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MMO veteran and EverQuest co-creator Brad McQuaid has died

by Isaac McIntyre

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Legendary Everquest co-creator and Pantheon developer Brad McQuaid has died aged 51. McQuaid's death was first reported by Pantheon’s social media accounts, and has sparked an outpouring of online tributes.

“It is with deep regret we share that Brad McQuaid passed away last night,” Visionary Realms' Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Twitter account posted on the evening of November 19.

“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 [Visionary Realms] offers our deepest condolences to Brad’s family.”

Visionary Realms director of communications Benjamin Dean confirmed on Pantheon MMO’s public forums that McQuaid passed away at home.

“Brad was a visionary, a mentor, an artist, a trailblazer, a friend, a husband, a father,” Dean said in the company’s official announcement.

“He touched thousands of lives with his dreams. 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. All of us at Visionary Realms offer our deepest condolences to Brad’s family and during this most difficult time, we kindly ask that you respect the privacy of Brad’s family.”

Sony Entertainment
Sony Entertainment
McQuaid co-created historic fantasy MMORPG EverQuest in 1999.

EverQuest’s social media account also posted a tribute to the game’s legendary co-creator and former chief creative officer:

“We are devastated to hear of the passing of Brad McQuaid and are eternally grateful for the EverQuest Universe he was instrumental in creating. His effect on all of us is immeasurable & life-changing. Continue your great quest, Aradune.”

McQuaid, who was known as Aradune to much of the online MMO community, first started out in development as a lead programmer for Sony Online Entertainment. The young developer soon became a producer on EverQuest.

He was quickly promoted to chief creative officer for the fantasy MMO title, and was dubbed one of the “next game gods” in November 2000 by PC Gamer for his efforts in making EverQuest one of the biggest RPGs ever.

Visionary Realms
Visionary Realms
McQuaid was working on 'Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen' ahead of his death.

In January 2002, McQuaid departed Sony to found Sigil Games alongside fellow EverQuest developer Jeff Butler. The pair launched their first title, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, and five years later the independent start-up was purchased by SOE.

Most recently, the former MMO veteran was working on Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, another fantasy title that had raised more than $400,000 in its crowdfunding efforts across Kickstarter and other websites. It is currently in pre-alpha.