EverQuest developer Daybreak has cancelled the next game in the series.
The studio was hit by a series of departures and layoffs last year, with both franchise director David Georgeson and lead designer Steve Danuser leaving the company in February.
Following that news, Daybreak president Russell Shanks announced in a post that EverQuest Next had been dropped as a result of the title failing to meet expectations.
“For those familiar with the internals of game development, you know that cancellations are a reality we must face from time to time,” he said. “Inherent to the creative process are dreaming big, pushing hard and being brutally honest with where you land.
“In the case of EverQuest Next, we accomplished incredible feats that astonished industry insiders. Unfortunately, as we put together the pieces, we found that it wasn’t fun.
“We know you have high standards when it comes to Norrath and we do too. In final review, we had to face the fact that EverQuest Next would not meet the expectations we – and all of you – have for the worlds of Norrath.”
He took the time to reassure fans that Next’s demise didn’t signal the end for the franchise as a whole:
"The future of the EverQuest franchise as a whole is important to us here at Daybreak. EverQuest in all its forms is near and dear to our hearts. EverQuest and EverQuest II are going strong.
"Rest assured that our passion to grow the world of EverQuest remains undiminished.”
A spin-off to Next, EverQuest Landmark, will continue development, executive producer Holly Longdale added in a forum comment.
“While the look of our world was inspired by what was intended to be the voxel world of EverQuest Next, Landmark has evolved into its own game with its own unique identity and purpose," she explained.
“We've been toiling away making Landmark into a wonder unto itself.”