EverQuest producer and designer Brad McQuaid dies at 51

Shawn Knight

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Staff member

Details of his death have not been shared publicly although it was reported that he died in his home on the evening of November 18.

McQuaid got his start in the video game industry in 1989 and worked on a couple of shareware / demo projects over the next several years. His big break came in 1996 when he was hired by John Smedley of Sony Interactive Studios America to work on an online role-playing title.

That game would eventually become EverQuest and it was a smash hit. After just a few months on the market, it became the top MMORPG based on subscriber numbers, besting Ultima Online for the distinction.

McQuaid would eventually leave Sony to create his own studio, Sigil Games, in 2002, only to sell the studio to Sony in 2007. It turned out one game, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. His most recent project, an MMORPG called Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, was being developed by Visionary Realms. The fate of that project is unknown although considering how long it has been in development, one would suspect it has to be nearly finished by this point.

The official Twitter account for Pantheon shared news of his passing on November 19.

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Though I never played this game, this was hugely popular. Every magazine had the ad for this, reviews were good, many supporting articles and discussions, and even came with free first month or more bundled offers.



Posts: 17,682   +6,462
I've a few good memories, but in retrospect the time and money would have been better spent elsewhere.
Hindsight is always 20/20, or at least so it's said.

Rock stars often lead short but excessively "stressful" lives. One has to wonder if any of those life shortening pitfalls spill over to the frenetic pace of a video gamer's lifestyle.

I'm not trying to make light of an obviously great loss. The gentleman did give a lot of pleasure and competitive entertainment to a great many people while he was here.. RIP.
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This is sad news, indeed. Brad McQuaid was a gaming visionary. For my husband and I, EverQuest was our first MMORPG.

When we moved to Southern California I purchased the game for husbands's birthday so I might work on our newly purchased home without, as they say, "someone underfoot." ;) Ostensibly this new immersion into the fantastical was intended to "keep him out of my hair" giving him something to do while I enthusiastically set about to paint and to decorate... but my husband sucked me into the game with him and for the next nine and a half years he and I were somewhat gaming-crazed fools although not in a bad way per se. My husband made a lateral move into a government job continuing his work for the Navy albeit with a $30k a year pay-cut so it worked out for us while we paid off the extensive credit card debt of his previous marriage. It helped us to save money as we became a blissfully happy stay-at-home couple.

We spent our Wedding Anniversary in the Rathe Mountains-- a zone filled with hill giants, skeletons, and cyclops so big that when they came close to our characters the surround sound speakers shook our office walls by their heavy footfall, often startling me into immediate action. Debuff the mob so my husband could "land a snare," slow the mob so the monster's swinging steel scimitar wouldnt end my character's life in a single blow, and then kite the mob (it chasing me) around and around and around while my husband whittled it down from behind. Dizzy as it made me it was such a pleasure when the monster fell, again rattling our office walls with a reverberating THUD!

We were an unconventional couple in this fantasy world, ranger (husband) and enchanter (myself), that continually shocked our gaming companions over how successfully we had, as such an unusual class pairing, a lone couple, pulled off such remarkable feats.

We learned a great deal about each other and in many ways developed such a powerful connected 'oneness' to each other-- the way we would continue to live our lives as a strong marital couple completely in sync with one another. These were such magical times my husband and I spent together battling the evils in the EverQuest game world.

Brad McQuaid, you will be missed by the whole of the MMORPG community. Thank You! for creating the fantasy world whereby these wonderful memories for us all, as well as the total oneness between my husband and myself were nurtured during our first years as a (penniless) couple. Rest in peace, Brad.