Brad McQuaid (April 25, 1969 – November 18, 2019) was 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. On January 13, 2014, McQuaid announced his role of Chief Creative Officer at Visionary Realms, Inc. for the PC MMORPG, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.
McQuaid in 2017
|Born||April 25, 1969|
|Other names||Aradune Mithara|
|Occupation||Video game designer|
|Known for||EverQuest, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen|
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. 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
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.
Vanguard Kickstarter Controversy And Drug Addiction Rumors
According to information from the ReRolled forums, Reddit and SegmentNext, Mr. McQuaid allegedly took a substantial portion of the $148k raised as part of a crowdfunding campaign for Vanguard as a "three month salary advance." A since-removed post on the "Pantheon: Rise of Fallen" Facebook page suggested this figure was around $45k (33% of the total raised).
The game was released to the public in January 2007, five years after Sigil was founded. Brad McQuaid admitted that the game was not ready in January but was released early due to "financial resources".Full quote
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 role of creative consultant.
Vanguard Failure Fallout
After Vanguard failed one of its former developers made a post on the Fires of Heaven (a popular EverQuest guild) forum . The developer suggested that (among other things) McQuaid was addicted to narcotic pharmaceuticals. Many drew connections between this information and Brad's earlier controversy with dipping into Pantheon's Kickstarter funds.
However, neither McQuaid himself nor (post-mortem) his family have publicly discussed McQuaid's addiction issues, and neither have confirmed or denied that the Kickstarter funding was in any way related to such issues.
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 Visionary Realms' Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen alongside a Kickstarter campaign, with McQuaid served as Chief Creative Officer.
- PC Gamer. November 2000. "Meet the Next Game Gods".
- "Vanguard Players". web.archive.org. July 8, 2012.
- McQuaid, Brad. "12 years? I feel so old :)". EverQuest Forums. Sony Online Entertainment. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- 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.
- Meiling, Brittany (4 May 2017). "Developer Returns to the Challenge of the Big Game". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Dean, Ben (19 November 2019). "With Deepest Regrets, Aradune has passed away". Retrieved 19 November 2019.
- Prescott, Shaun (19 November 2019). "EverQuest and Pantheon developer Brad McQuaid has died". PC Gamer.