MMO veteran and EverQuest co-creator Brad McQuaid has died - Dexerto
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MMO veteran and EverQuest co-creator Brad McQuaid has died

Published: 20/Nov/2019 3:06 Updated: 20/Nov/2019 3:09

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 EntertainmentMcQuaid 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 RealmsMcQuaid 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.

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Police hunt for suspect after hoax hostage situation at Ubisoft Montreal

Published: 13/Nov/2020 19:45 Updated: 14/Nov/2020 0:37

by Theo Salaun

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Reports indicate that there is an ongoing hostage situation involving dozens of people at Ubisoft Montreal’s headquarters in the Mile-End neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec. There have been no confirmed injuries.

Update (7:35 p.m. ET): Ubisoft Montreal have released a statement regarding the hostage situation. “We are extremely relieved this was resolved without incident and we’d like to thank you all for your support and kind words.”

No injuries were reported at the offices. Montreal Police are launching a full investigation into the call.

Update (5:04 p.m. ET): All of the Ubisoft Montreal’s building occupants are being safely evacuated by Montreal’s police force and the police have joined local news in suggesting that the situation was, in fact, a hoax perpetrated by a call within the Ubisoft headquarters. No suspect has been identified or apprehended at this point, but the SPVM are actively investigating.

Update (4:04 p.m. ET): While local news outlets are reporting that the hostage situation was a hoax, Montreal’s police force have indeed confirmed that there appears to be no active threat and that the building’s occupants are being evacuated.

Update (3:33 p.m. ET): Little is known about the police force’s ongoing activity in attempts to enter the building, but CTV News reports that Ubisoft’s employees have been told, via company memo, to “hide in an area that locks and to keep quiet.”

Update (3:00 p.m. ET): Heavily armed Montreal police tactical units are approaching the building and preparing to make entry. Dozens of employees remain on roof and no injuries or negotiations with the suspects have been reported thus far.

Update (November 13, 2020 at 2:49 p.m. ET): Police appear to have barricaded off the daycare at Ubisoft Montreal’s headquarters, at least 50 employees have barricaded themselves atop the building’s roof, and tactical police units have blocked off surrounding streets and appear to be preparing to make entry. Current reports indicate that there have been no injuries thus far, according to local news on the scene.

With numerous reports and tweets from local news and Ubisoft Montreal employees, respectively, it appears that a hostage situation is unfolding at the company’s headquarters but that all employees are safe. 

In the afternoon, it was reported by Quebec’s TVA Nouvelles that dozens of hostages were being held at Ubisoft Montreal’s building on Saint Laurent Boulevard. This ongoing situation was echoed by Montreal’s police department, who put out public announcements to avoid the area due to the police’s efforts there.

Shortly after, numerous employees, including Programming Project Lead Gavin Young and a Production Marketer for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, tweeted that they were indeed safe and sound despite what was happening in the building.

Although ‘Valskuiken’ tweeted that they would be going home, it appears that a large conglomerate of employees have made their ways to the building’s roof and have barricaded themselves up there by blocking off the door to the exterior.

Further, reports from TVA Nouvelles indicate that a ransom request has been made by the suspects, but it is unclear what has come of it as police continue to operate in the vicinity.

At present, it appears that numerous employees are safe but it is unclear what is precisely happening with the situation given the multi-floor building’s space and large occupancy. At least 50 employees have made it to the roof, wherereports show they are holding up safely. However, in anticipation of the police force making entry into the building, it seems that ambulances and a tactical police force are arriving to the scene.

As reports indicate, the tactical forces approaching the building include numerous police officers, tactical police units, and heavier vehicles. There have been no indications of injuries thus far, so it appears that the ambulances are predominantly a precautionary measure.

We will be continuing to update this page with updates as they come in and as the Montreal police force and local news provide information to the public about the current circumstances.