Brad McQuaid, MMORPG developer, the creator of “EverQuest” and the Chief Creative Officer of Visionary Realms, has died at the age of 51, according to a tweet from Pantheon MMO’s official account. McQuaid died on November 18. Brad McQuaid’s cause of death has not been made public.
In the past, McQuaid had been the chief creative officer at Sony Online Entertainment. McQuaid joined the gaming giant as a programmer in 1996. McQuaid left Sony in 2002 to set up his own shop, Sigil Games, which was later purchased by Sony in 2007. McQuaid would work again for Sony in 2012 but left in 2013. Following “EverQuest” McQuaid created the poorly reviewed but cult classic MMO “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.”
Here’s what you need to know about the man who changed MMO forever:
1. McQuaid Attempted to Crowdfund ‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ in 2014
In 2014, McQuaid unsuccessfully tried to fund “Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen” through Kickstarter. At the time of writing, the fund had raised $460,657 of a $800,000 goal.
Despite that, McQuaid continued to solicit donations for his project via Pantheon’s official website.
McQuaid was still working on the project at the time of his passing. McQuaid founded Visionary Realms in September 2013.
The tweet from Pantheon MMO read, “It is with deep regret we share that Brad McQuaid passed away last night. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered by gamers worldwide. Thank you for bringing us together through your worlds. Rest in peace
@Aradune. VR offers our deepest condolences to Brad’s family.”
2. McQuaid Said in 2017: ‘I Want to Make Worlds, Not Games’
McQuaid’s last activity on his Twitter page saw him promote “never before seen” features on the next “Pantheon MMO” live stream. McQuaid gives his location on that page as Terminus, the setting for “Pantheon.” On his Twitter page, McQuaid went by the name Aradune Mithara. Mithara is a non-playable character in “EverQuest” who was created and controlled by McQuaid. A bio of Mithara describes him as being the “possessor of the epic weapon, the Fiery Avenger.”
In September 2017, McQuaid told Games Industry that he wanted “to make worlds, not games.” During the same interview, McQuaid discussed his belief that developing MMOs was different to developing more conventional video games because “they involve real people and that social aspect, because they’re so immersive – and will be even more so in the future.” McQuaid added that while he still played games, he felt MMOs were more like “watching a really good movie.”
3. McQuaid Said in the Past That His Wife Was Not a ‘Comic Geek’ Like Him
On his Facebook page, McQuaid described himself as a developer who had worked in the industry for over 20 years, a “fanatic” of motorcycles and motocross. McQuaid said that he had been playing the card game “Magic: The Gathering” since the 1990s and is a comic book collector. In November 2017, McQuaid said that his wife “was not a comic geek.”
A few days before his death, McQuaid tweeted that he and his team had designed zones in “Pantheon MMO” to be more compatible with life in terms of “jobs, spouse, kids, etc.”
4. McQuaid Played College Soccer at Palomar Colege
McQuaid lived in the San Diego-area. He was a graduate of Palomar College in the city. According to his LinkedIn page, McQuaid studied computer science and the school while also playing on the school’s soccer team. While still in high school, McQuaid co-founded MicroGenesis, a small company that made “WarWizard” for the Amiga, and later for PC.
McQuaid began work on “EverQuest” after he founded Verant Interactive in March 1996. On McQuaid’s official profile on Visionary Realms’ website refers to “EverQuest” as a “breakout global phenomenon.”
5. A Colleague of McQuaid’s Said That the MMO Icon Had Died at His Home
Visionary Realms director of communications Benjamin Dean paid tribute in a post on Pantheon MMO’s official forum. Dean described McQuaid as “a visionary, a mentor, an artist, a trailblazer, a friend, a husband, a father.” Dean added that McQuaid had sadly passed away at his home. Dean also said that McQuaid had “changed the landscape of video games forever.”
MMO developer Raph Koster tweeted his condolences to McQuaid in a message that read, “Shocked & gutted to hear that Brad McQuaid aka @Aradune has passed away. A big-hearted guy who loved games and the worlds he built. So many memories of design discussions with him over the years. He was so proud of @PantheonMMO. Way too soon. ? RIP Brad, you will be missed.”