The video game community is in mourning, as one of our most beloved and revered members has sadly passed away. Brad McQuaid, who is best known as one of the creators of the hugely successful MMORPG EverQuest, has died at the age of 51. His death was reported by the video game studio Visionary Realms, where McQuaid was working on a new MMO title, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.
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.
— Pantheon 💚 (@PantheonMMO) November 20, 2019
A post was also made on the Pantheon forums page by the studio’s Director of Communication, Benjamin Dean, who mentions that McQuaid passed away in his home. Dean also states in his message, “Brad was a visionary, a mentor, an artist, a trailblazer, a friend, a husband, a father. He touched thousands of lives with his dreams and concepts. He changed the landscape of video games forever. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered in life and in Pantheon. Thank you, Brad, for bringing us together through your worlds. Rest in peace, Aradune.”
Aradune was McQuaid’s nickname in the MMO community, and a sign of how much respect he held within that community. McQuad’s career in the video game industry spans roughly 30 years which saw him work on a number of different MMO’s. This included his first project in the early 1990’s which was the shareware title WarWizard. While it didn’t make an immediate splash in the market, it caught the attention of John Smedley, who was working at Sony Interactive Studios America which would later become 989 Studios.
McQuaid was hired by Smedley and the two would go onto create the first fully realized 3D MMORPG, EverQuest. Releasing in 1998, it exploded onto the video game market, and supplanted the MMORPG genre as the next big thing in gaming. It kick started a whole new movement in the community, and would also become a major catalyst for another title that would eventually outgrow and outperform them, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft. On top of that, the game is still going today with it’s 26th expansion set to launch this December. Yes there are 26 expansions for EverQuest. Smedley offered his own tribute for McQuaid on Twitter.
Brad was an amazingly talented creator and Everquest wouldn’t exist without his genius. He will be missed.
— John Smedley (@j_smedley) November 20, 2019
In 2002, McQuad left Sony and founded his own studio, Sigil Games which developed Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. It was then purchased by Sony, and McQuaid returned to the company to work on EverQuest again. However in 2013 he departed the company to start his own independent project, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. Originally posted on the crowdfunding page Kickstarter, the project was unsuccessful to secure the necessary funds in this endeavor. Instead, Visionary Realms continued to create the game slowly over time while taking in pledges from anyone who wish to support the development.
As of this writing, there is no other information regarding McQuaid’s passing, and it’s more than likely that we won’t know anything for a very long time. We offer our deepest condolences to all of the families and friends affected by their loss.