January 12th, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. by Karsten Scholz – John Smedley (Everquest) is no longer part of Amazon Game Studios. The chief developer of the San Diego branch had recently worked with his team on a SciFi MMO shooter. The project should continue to be alive. It is not known where Smedley is going.
The name John Smedley should mean something to many of you. The US developer made a name for himself with the development of EverQuest and the founding of Verant Interactive. The latter company later became Sony Online Entertainment and a little later the Daybreak Game Company. MMO classics such as Star Wars Galaxies, EverQuest II and DC Universe Online appeared under Smedley’s direction. He then resigned as CEO in 2015.
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A year later he wanted to develop the 2D permadeath action role-playing game Hero’s Song with a new studio, but nothing came of it. In 2017, his team was then swallowed up by Amazon Game Studios. Smedley became the boss of the San Diego branch. There he worked until recently on a previously unannounced sci-fi MMO shooter.
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Smedley no longer on Amazon Games
Why “until recently”? Well, according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier (via Massivelyop), John Smedley has informed his team that he has handed in his resignation and will soon no longer be working for Amazon Game Studios: “After careful consideration, I’ve decided it’s about time to try something new,” says the chief developer.
And what will become of his current project? According to Bloomberg, Amazon executives have confirmed that the team will continue to work on their sci-fi MMO and that Smedley will support his people until the internal transition is complete. The project does not follow the fate of the “Lord of the Rings” MMO, which was discontinued last year after difficulties with Tencent.