  • Commerce functions, including purchases, for all games
  • Game logins
  • Web logins for all Daybreak sites, including account creation
  • Forum access (login, posting, and viewing abilities) for all Daybreak games.

Here's our handy Time Zone Conversion Tool to help you plan.

Daybreak Players Step Up to Organize Fan Faire

Shortly before the sale of Sony Online Entertainment - now Daybreak Games - was announced, the word went out: SOE Live wasn't happening this year. Formerly known as Fan Faire, the annual gathering of players and SOE developers to celebrate their favorite games had become a vacation mainstay for many people.

After the announcement a dedicated group of players decided to pick up the project themselves. Project Fan Faire is in motion, but because there no big backers, they are running a Kickstarter in an attempt to fund the event. Tickets include admission to the event, three catered meals, and access to all player panels.

For more information, like Project Fan Faire on Facebook, or check out their website or Kickstarter!

Weekend Bonus on $20 Station Cash Cards

Beginning at 10:00AM PDT on Friday, March 27th, if you redeem a $20 Station Cash Game Card, you will receive 500 Bonus Station Cash! All $20 Station Cash cards feature artwork from Landmark like this one.

These Landmark game cards are available in select locations of the following U.S. retail stores: GameStop, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Toys R Us.

But hurry! The 500 Bonus SC is only available if you redeem the $20 Station Cash Game Cards between 10:00AM PDT on Friday, March 27th, and 11:59PM PDT on Sunday, March 29th.

The Fine Print:  Bonus Station Cash will ONLY be awarded on the redemption of a $20 Landmark card. Other Station Cash cards are not eligible for this promotion.

Daybreak Opens G.I.R.L. Scholarship Submissions

Daybreak Games has annouced that the submission process is now open for its 2015 Gamers In Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Game Design Competition. This year the competition will have two winners: one in Art and Design, and another in Programming and Engineering. Important note: you don't have to be a girl to apply for a G.I.R.L. Scholarship.

Submissions for the 2015 G.I.R.L. Game Design Competition will close on March 26, 2015. See the entire press release below.

Storybricks Announces Its Closure

In a surprising newsletter this evening, Storybricks announced that it will be closing its doors.

Mostly known for their recent work on EverQuest Next's AI with Sony Online Entertainment, the studio cites that the decision was their own and "Sony Online Entertainment (now Daybreak Games) bears no fault for it. Sony Online Entertainment had been up for sale for a long time so our exit had no connection with the Columbus Nova acquisition."