Brad McQuaid

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Brad McQuaid
Nationality American
Other names Aradune Mithara
Occupation Video game designer
Known for EverQuest, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Brad McQuaid is an American video game designer who was the key designer of EverQuest, a highly successful massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in 1999. He later co-founded Sigil Games Online where he served as CEO and Executive Producer of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes until Sony Online Entertainment's acquisition of Sigil Games Online in May 2007. On July 6, 2012, SOE announced the re-hiring of McQuaid to continue his work on Vanguard.

Biography[edit]

EverQuest[edit]

Brad McQuaid's start in the video game industry came in 1989 when he co-founded MicroGenesis with Steve Clover. In their free time they created WarWizard, a shareware role-playing video game that they released in 1993. McQuaid and Clover then developed a WarWizard 2 demo in 1995, which caught the attention of John Smedley of Sony Interactive Studios America. Smedley hired McQuaid and Clover in 1996 to work on an online role-playing game, later named EverQuest.

McQuaid started as the project's lead programmer but was made the producer and one of the lead designers. While EverQuest was being developed, Origin Systems launched Ultima Online in 1997 which became the top MMORPG. EverQuest became a huge hit and within months of its March 1999 launch it topped the subscription numbers held by Ultima Online. PC Gamer called McQuaid one of the "Next Game Gods" in its November 2000 issue, believing that he would eventually become one of the industry's most influential game developers.[1] After Sony Online Entertainment acquired Verant Interactive, Brad McQuaid was promoted to Vice President of Premium Games and Chief Creative Officer.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes[edit]

He left Sony to create Sigil Games with fellow game designer and EverQuest development team member Jeff Butler in January 2002. Several years later, McQuaid announced that Sigil would release a new next generation MMORPG. This game was given the name Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. The game was finally released to the public in January 2007, five years after Sigil was founded. However, Vanguard had many technical problems, lacked nearly every feature that Brad had promised, and it was unanimously regarded as a failure upon launch.[citation needed] Brad McQuaid admitted that the game was not ready in January but was released early due to "financial resources".Full quote

After five months of disappointing reviews and sales, on May 15, 2007, Sony Online Entertainment officially announced that it had purchased the key assets of Sigil Games Online. Brad McQuaid resigned from his position of leadership within Sigil and was given a very limited role of "creative consultant".

Current[edit]

After the much criticized launch of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, McQuaid disappeared from the public view, and his personal website went off-line. Rumours circulated amongst gamers on the Internet as to why the game turned out so poorly and what was going on behind the scenes at Sigil Games. In June 2009, Brad updated his personal website, initially only very briefly commenting on Vanguard, but also stating that, "in the last few months I’ve really felt that desire to be back in the industry and creating games."

After some casual posts in his blog (on his personal website), he then started a series of posts which he had entitled a "Vanguard: Post-mortem". His intention was to set the record straight on what went wrong with Vanguard. To summarise, his "Part One" focused on Sigil's relationship with Microsoft. Part Two discussed the difficulties of working with the all-star staff Sigil hired for Vanguard. Part Three focused on technical issues. On June 16, 2010, McQuaid updated his Blog to announce that he was the co-founder of a new gaming company in San Diego, CA. Some months later, the blog was removed from the website, leaving the website as just a single page website.

On July 6, 2012, Sony Online Entertainment announced the re-hiring of McQuaid to continue work on Vanguard including its Free-to-Play transition. http://vgplayers.station.sony.com/newsArchive.vm?section=News&month=current&id=1425

On March 6, 2013, McQuaid announced that he had returned to working on EverQuest.[2]

On September 9, 2013, McQuaid released a statement saying that he had left SOE, but would continue to work with them. This news, coupled with a string of hints dropped throughout Twitter and various message board posts, led the community to believe that McQuaid intended to work on a true spiritual successor to EverQuest and Vanguard independently.

On January 13, 2014 the game was announced as Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen alongside a Kickstarter campaign.[3] It was later revealed, in early May, that McQuaid had taken a three month advance payment of $45,000 of the $147,000 raised for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. This raised significant questions about the viability of the project.[4]

Aradune Mithara[edit]

Aradune Mithara is the alias McQuaid originally used for his player character in the MUD Sojourn, its successor TorilMUD, and other MMORPGs, as well as the name of a fictional character in the MMORPGs he has designed.[5]

In an IRC interview, McQuaid revealed that Aradune was a character from a series of books he started writing in his teens.[citation needed] He first used the name as his pseudonym in MUDs and then later for his test character in the development of EverQuest. Early screenshots often featured Aradune and players began to associate the name with him.[6]

Despite McQuaid having left Sony Online Entertainment, the memory of his character remains, as does the jestful graffiti of the sewers of the city of Qeynos, stating simply, "Aradune is stinky".[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PC Gamer. November 2000. "Meet the Next Game Gods".
  2. ^ McQuaid, Brad. "12 years? I feel so old :)". EverQuest Forums. Sony Online Entertainment. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Johnson, Leif (13 January 2014). "Brad McQuaid talks Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, Kickstarter campaign launches today". PC Gamer UK. Future plc. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Parrish, Peter (6 May 2014). "Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s financials under scrutiny from community". incgamers.com. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Nelson, Mike (2002-07-02). "Interview: Brad McQuaid". The guru of 3D. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  6. ^ "Picture: Aradune shown with Fires of Heaven". Retrieved 2011-05-05.  A photo of Aradune with Fires of Heaven guild members during the The Ruins of Kunark expansion era.
  7. ^ "Picture: Aradune is stinky". Retrieved 2011-05-05.  A photo taken by an unknown adventurer in the Qeynos sewers.

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