Creator of Everquest, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Passes Away
Brad McQuaid, beloved inventor of modern MMOs, dies in California home at 51.
There wouldn’t be a World of Warcraft, a Final Fantasy XIV or even a Fallout 76 without the innovations brought forth by EverQuest in 1999. That’s why we report, with utmost sorrow, the passing of EverQuest creator Brad McQuaid (also known by his online handle, Aradune), aged 51.
When it wasn’t busy breaking the internet, EverQuest pushed its players to work together for things as simple as fighting enemies and moving safely through a zone, often meaning that those who played together would later go on to form friendships, relationships, and even families against the backdrop of a shared fantasy. Those concepts lived on (to a less extreme degree) in World of Warcraft, a game that would later terraform the rest of the industry.
Most recently, McQuaid was working on a new MMO titled Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. Visionary Realms, the Pantheon developer founded by McQuaid and associates in 2014, made a heartfelt statement on Twitter following McQuaid’s death:
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
Pantheon isn’t the only game that McQuaid had worked on since the release of EverQuest. In 2002, following the success of EverQuest, McQuaid and a handful of his close colleagues formed Sigil Games Online. The new company developed and released an attempted “spiritual successor” to EverQuest in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, before Sigil was ultimately acquired by Sony Online Entertainment, now Daybreak Game Company, in 2007. Vanguard was shuttered in 2014.
The news of McQuaid’s death comes shortly after the passing of Matt McDonald, who also worked on EverQuest and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes alongside McQuaid before later transitioning into a Technical Art Director role at Amazon Game Studios. McQuaid passed in his home on November 18, aged 51. The cause of his death has not yet been released.